The Governor of Ghana’s Central Bank, Dr Ernest Addison has been ranked 6th in the Top Ten African Central Bank Governors report by the Central Banker Report Cards.
The report is published annually by Global Finance since 1994, grade the central bank governors of 101 key countries and territories, including the European Union, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Bank of Central African States, and the Central Bank of West African States.
Mr. Addison was graded B- alongside his Tanzanian counterpart Florens Luoga, the BoG boss led a consolidation of Ghana’s banking system, which reduced the number of banks from 35 to 23 last year. As a result of the reforms, Ghana’s banks were better prepared for the recession.
The report showed that Abdellatif Jouahri, the Governor of Bank al-Maghrib (Morocco), earned an “A grade,” which is the highest distinction awarded by “Central Banker Report Cards” for the fourth time in a row. He was credited for his efforts in tripling the supply of funds to commercial banks and expanding the range of bonds and securities the apex bank would accept in exchange for refinancing.
Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer also received an “A” grade for his efforts to restore Egypt’s macroeconomic stability.
Below is the full list of the Top Ten Central Bank Governors in Africa.
1. Tarek Amer | EGYPT: GRADE (A–)
He oversaw a three-year IMF-backed reform program beginning in 2016 that restored macroeconomic stability to Egypt. In an emergency meeting on March 16, 2020, the central bank responded to the impact of the coronavirus by cutting its overnight deposit rate by 300 basis points to 9.25%. It also said it would postpone the payment of any credit liabilities on individuals and institutions, including mortgages, without any fines for delayed payments.
2. Abdellatif Jouahri | MOROCCO: GRADE (A)
Bank al-Maghrib, Morocco’s central bank, cut its policy rate 25 basis points in March to 2% to counter the effects of a drought and the coronavirus. In April, it tripled the supply of funds to commercial banks and expanded the range of bonds and securities it would accept in exchange for refinancing. The Professional Group of Moroccan Banks agreed to allow individuals and businesses to postpone payment of loan instalments for three months upon written request.
Governor Abdellatif Jouahri said in a statement on July 29 that Morocco’s economic performance was “not enough to meet the increasing social aspirations” of the population, suggesting that more economic stimulus measures, particularly those aimed at micro and small enterprises, were likely.
3. Patrick Njoroge | KENYA: GRADE (B+)
As Kenya’s tea and flower exports resumed in late July, Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge said the country’s economic recovery would be driven by growing remittances from workers abroad and a bumper harvest of corn, the country’s staple.
The central bank lowered its benchmark rate 125 basis points to 7% at the onset of the crisis. It also lowered reserve requirements and permitted commercial banks to restructure distressed loans.
4. John Rwangombwa | RWANDA: GRADE (B+)
Rwanda’s central bank responded quickly to address the effects of the coronavirus on its fast-growing economy. In March, it cut bank reserve requirements to ease liquidity constraints. In April, the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points to a record low of 4.5%. It also allowed commercial banks to restructure outstanding loans for borrowers facing temporary cash-flow challenges arising from the pandemic.
The government announced a $52 million package for local banks to help support funding for business continuity. The World Bank provided $14.25 million of International Development Association credit in immediate funding to the Rwanda Covid-19 Emergency Response Project.
5. Lesetja Kganyago | SOUTH AFRICA: GRADE: (B+)
The South African Reserve Bank responded aggressively to the coronavirus-driven economic crisis, cutting interest rates five times through July to a record low of 3.5% as the economy weakened and kept inflation low. The country’s inflation rate fell to 2.1% in May, the lowest in more than 15 years.
Governor Lesetja Kganyago said the Reserve Bank’s purchases of government debt beginning in March were aimed at reducing the dysfunction in the market and were not quantitative easing. He said the country would feel the measures the central bank took only as the economy reopened. Kganyago was reappointed last November to a new five-year term as governor.
6. Ernest Addison | GHANA: GRADE (B–)
Governor Ernest Addison led a consolidation of Ghana’s banking system, which reduced the number of banks from 35 to 23 last year. As a result of the reforms, Ghana’s banks were better prepared for the recession. In mid-March, the central bank cut its policy rate 150 basis points to 14.5%. It also cut the primary reserve requirement to 8% from 10%, and the capital conservation buffers to 1.5% from 3%.
Nonperforming loans rose to 18.1% in June, with rising defaults from the hospitality and construction sectors. The central bank gave commercial banks more leeway in terms of classifying bad debts.
7. Florens Luoga | TANZANIA: GRADE (B–)
The Bank of Tanzania cut its discount rate for lending to banks 200 basis points to 5% in May. It also lowered reserve requirements 100 basis points to 6% to provide additional liquidity to banks. The central bank said it would provide regulatory flexibility to banks and other financial institutions for loan restructurings to borrowers experiencing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus. Mobile money operators were allowed to increase their daily transaction limits.
Tanzania’s GDP rose 5.7% in the first quarter, supported by demand for gold. GDP grew 7% in 2019, and the Finance Ministry expects growth to slow to 4% this year and inflation to remain below 10%.
8. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile | UGANDA: GRADE: (C+)
The Bank of Uganda cut the central bank rate 100 basis points in April and another 100 basis points in June, bringing the rate down to 7%. After commercial banks failed to reduce their loan rates in response to the central bank’s easing, Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile sent a letter to bank CEOs on July 6 threatening to impose interest rate caps. The average bank lending rate rose from 17.7% in April to 18.8% in July. The Uganda Bankers’ Association said in a statement on its website that commercial banks would begin cutting their rates within 30 days.
9. Yinager Dessie | ETHIOPIA: GRADE (C)
Governor Yinager Dessie says Ethiopia plans to set a central bank benchmark rate and introduce a floating-rate foreign exchange system in three years. The country has foreign currency shortages and double-digit inflation. On May 19, the central bank imposed limits on cash withdrawals and suspended foreclosures for three months. It provided additional liquidity to private banks to facilitate debt restructuring.
10. Godwin Emefiele | NIGERIA: GRADE (C)
Under governor Godwin Emefiele’s watch, inflation rose to 12.3% in April, and the country’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen significantly. The central bank held its policy rate at 12.5% in July amid fears that lower rates could pressure the naira currency. However, private credit has declined sharply, despite efforts by the central bank to convince commercial banks to boost lending.