CBK
Treasury CS nominee Prof Njuguna Ndung’u.

President William Ruto’s new administration has marked an important turning point in his coalition Kenya Kwanza’s quest to transform the country’s economy after he unveiled cabinet secretary nominees to steer the implementation of his manifesto.

Intriguingly, the list is awash with politicians and rather bereft of technocrats which confers heightened interest in appointees hailing from outside the political space.

The nominee for the national treasury and planning, Prof Njuguna Ndung’u, is a technocrat appointee who made headlines for seeming like the perfect fit for the position owing to his wealth of knowledge and experience in public finance.

The economics scholar was a household name between from March 2007 until March 2015 when he served as the governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, before he was succeeded by Dr Patrick Njoroge.

Prior to being CBK governor, he was the director of training at the African Economic Research Consortium.

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Before former President Mwai Kibaki picked him as CBK boss, Prof Ndung’u taught econometrics and advanced economic theory at the University of Nairobi where he was an associate professor.

He was also a researcher and trainer with the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) network and has published chapters in various books and international journals on economic policy issues.

In 2011, his economic management credentials took a hit when the Kenyan Shilling hit decades’ low against the US dollar.

The shilling became the world’s second worst performing currency in the year after being lashed by high inflation and a loss of confidence in central bank policies.

However, Prof Ndung’u redeemed himself by instituting a tight monetary policy which saw the shilling rebound from the 20-year low of 107 units per dollar to about 93.

If approved by Parliament, the new Treasury CS will take to turning around the economy which is wallowing in ballooning debt, high cost of living and huge pending bills from the National and county governments.

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