Somalia makes historic move to appoint a foreigner as central bank governor

The Central Bank of Somalia
  • On Monday, Somali lawmakers voted to allow the President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to appoint a foreigner as governor of the central bank.
  • An overwhelming majority of lawmakers (158) voted for the change.
  • Previously only a Somali citizen could be appointed to the role as is the case across much of the continent.

It will now be possible for Somalia to have a foreigner as central bank governor.

On Monday, Somali lawmakers voted to allow the President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to appoint a foreigner as governor of the central bank of the volatile Horn of Africa nation. The vote was held in the lower house of the parliament.

An overwhelming majority of lawmakers (158) voted for the change as proposed by the government of President Farmaajo and Prime Minister Ali Hassan Khayre.

Seventeen MPs voted against the move even though the government justified the proposal by arguing the country needed every available expertise to change its fortunes.

Previously only a Somali citizen could be appointed to the role as is the case across much of the continent.

Even though there is no known foreign candidate for the role, a presidential assent – which is seen as procedural – will see government headhunt for a new bank chief.

Somali’s economy has long been held hostage by the Al-Shabaab militia. At a time neighbouring countries continue to record growth, Somalia continues to struggle under the relentless terrorist attacks.

Since civil war erupted in 1991, many businesses suffered a natural death, however with peace slowly returning business too has started to boom.

In 2018, Somalia revived its lucrative fish trade and begun exporting fish to Kenya for the first time in three decades.

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