With Kenya’s economy teetering on the edge, it was only natural that one of the Cabinet positions whose nominee was much awaited, with near bated breath, was that of Cabinet Secretary National Treasury and Planning. And so, on September 27 when the list of cabinet nominees was released, a one Professor Njuguna Ndung’u had been nominated as cabinet Secretary for National Treasury and Planning effectively thrusting him in what is literally a hot seat. But the Professor isn’t any new to high profile positions. If anything, positions he has held before suggest that he is a man made for such an office. Or rather, such positions are made for people like Njuguna Ndung’u.
Prior to his nomination as Cabinet Secretary for Treasury and National planning, the Associate Professor of economics at the University of Nairobi had served as Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya between March 2007 and March 2015. Serving as CBK Governor is arguably the most defining position of his illustrious career thus far if the highs and lows of his tenure there are anything to go by; while at CBK’s helm, the Kenyan economy grew 2.7% in 2009 before posting a record growth of 8.1% the following year. However, in 2011, Kenyan parliamentarians sought to sack Professor Njuguna Ndung’u through a censure motion on the back of a plunge in the shilling’s value and galloping inflation. He however survived by a whisker and was able to stay on to the end of his tenure with the shilling’s recovery.
Other notable positions he has held before include director of training at the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), executive director of AERC, Principal Researcher at the Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) and also served on the advisory board of the annual Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 2019.
Njuguna Ndung’u boasts of a vastly rich education background with both a B.A and M.A in economics from the University of Nairobi and a PhD in economics from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. If successfully vetted by parliament and appointed as Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Professor Njuguna Ndung’u will play a major role in determining the growth and stability of Kenya’s Economy. He will chart the path for Kenya’s debt conundrum, managing the soaring costs of living and working with the CBK governor to re-organize financial systems in the country especially on matters borrowing and lending by banks.