Mar 4, 2012

Wolfgang Fengler: without the Governor M-PESA Would not Have Happened


The Kenya central bank governor, Professor Njuguna N’dugu has come under heavy criticism lately for what many term as mismanagement of the economy. Late last year, a group of African analysts voted N’dugu as the least effective central banker for failing to spot and act against rising price pressures and then presiding over a drastic collapse in the Kenyan shilling. A parliamentary select committee that was set up to investigate and enquire into the causes of drastic and steady decline of the Kenya shilling against other currencies recommended that he resign from his post.

It is sad that these events are overshadowing his successes in advancing financial inclusion in Kenya.
Wolfgang Fengler, the World Bank Lead economist for Kenya, points out that “without the governor (Professor Njuguna N’dugu) M-PESA would not have happened”. Fengler was speaking at an Economic forum last Friday at Kenyatta University. 

 The runaway success of M-PESA is partly due to the conducive regulatory environment that N’dugu set. No other central bank governor in Africa has done as much for financial inclusion. Kenya is miles ahead of other African countries when it comes to mobile banking, and part of this success is because of the policies N’dugu initiated that facilitate mobile banking innovations.