Kiir appoints new central bank governor

Friday August 26 2022
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has appointed a new governor and deputy governor for the central bank. PHOTO | FILE



South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Thursday night appointed new governor and deputy governor for the central bank.

Through a presidential decree on State-Run TV, Kiir appointed Bank of South Sudan deputy governor Johnny Ohisa as governor. Ohisa has been acting as interim lead after his boss Moses Makur was sent home earlier this month.

Kiir then appointed Addis Ababa Othow as the new deputy governor.

President Kiir did not give any reasons for the changes.

Before being appointed first deputy governor earlier this month, Mr Ohisa served as Director-General for Currency and Banking Operations at the bank from May 17, 2019 to April 30, 2021.


He joined the central bank from International Commercial Bank (ICB-SS), where he served as a Deputy Managing Director and later as Managing Director.

Before joining ICB-SS, he worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a Program Budget analyst and later as an Assistance Specialist. He was then appointed a Senior Acquisition and Assistance Specialist for USAid in Sudan, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Mr Ohisa also worked for World Vision International in Kenya.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Development Finance from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Export from Sudan University of Science and Technology, formerly known as the Khartoum Polytechnic, Sudan.

The new deputy, Mr Othow, holds a PhD in political economy and business administration and was the Managing Director at Equity Bank South Sudan Limited.

Currency deprecation

The changes come amid hyperinflation and the depreciation of the South Sudanese pound (SSP). Earlier this month, the pound fell to a record low of 700 against the US dollar, from 450 a month ago.

The South Sudan economy has struggled to recover from high inflation primarily caused by years of conflict since December 2013, which hit its oil sector. The country depends on oil revenues to finance up to 95 percent of its budget.

The central bank has been auctioning millions of US dollars to forex bureaus and commercial banks to mop up excess liquidity blamed for the pound's depreciation against the dollar.

Before his sacking earlier this month, Mr Makur had revealed that the central bank would inject $20 million, an increase from the previous $13 million, into the market to prop up the pound.

According to Bank of South Sudan, last month alone it auctioned nearly $50 million.