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Professor Benno Ndulu to Address the 26th Annual Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture

Professor Benno Ndulu

On the 20th of February, 2019 former governor of the Bank of Tanzania Professor Benno Ndulu, will address the 26th Annual Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture for the Bank of Uganda.

The Bank of Uganda introduced the series in 1988 in honour of the late first governor of the central bank, Joseph Mubiru. Each rendition of the Annual Mubiru Memorial Lecture provides a platform for a keynote address and an informed discussion concerning the debates of financial and economic development policies.

The 25th Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture took place on the 1st of December, 2017 and featured Doctor Ha-Joon Chang as the guest speaker. Dr Chang discussed ambition, pragmatism, and imagination in reference to the role of the state in economic development. In 2019, Professor Benno Ndulu will be addressing the event with his talk geared towards the theme of the role of financial innovations and inclusion in scaling up growth in Uganda.

Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Doctor Daudi T.S. Ballali, Professor Benno Ndulu was the governor of the Bank of Tanzania for a decade, running the central bank from the 8th of January 2008 to January 2018. But unlike his predecessor, Prof. Ndulu left the role hailed for his work, which helped the central bank to recover from instability and scandal. Prof. Ndulu has been credited as one of the most influential governors of the Bank of Tanzania, managing to implement prudent policies and overseeing macroeconomic stabilisation.

Furthermore, Prof. Ndulu licensed commercial banks, introduced mobile financial services to the nation, and introduced agent banking which all contributed to an expansion of financial inclusion in Tanzania. He is still seen as the decisive factor behind restoring public trust in the Bank of Tanzania following the External Payment Arrears scandal that emerged under his predecessor, Dr Ballali.

Since retiring at the start of 2018, Prof. Ndulu has received a number of recognitions and accolades for his services while in the role of governor of the Bank of Tanzania. In May 2018 he won the prestigious African Bankers’ Central Bank Governor of the Year Award. The award came in recognition of Prof. Ndulu’s contributions to increasing access to bank services and upping financial inclusion within the nation of Tanzania. This marked the third occasion in which the former Bank of Tanzania governor had won the award, having also come out on top to receive the accolade in 2009 and 2015.

Professor Benno Ndulu continues to work towards bringing about greater financial inclusion in east Africa. Now sitting as the chairperson of the Board of Alliance for Financial Inclusion, he recently penned an article describing the importance of the poorest areas of east Africa going digital. Prof. Ndulu details the impressive strides that have been made with mobile penetration in the region, with 66 per cent of adults in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya being active mobile money users, as well as Tanzania having the first interoperable system between mobile network operators. Further, Prof. Ndulu details the need for businesses to develop new models which allow low-income users to have access to their mobile and internet services and products. Prof. Ndulu concludes by saying that if governments and the private sector come together to close the digital divide, they can bring about a wave of growth that can be sustained for decades.

At the 26th Annual Joseph Mubiru Memorial Lecture in Uganda, Professor Benno Ndulu will continue to emphasise his stance on financial inclusion and innovation, and how such policies will lead to growth.

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