Former Central Bank of Kenya Governor Appointed Finance CS amid Rising Cost of Living

Njuguna Ndung'u

Kenya’s newly elected President William Ruto has named Njuguna Ndung’u as Cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning amid rising inflation in the country.

In a list that was dominated by seasoned politicians and political leaders, Ndung’u is one of the few technocrats to hold a ministerial position in Ruto’s government.

Ndung’u was an economics professor at the University of Nairobi and headed the African Economic Research Consortium before being appointed as the Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya in 2007.

At the University of Nairobi, Ndung’u taught econometrics and economic theory.

Ndung’u also served as a regional programme specialist for the Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office of the International Research Centre. He also worked at the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis as a principal analyst/researcher.

The economist became the executive director of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC). He also worked shortly for the UNDP in 2019.

Njuguna Ndung’u’s appointment comes at a time when Kenya is facing significant economic problems. The country is currently experiencing high inflation rates, debt burden, insecurity, and drought.

Ndung’u his known for his position on prioritizing price stability over growth. He was the Central Bank chief when he proposed strategies to reduce growth and focus on price stability during the financial crisis of 2011.

This perspective could prove to be crucial to fight against rising cost of living in the country.

Kenya’s inflation rate currently stands at 8% and is expected to rise further as the new administration plans to remove subsidy on fuel and other consumption goods.

With the war in Ukraine already causing rising prices of fuel, the removal of subsidies will cause prices of commodities to rise even further. President Ruto has also announced that he will cut down on external borrowing and focus on domestic borrowing to reduce the burden of debt.

It remains to be seen what Njuguna Ndung’u will do to align his financial stabilization goal with President Ruto’s long term strategies.

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