The Banker magazine choose Morocco’s central bank governor Abdellatif Jouahri as best African central banker of the year 2019.
The Central Banker of the Year awards “celebrate the officials that have best managed to stimulate growth and stabilise their economy.”
The Financial-Times-owned magazine chose Jouahri for his strong monetary policies that helped shape Morocco’s economic growth.
“The country’s banking sector has been strengthened, largely as a result of work by the central bank and its governor, Abdellatif Jouahri,” The Banker wrote on January 2.
Jouahri became the governor of Morocco’s central bank, Bank Al Maghrib, in 2003.
Morocco’s economy strong despite challenges
The magazine explained the hard challenges the Moroccan economy faced after the “impact of a severe drought dented economic growth in 2016, which came in at just 1.2%.”
“But improving weather conditions ameliorated the overall outlook for the country in 2017 when gross domestic product expanded by 4.4%.”
The Banker, which is the world’s premier banking and finance resource, stated that Morocco’s economy “continues to exhibit strong, underlying fundamentals, even as the country grapples with a number of developmental challenges.”
The British magazine also indicated the central bank’s work towards the Moroccan currency liberalization, which is pegged to a two-currency basket weighted 60 percent to the euro and 40 percent to the US dollar.
The Banker, which was first published in January 1926, stated that the central bank made “an important step” in loosening the currency fluctuations in January 2018.
“This gradual process of currency liberalisation should improve the competitiveness of the economy and promote higher levels of investment and diversification of trade flows with Africa,” the Banker quoted rating agency Moody’s.
Jouahri contributed to keeping Morocco’s inflation low
The Banker recognized Jouahri’s achievement in maintaining Morocco’s inflation consistently low at an average rate of 1.5 percent over the past ten years and policy rates at 2.25 percent since March 2016.
The London-based magazine also noted the central bank’s partnership with Morocco’s telecommunications regulators to jointly launch a national mobile wallet in November 2018.
Mobile wallet payments in Morocco will reach an expected $5.3 billion by 2023, the magazine noted.
In October 2018, Jouahri received a trophy with an “A grade,” which is the highest distinction awarded by Central Banker Report Cards 2018 from Global Finance.
During the same meeting, Jouahri won a second prize: the best Central Bank governor in 2018 for the Middle East and North Africa, awarded by Global Markets newspaper.
The Global Finance magazine also named Jouahri best central bank governor in 2017.
The Banker also chose Croatian central banker, Boris Vujcic, as Banker of the year in Europe, Mexico’s central bank governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon, in the Americas, and Malaysia’s central bank governor Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, in Asia-Pacific.
Kuwait’s central bank governor Mohammad Al-Hashel won the 2019 Middle East Central Bank Governor of the Year.
The magazine named the Egyptian minister Mohamed Maait as Africa’s 2019 finance minister of the year.