Yinager, Bekalu Top in the List to Head the NBE

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) is expected to name a Governor and Deputy Governor in the next few days, replacing Teklewold Atnafu, the longest serving governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), according to people familiar with the selection process.

Although there have been a number of individual with local and international profile approached by the Prime Minister’s Office, the candidates most likely for the job include Yinager Dessie (PhD) and Bekalu Zeleke, respectively, according to these people.

Fitsum Arega, chief of staff of the Office of the Prime Minister, confirmed the process of selection but declined from disclosing the identity of the selected individuals.

“The final decision and appointment will be made official next week,” he told Fortune.

Yinager, currently a commissioner for the National Planning Commission under the rank of a minister, will likely replace Teklewold as a governor. While Bekalu is a potential candidate to take the place of Yohannes Ayalew (PhD), who was vice governor of the Bank with a double responsibility of chief economist. Bekalu has been serving the state owned Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) as a president since 2008.

Yinager, an economist by training, was appointed by former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to run the newly formed Planning Commission, in 2015. He replaced Mekonen Manyazewal, an architect of Ethiopia’s successive growth and transformation plans; he retired from public service a couple weeks ago. Before moving to the Planning Commission, Yinager was a State Minister for Foreign Affairs, after departing his post in the Amhara Regional State. He was elected to the Central Committee of the ANDM, the governing party in the regional state, in 2006. He also chairs the boards of director of the Hilton Addis Hotel and the CBE.

The youngest to assume the top executive position in the bank’s history, Bekalu has served the CBE starting from junior staff all the way up to the position of Vice President for Finance & Accounting, under Abie Sano, the latter now serves as a President of the Oromia International Bank.

The NBE has a structure of a Governor with three deputies responsible for Corporate Services, Monetary Stability and Financial Sector Development & Supervision. The Vice Governor for Monetary Stability also assumes an additional role as being chief economist of the central bank, responsible for generating monetary policies to ensure macroeconomic stability. A Chief Economist since 2009, Yohannes wrote his dissertation for his doctoral degree in Economics at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. He was relieved of his duties two weeks ago, after serving the central bank for over a decade and was known for leaving behind a legacy of heavy regulatory burden on the private financial industry.

Yohannes was promoted to Vice Governorship along with Yemane Yoseph, vice governor for Corporate Services, and Getahun Nana, vice governor for the Financial Sector Development & Supervision. Getahun later moved to lead the state-owned Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), in 2016 he was replaced by Tiruneh Mitafa.

The Governor, Teklewold, a member of the executive committee of the EPRDF, was assigned to head the central bank two decades ago, after serving as a vice governor for a year. Teklewold has completed his studies in Statistics at the Addis Abeba University, while his post graduate dissertation was made on building a model for econometric measures of demand for and supply of money in Ethiopia.


Published on Jun 16,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 946]



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