A Man for All Seasons and All Reasons: NBE Governor Takes Bank to the Forefront

Yinager Dessie, Governor of Ethiopia’s Central Bank

Governor of Ethiopia’s Central Bank: Yinager Dessie. Photo: © Mustafa Kamaci/Getty Images

Yinager Dessie is the governor of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), an institution entrusted with maintaining price stability, ensuring sound financial system and facilitating economic growth in the country.

Dessie has diverse expertise in policy-design and implementation at regional and federal government structures. His solid academic credentials and hands-on experience in financial sector operations have equipped him to shoulder the duties and responsibilities of heading the country’s central bank.

The NBE is one of the key macro-institutions steering overall socio-economic growth and management. After acquiring his first degree in economics in Ethiopia, he received a second from the International Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands — and a third from the University of National Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna.

Dessie has received training in various areas from Harvard University, Yale University, the London School of Economics and Wales University. Before becoming the NBE governor, he was minister at the National Planning Commission, guiding the macro-economic management of the nation.

He participates in the NBE Board of Directors, the Macro-Economic Team presided by HE Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. He is vice-chairman of the National Financial Inclusion Council, and board chairman and board member of various public institutions and public-private partnerships.

Since his appointment as governor in 2018, the NBE has seen various transformative measures which have impacted the country’s financial sector development, macro-economic stability and growth and foreign exchange management. Despite external and internal challenges, including the emergence of the pandemic, the country’s economy has continued its growth trajectory.

The financial sector has outpaced the challenges of Covid-19, expanded and remained stable. In collaboration with key stakeholders, under his guidance and close supervision, the demonetisation process which began in September 2020 was successfully completed. It has resulted in increased financial inclusion, intermediation and financial resource mobilisation through the banking system.

Under Yinager Dessie’s guidance and supervision, over 1000 dedicated employees and managers have been doing their best to enhance the bank’s efficacy and improve its service delivery. The application of incentive packages and capacity-building initiatives has helped to attract and retain professionals and attain the stated goals and strategic objectives of the bank.

The operational independence accorded to the bank, and its accountability to the highest government authority, has helped the NBE to forge ahead with its reform agenda over the past three years — and it aims to deliver more in the years to come.

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