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Africa: Njoroge stays calm amid Kenya’s political storm

Central bank governor Patrick Njoroge talks to Euromoney about the challenges of a turbulent year in Kenya and about his strategy to tackle them.

Central Bank of Kenya governor Patrick Njoroge

Things are not getting any easier for Patrick Njoroge, governor of the Central Bank of Kenya. 

Euromoney first interviewed him in early 2016, shortly after he had taken office in Nairobi, after 20 years working at the IMF in Washington DC. 

Njoroge described the tough start to his tenure: “This place was burning, inflation was surging, the exchange rate was dropping like a stone, there were pressures on the current account”. He called the situation “a mess” and compared the central bank to “an emergency room”. The stress, he said, caused him to lose five kilos in weight during his first few weeks in office.

Speaking to Euromoney a few months later, he detailed how he had battled the introduction of a controversial bill capping interest rates on commercial loans, which, he argued, would have overwhelmingly negative consequences on the country’s economy but which, having become law, he would have to implement. Euphemistically, he called his first year in office “colourful”. 

Now, sitting down with Euromoney once again, during a visit to Washington coinciding with his former employer’s annual meetings, Njoroge reflects on the new difficulties that have emerged in recent months. 

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