13 December 2018
SOAS Centre for Global Finance (CGF), partnered with the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), to jointly deliver the 2018 Banking Symposium on Friday, the 7th of December 2018, at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The theme of the Symposium was “Pan-African Banks on the Rise”. The event was attended by the Governor of the CBK (Dr Patrick Njoroge), the Deputy Governor of the CBK (Mrs Sheila M’Mbijjewe), and key stakeholders who have important roles to play in shaping developments in the financial system, industry and commerce, in Kenya, in the context of the rise of Pan-African banks. These stakeholders included bank managers, banking sector regulators, private sector practitioners and researchers.
A team of 20 CGF researchers from Africa, Europe and North America have been looking into the rise of pan-Africa banks and related issues, as part of a research project on ‘Delivering Inclusive Financial Development and Growth’ funded by DFID and ESRC under the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP), ES/N013344/2. Their findings provided the material for this symposium, which were presented by Professor Victor Murinde from SOAS University of London, Professor Issouf Soumare from Laval University and ENSEA, Professor Robert Lensink from the University of Groningen, Professor Christopher Green from Loughborough University and Dr Ahmad Hussein Ahmad from Loughborough University. Professor Oliver Morrissey from the University of Nottingham participated in the panel discussion. Other participants from the research project included Professor Christine Oughton, Professor Reinhard Bachmann, Dr Desire Kanga, Dr Ayse Demir, and Dr Meng Xie, all from SOAS University of London
At the official opening speech, Governor Njoroge pointed out that Pan-African banks support the strengthening of trade within the continent, provide mechanisms for capital flows and labour movement in the continent, and help in the transfer of new technologies and skills to domestic banks. He observed that Pan-African banks need to be customer-centric, across Africa:
“Being customer-centric is the way to have a sustainable business model”, commented Dr Njoroge.
The Deputy Governor, Mrs Sheila M'Mbijjewe, highly acknowledged that “the transformation of the banking sector in Africa is happening; we should explore the vast opportunities and find solutions to challenges so that we can take advantages of these opportunities and at the same time address the challenges.”
The Deputy Governor concluded that the CBK looks forward to continuing an active partnership with Professor Murinde and SOAS University of London.
Following the DG’s comment on future collaboration, Mr Raphael Otieno, the Director of Research Department at the CBK, reinforced the need of continuing this joint event and embracing a wider scope of participants across Africa.
Professor Murinde remarked that: “we are very much honoured and grateful to the Central Bank of Kenya for making this event possible. In many ways, the CBK is demonstrating the need for a close collaboration between the researchers that do the theory and generate evidence, and the policy makers that work at the front line of key issues on the daily basis. It is a great opportunity that we can indeed interface with experiences of these policy makers and then invoke, generate or build new theories and test them and see whether the evidence we generate can feed back into policy.”