Zimbabwe central bank governor ranking improves slightly

January 13, 2022

Tinevimbo Chibagidi

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya’s global ranking improved in 2021, even though he is still among the least-rated leading central bank chiefs in Africa.

The New York-based Global Finance, a financial review magazine that produces annual ratings of the top 100 central governors through worldwide consultations, moved Mangudya in its latest report that covered July 1 2020 to June 30 2021 from a straight D rating in 2020 to C- last year.

The magazine that has an audience in more than 100 countries, according to its website, ranks central bank governors in a range of A to F. An “A” denotes the best while “F” is the lowest.

The Global Finance index is based on numerous factors that include implementation of a central bank’s monetary policy, supervision of banks, bond sale programmes, accuracy of forecasts, quality of guidance, transparency, currency stability, inflation control, interest rate management, economic growth levels, independence from politics, performance against set targets and local and international institutional reputation.

The magazine noted that Mangudya had made key progress during the period under review, especially taming inflation down to sustainable levels.

“Zimbabwe’s central bank has been revelling over its prudent monetary policy stance that has resulted in year-on-year inflation dropping from 837.5 percent in July 2020 to 50.2 percent in August 2021. The bank’s monetary policy committee met in August and resolved to stay the course on the current stance, leading to a decision to hold the benchmark rate at 40 percent,’’ Global Finance reported.

It also noted that Zimbabwe’s economy was “on the road to recovery after years of turmoil”.

The World Bank projected that Zimbabwe would record a 3.9 percent growth in 2021, while the International Monetary Fund put the forecast at 6 percent.

The magazine hailed Mangudya for liberalising bureaux de change as a way of enhancing financial inclusion.

In the Africa sub-region, Mangudya performed better than only Mauritania’s Cheikh el Kebir (D), Madagascar’s Henry Rabarijohn (D+) and Johannes Gawaxab (Namibia—D+), while he got the same ranking as Tunisia’s Marouane el Abassi and Ethiopia’s Yinager Dessie.

The best performers in Africa, according to the survey, were Egypt’s Tarek Amer and Morocco’s Abdellatif Jouahri who both scored A’s, and Lesetja Kganyago of South Africa who got A-.

Other sampled banks were as follows.

  • Rosthom Fadli (Algeria—C)
  • Jose de Lima Massano (Angola—B-)
  • Florens Luoga (Tanzania—C+)
  • Emmanuel Mutebile (Uganda—B-)
  • Abbas Mahamat Tolli (Bank of Central African States—B-)
  • Moses Pelaelo (Botswana—B+)
  • Tiemoko Kone (Central Bank of West African States—B+)
  • Yinager Dessie (Ethiopia—C-)
  • Ernest Addison (Ghana—B-)
  • Patrick Njoroge (Kenya—B+)
  • Harvesh Seegolam (Mauritius—B)
  • Rogerio Zandamela (Mozambique—C)
  • Godwin Emefiele (Nigeria—C)
  • John Rwangomba (Rwanda—B+)
Africa and Middle East rankings

Mangudya became RBZ governor in 2014 after the expiry of Gideon Gono’s 10-year tenure.

Prior to the central bank appointment, he had been CBZ Holdings Ltd chief executive since April 2012.

In November 2016, Mangudya introduced bond notes, which were said to have the same value as the US dollar that was already in circulation.

This move was met with anger and protests from the Zimbabwean population with fears of another economic decline.

In a bid to tame currency fluctuations, the central bank introduced an exchange rate for banks known as the interbank rate which led to the Foreign Exchange Auction Trading System.

This was done with hope that it would lure Zimbabweans to the central bank and away from the parallel market which is still bustling, though.

The RBZ is still considered to suffer too much influence from top politicians and underground syndicates.

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