NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 29 – The Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Patrick Njoroge has spent the first 97 days of his tenure in the deep end, literally, with a plummeting shilling forming an immediate headache, coupled with a need to contain inflation and the interest rate among others.
Njoroge told journalists on Tuesday that he was not looking to create a legacy for himself, but is keen on leaving a better financial institution when he ‘walks out into the sunset’ in future.
And this is how he hopes to steer the CBK, in his own words;
A stronger Central Bank
The Central Bank needs to be a World class institution. Here, we have the CBK Act; it needs to be World class, the people at the Central Bank need to be World class staff and also the processes. So those are key elements in terms of having a very strong institution.
A vibrant Financial Sector
One of the points I have been pushing commercial banks is that they need to be innovative. If there is one thing you will hear me saying again and again and again, is the whole business of innovation. I don’t want us (CBK) to be champions of innovation because we only help but we will work with the institutions. I would quickly say that innovation is not just having an app that you will have on your phone but innovate other new services that grow the whole sector in all ways.
A more efficient financial sector
We have previously talked about how banks manage their liquidity but there is also need of intermediating deposits into investments. I think I have made this point before, that the biggest concern as we see it at the Central Bank, is really their short term horizons in investments. They (financial institutions) need to expand their investment horizon to five or ten years. And that is how they are going to support infrastructure and investments in other projects that will have returns over an extended period of time and not just two or three years. That is really what we talk about when we talk of a more efficient financial sector.
More financial inclusion
Yes, we know Kenya is a leader in financial inclusion and yes it’s true the latest survey shows, we have something like 80 percent of the population within five kilometers of access to a financial point. But it is not just that. We are looking at having more services, layered on already available platforms. That’s really it. Having layers of more services. For example we have something coming up called M-Akiba which will be used to purchase government bond.
M-Akiba will allow people wherever they are, to purchase bonds from their mobile devices. We are looking at it from an economic perspective, where the population can actually save. Look at the parents, teachers, policemen, I mean everyone will be included.
Above all, Njoroge believes in having more policies that will ensure there is discipline even as the financial sector continues to be vibrant and avoid cases of ‘Dubai Bank collapse.’