Africa: Njoroge stresses need for Kenya banks to innovate
After 20 years at the IMF, Patrick Njoroge gave up life in Washington for the rough and tumble of public life in Kenya. It was a culture shock for the new central bank governor. Now his robust approach is proving to be a shock to the Kenyan system.
'If we get things right, this economy will just rocket,' says Patrick Njoroge,
Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, is reflecting on the topic of weight. But it is not the balancing of fiscal levers or the appropriate spreads for Kenya’s $7.2 billion in foreign reserves that is concerning him. No, for this recent arrival – he took over the CBK last June after 20 years at the IMF – the subject is more personal: his own girth, or lack of it.
Euromoney has asked if Njoroge is enjoying his new role. A tall, trim man who looks more mid-40s than his actual mid-50s, Njoroge consults the My Fitness Pal app on his smartphone. On June 8 last year, he explains, a week after being nominated for the CBK role by president Uhuru Kenyatta, Njoroge weighed 180.4 pounds, around 82kg. By July 17, barely three weeks into his term, he weighed just 170.2 pounds, or 77kg. “And I wasn’t doing any exercise,” this enthusiastic jogger insists.
As he describes it, things were grim and getting grimmer.