NBE held workshop on Banking History

The National Bank of Ethiopia hosted a workshop on the country’s history of banking on February 23, 2024. History Professor Shiferaw Bekele spoke about Ethiopia’s extensive background in banking, dating back to the early days of the Bank of Abyssinia, and how it stands out in Africa.

Professor Bekele presented his study, “History of Banking in Ethiopia in the 20th Century,” which shed light on the inception of the country’s financial journey, beginning with the Bank of Abyssinia. Professor Bekele also discussed the challenges faced by the banking sector, particularly the impact of the Italian invasions which caused the loss of many important financial records.

He stressed the need for banks and other financial institutions to keep thorough records of their financial data and documents in various formats, including print and digital. He pointed out that having access to this information is crucial for researchers, decision-makers, and the public.

The Governor of the NBE, Mamo Esmelealem Mihretu, also spoke at the workshop, highlighting the bank’s efforts to create a comprehensive record of Ethiopian banking history and the establishment of a money museum. He mentioned the work being done to improve the Ethiopian Institute of Financial Studies with the aim of making it a center of excellence.

Governor Mamo called for the sector to work together to build a national database for financial information. The event was attended by leaders from the banking and finance industry, including CEOs and presidents of banks and insurance companies.

The workshop marked a commitment by the NBE and financial leaders to safeguard Ethiopia’s financial history for future reference and learning.

By Abel Solomon