Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: NIB Bank Gets Acting President

Amerga Kassa, left, will be vacating his seat at the helm of NIB International Bank (NIB), placing in his previous position Kibru Fondja, right, administrative and finance vice president, as acting president.

Amerga Kassa, long-time president and founder of the Nib International Bank (NIB), retired from his position, placing Kibru Fondja, administrative and finance vice president, as acting president.

The announcement was made during an office ceremony, held at the Bank's head office, at Dembel City Centre, on Thursday, December 27, 2012. Kibru will officially begin serving as president on January 1, 2013. Kibru has been vice president since July 2010.

"My retirement was already approaching and I wanted to spend the rest of my time with my family," said Amerga, with a smile. "I asked the board in September, 2012, if I could retire, but they asked me to stay for three months, until they found a replacement."

Kibru will transition to full presidency if the board of NIB and the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) approve.

Acting president, Kibru, has a diploma in plant science and technology, a BA in economics, fromAddisAbebaUniversity(AAU,) and an MA in economic policy management, fromGhana. He worked for the Development Bank of Ethiopia (DBE), as central regional operations manager, at 12 different branches, and as department manager of branch operations, for a total of 24 years, before he joined NIB on July 12, 2010.

"I and the board will continue with the strategic plans, set to elevate the bank to a new height. We will also use his (Amerga) well built experience for the future," said Kibru, during the ceremony.

The Bank has set a strategic plan for 2011/12 to 2016/17, during which the bank says it will strive to expand IT technologies massively.

Amerga served the Bank from May, 1999 to May, 2006, as deputy general manager and, from June 2006 up to his retirement, as president. He joined the banking industry in 1964, at NBE, where he worked in the exchange control department and went on to become manager of the foreign banking department, until 1993. He then served as deputy general manager of international banking, at Awash International Bank S.C.

Amerga helped found NIB in 1999, with a paid up capital of 27.6 millionBr.The bank is currently boasting a paid up capital of 934 million Br; one of the highest among the private banks, as it bids its president farewell.

Amerga has worked hard for the success of NIB. He recalls implementing CORE banking solutions and acquiring land on Ras Abebe Aregay St, behind the National Theatre, for Nib head quarters, as key achievements during ignore this his time with the Bank.

At the same time the job was not without its challenges.

"Internally, it is hard to change the cash-based services and society, inEthiopia, to a cash-less and modernised system," commented Amerga. "Teaching 85 million people how to save is difficult, also."

Externally, the challenge came from the financial crisis inEurope, resulting in foreign currency shortages in local banks, reflected Amerga.

Regardless, Amerga was able to perform well during times of crisis. His connections to leaders in the financial sector within the country, and around the world, helped him lead the Bank through foreign currency shortages, according to a NIB colleague, working in higher management.

Others in the Bank describe Amerga as someone who is always positive, cheerful and able to consistently come up with solutions to problems.

Born in Shoa in 1947, Amerga is married with three children. He has a Masters in banking and finance and completed his Bachelors in management and accounting.

Amerga is ready to continue with the next stage of his life, but he does have one regret; "I only wish I could see the achievement of the five year strategic plan, in 2016/17, and the completion of the new Headquarters, whilst still working at the bank," he said.

"My life is always within the finance and banking industry. I will help the bank at any time, if it is in need of me," he added.

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