EBA says goodbye to long time leaders

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photo: Anteneh Aklilu

The Ethiopia Bankers Association (EBA), which represents private and public banks, has organized a farewell for the two former governors of the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).
Recently Teklewold Atnafu, long serving governor, and Yohannes Ayalew (PhD), former vice governor and chief economist, were replaced by Yinager Dessie, as governor and Bekalu Zeleke as vice governor.
Addisu Habba, president of the association and president of Debub Global Bank, said that the financial sector in the country has registered significant growth feeding the growing economy in the past period and the leaders of the Central Bank have played a crucial role in the success.
According to figures Addisu presented, there were only four private banks two decades ago but now there are 16. In 1998, excluding the Development Bank of Ethiopia, in 1998 there was around 14 billion birr deposited in two private banks and a total of 15.1 billion birr deposited in all banks.

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This year, however, as of June 30, 451.8 billion birr was deposited in state banks and 277 billion birr deposited in private banks. Addisu said that the loan portfolio was about 8.8 billion in 1998 at public banks and four private banks dispersed 816 million. Now that figure has reached 179.9 billion 181.9 billion in loans respectively.
Another success has been expanding the number of branches, Addisu said.
He thinks the success is a result of  economic growth. He said that the public has given their trust to the banking sector because of the Central Bank’s  strong leadership and control mechanism. “Some of the share companies and shareholders stated the financial sector is a good example of a healthy businesses that other sectors should follow,” Addisu added.
Teklewold said that his organization has been primarily engaged in the formation of a healthy financial system, stable macroeconomic policy and feeding the development of the country. “To some extent we have registered good achievements,” he said.
He does admit there are challenges that must be addressed. Foreign currency availability, implementation capacity, inflation and financial accessibility all must be dealt with in order to keep the growth going. Private employees’ pensions, saving bonds and housing saving schemes in addition to aggressive public saving and expanding branches has been introduced to fill the financial demand.
Teklewold, who is the eighth governor in the history of NBE, succeeded Dubale Jale in 2006, while Yohannes served as vice governor for the last seven years.
At the same event EBA also welcomed the new leaders.
In a related development NBE has got a new board chairperson after the former chair, Mekonnen Manyazewal, retired recently.
According to the information that Capital obtained, the new NBE board chair is Girma Birru (Amb), former ambassador to the US. The other board members are Abraham Tekeste (PhD), Minister of Finance and Economic Cooperation, Eyob Tekalegn, Commissioner of National Planning Commission, Teklewold, now advisor to the PM, and Yinager and Bekalu.