Getting to know Lesetja Kganyago

President Jacob Zuma announced that South Africa’s new Reserve Bank governor for the next five years would be Lesetja Kganyago.thumb

Born in Alexandra in 1965, the Governor later moved to Polokwane with his mother. Returning to Johannesburg at the age of 18, he enrolled at Wits University where he joined the commerce faculty. He would later complete his Bachelor of Commerce degree in accounting and economics in 1991 through Unisa and move on to acquire his Master’s degree in economics from the prestigious London School of Economics.

Amongst his list of accolades the Harvard University educated governor also has the Eurobond Deal of the Year, Helen Suzman Leadership Award and the South African Institute of Race Relations Scholarship.

The Mail and Guardian reports that Marcus’s decision to resign after her first term did not come as a complete surprise to all.

It was initially expected that Kganyago would replace outgoing governor Tito Mboweni in 1999 when Kganyago was moved from the bank, shortly before Mboweni left. Instead, Marcus was brought in from outside the bank.

Lesetja Kganyago has also worked for J P Morgan, in New York and as an accountant for the South African ruling party the African National Congress.

Upon his appointment the rand rallied to a session high of R11.2590 on the appointment. . FNB economist and spokesperson Alex Smith said the fact that the rand strengthened slightly following the announcement indicates that investors are broadly in support of the decision.

“At this difficult time for SA’s economy it is important that fiscal and monetary policy work together as efficiently as possible in order to foster economic growth,” he said.

According to Business Day Live one of Lesetja Kganyago’s first priorities when he takes office as Reserve Bank governor next month will be to put the tools in place to execute the Bank’s mandate to safeguard financial stability. His other priority according to Business Day Live was to make the Bank the first port of call for young professionals seeking a career in economics and finance.

by Siyanda Cingco

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