3 June 2015
Njuguna Ndung’u, former Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor and former AFI Steering Committee Chairperson, has been named the central banker of the year by the London-based African Banker magazine for his work in Kenya during 2014.
Professor Ndung’u’s tenure as Governor at CBK saw the rise of the now famous M-Pesa platform which quickly positioned Kenya as a global leader in the financial inclusion space. Under his direction, CBK embraced the idea of creating an enabling environment for financial inclusion, which allowed mobile financial services to rapidly expand from a niche product into a central part of life for millions in Kenya.
Professor Ndung’u recognized that powerful knowledge and expertise on financial inclusion policy also existed across the developing world. Other countries were seeing different types of success, but lacked a global platform to share and exchange ideas and experience. As a result, Professor Ndung’u brought CBK into the AFI Network as one of its first members and one of its greatest advocates. The first AFI Global Policy Forum (GPF) was held in Nairobi in 2009, where Professor Ndung’u took on the role of AFI’s first Steering Committee Chairperson.
With Professor Ndung’u at the helm of the Steering Committee, AFI saw an exponential growth in membership along with a rapidly rising international recognition of financial inclusion as a core element of development, poverty reduction and social stability. At the same time Professor Ndung’u represented AFI and the voices of developing and emerging countries at the G20 when the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) was established.
Although officially retired from CBK, Professor Ndung’u continues to champion the cause of financial inclusion, working closing with AFI as well as regional and national leaders, most recently serving as a moderator and resources person for Banco de Moçambique’s (BM) 40th anniversary event in Maputo and the Global Symposium on Global Standards Proportionality, co-organized by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and the Toronto Centre in Kuala Lumpur. He continues to share his experiences and exchange ideas on the future of inclusion with current and with future policy leaders.