Kiir announces a new governor of the central bank.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit selected a new governor and deputy governor of the central bank on Thursday night.
Kiir named Bank of South Sudan deputy governor Johnny Ohisa as governor via a presidential decree broadcast on state-run television. Ohisa has been serving as interim leader since his boss, Moses Makur, was fired earlier this month.
After that, Kiir named Addis Ababa Othow as the new deputy governor. President Kiir provided no explanation for the adjustments.
Mr. Ohisa was appointed first deputy governor earlier this month after serving as the bank’s Director-General for Currency and Banking Operations from May 17, 2019, to April 30, 2021.
He came to the central bank from the International Commercial Bank of Singapore (ICB-SS), where he was Deputy Managing Director and later Managing Director.
He formerly worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a Program Budget analyst and later as an Assistance Specialist before joining ICB-SS. He was later assigned to USAid as a Senior Acquisition and Assistance Specialist in Sudan, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In Kenya, Mr. Ohisa also worked for World Vision International.
He has a Master’s Degree in Development Finance from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Export from Sudan University of Science and Technology, formerly known as Khartoum Polytechnic in Sudan.
Mr. Othow, the new deputy, has a Ph.D. in political economy and business administration and formerly served as the Managing Director of Equity Bank South Sudan Limited.
The developments occur in the context of hyperinflation and the depreciation of the South Sudanese pound (SSP). The pound sank to a historic low of 700 versus the US dollar earlier this month, down from 450 a month ago.
Since December 2013, the South Sudanese economy has struggled to recover from excessive inflation, which was mostly driven by years of violence in the country’s oil sector. Oil revenues provide for up to 95 percent of the country’s budget.
To clear excess liquidity blamed for the pound’s devaluation versus the dollar, the central bank has auctioned off millions of US dollars to FX bureaus and commercial banks.
Prior to his dismissal earlier this month, Mr. Makur stated that the central bank will pump $20 million into the market to support the pound, an increase from the previous $13 million. According to the Bank of South Sudan, it auctioned roughly $50 million in bonds last month alone.
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