Mogadishu -Somalia has announced that it has appointed Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi as the next Central Bank governor. Abdirahman will replace outgoing governor Bashir Isse, who has led the Central Bank since 2014.
The Somali cabinet has reportedly approved of the appointment.
Abdullahi, a Somali national, has a background in financial management and banking. He has worked with the Somali government previously as a senior economic policy adviser to the Prime Minister. Abdullahi’s policy is credited with playing a role in the financial reforms underway in Somalia.
He first began his working with the Somali government in 1986 as a Revenue Collection Officer at the Ministry of Finance. However, most of his career was spent working in Norway, the United Kingdom, and Yemen in both the public and the private sector.
Abdirahman holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration from the Norwegian University of Technology and Science (NTNU) and a Masters degree in Finance and International Banking from John Moores University in Liverpool.
Somalia began its high profile search for a central bank governor last August. The federal government took out an expensive advertisement – sources say up to $26,000 – in The Economist, a move that raised eyebrows as it implied that every nationality was invited to apply.
The suspicions of many were confirmed in January after the Somali parliament voted to amend the legislation to allow a foreigner to head the central bank. With just 17 MPs voting against the amendment, Parliament overwhelmingly approved the vote.
Sources say that the government was keen on hiring Nigel Roberts, a U.K national, to head the bank. However, he was not committed to spending most of his time in Mogadishu.
Abdullahi is faced with several challenges in his new position. For starters, the government is planning to roll out a new currency in lieu of the heavily counterfeited notes currently in circulation. He must work on promoting economic growth and adopting a sound monetary policy.
Abdullahi will also be tasked with leading Somalia into the digital banking era by integrating the traditional banking system with the thriving mobile money economy.