CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge: This is Not A Goodbye, It’s A Thank You

June 19, 2023

By Outgoing CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge

“To all ships at sea, and all the ports of all. To my family, and to all friends and strangers.

Tomorrow(June 18, 2023) is my last day as Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), closing a chapter that began eight years ago. Truth be told, it has been the greatest honour to serve as CBK Governor.

This is a message, and a prayer. The message is that I have learnt a great truth. I have been surrounded by colleagues that are outstanding in their professionalism and generous in their friendship. I have had a fortunate life that no wind, no storm could ever destroy.

We have navigated an incredible number of shocks. From interest rate caps to surges in domestic inflation. Brexit and Covid-19. A collapse and then surge in crude oil prices.

Increases in global commodity prices and broken supply chains. Significant volatility and a freeze-out in the global capital markets. In true David and Goliath fashion we faced off with big techs and IFIs, and asserted the concerns of EMDEs. In all this, CBK has gained the respect of its peers in the East African Community (EAC, Africa and globally, for its actions and audacity.

The banking sector has strengthened and expanded significantly, with better business models, customer-centric focus, and banks working with Kenyans.

The foreign exchange market has improved markedly and continues to recover from the recent shocks. Other parts of the financial sector have also advanced, inducing Payment Service Providers, Digital Credit Providers, and Credit Reference Bureaus. But a lot more needs to be done. It is a marathon.

Working with our partners, we have laid markers in the uncharted terrain of fintech innovations, strengthened the national Payments Systems while minimising financial stability risks and remaining attentive to consumer concerns.

The quality of CBK’s supervision now matches best standards. We are leaving behind a stronger, highly professional, fit-for-purpose CBK according to its mandate, well on its way to become a World-Class Modern Central Bank.

This is not a goodbye as I leave CBK, this is a thank you. Thank you for believing in our vision of the financial sector and pursuing it with courage and vigour. Thank you for your patience. But most of all, thank you for your encouragement and friendship.

The prayer is that financial institutions reconise their critical role in supporting Kenya and Africa’s economic transformation, and they recommit to shared prosperity. If my prayer is heard, it will erase all guilt, all regrets, and soothe all pain. Perilous times lie ahead, but how different the voyage.”

Ps: Several sentences and the structure of this messages are lifted from “messages in a Bottle” by Nicholas Sparks.

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