PROFILE: Who was Prof Emmanuel Mutebile, The longest-serving Governor Bank of Uganda

Mutebile, who assumed the Central Bank Governor office in 2011, has been the longest-serving chief executive in Bank of Uganda’s history, tallying over 20 years at the helm.

Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile (27 January 1949 – 23 January 2022)

Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile (27 January 1949 – 23 January 2022) was a Ugandan economist and banker. He was the governor of the Bank of Uganda, the central bank of Uganda. He was first appointed to that position on 1 January 2001 and was re-appointed for a second five-year term on 1 January 2006. In December 2015, he was re-appointed for a fourth five-year term, effective 12 January 2016.

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Bank of Uganda on Sunday, January 23, 2022, announced with profound shock the demise of its Governor, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile who died at Nairobi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya after battling diabetes-related complications.

Mutebile, who assumed the Central Bank Governor office in 2011, has been the longest-serving chief executive in Bank of Uganda’s history, tallying over 20 years at the helm.

But who is Prof Mutebile? The Early Life, Career, and Full Biography of this Gallant Economist.

Early Life & Education

Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile was born 27 January 1949 in Kabale district, Western Uganda. He attended Kigezi College Butobere for his O-Level studies. He then attended Makerere College School in Kampala for his A-Level studies. In 1970, he entered Makerere University, where he was elected president of the university Students’ Guild.

In 1972, Mutebile was forced to flee Uganda after he gave a speech publicly criticizing the expulsion of Asians from the country by Idi Amin. It is this time that he fled to England via Tanzania and was able to finish his studies at Durham University, graduating with an upper-second in Economics and Politics.

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In October 1974, he began his post-graduate studies at Balliol College, Oxford, before returning to East Africa. He entered the University of Dar es Salaam to lecture and conduct research while pursuing his doctorate in economics. In 2009, Nkumba University, a private university based in Nkumba near Entebbe, awarded him an honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree in recognition of his “great contribution towards the development of Uganda’s financial sector”.


Between 1979 and 1984, Tumusiime-Mutebile was appointed to several government positions in Uganda ranging from deputy principal secretary to the president at State House in 1979, to undersecretary in the ministry of planning in 1981 where he rose to senior economist and then chief economist in 1984. In 1992, he was appointed permanent secretary to the newly combined ministry of finance planning & economic development, a merger that he had advocated while working under Minister of Finance Gerald Ssendaula.

The Seasoned economist is remembered for spearheading the design and implementation of the Economic Reform Program that restored Uganda from the economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s to sound economic performance during his service as the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury in the ministry of finance, planning, and economic development.

He also worked as a consultant for multilateral and regional organizations including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of East and Central Africa, UK Department for International Development, the North-South Institute in Canada, and for the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Eritrea, and Nepal.

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Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, a seasoned professional economist has served as Governor and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Uganda since 2001, and had just started a new term of office for which he was reappointed by 2021. He served as secretary to the treasury from 1992 to 2001 when he was appointed governor.

He is the longest-serving chief executive in the Bank of Uganda’s history credited with many of the sound economic policies adopted by the Uganda government at the urging of the central bank during the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.

Other responsibilities

Since 2006, he has been a visiting professor in the Department of Economics at Makerere University, the oldest and largest university in Uganda. Tumusiime-Mutebile was the chancellor of the International University of East Africa, a private university established in 2011, with an urban campus in Kampala, Uganda’s capital.


Mutebile died on January 23, 2022, at Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted on New Year’s Eve after he collapsed due to diabetes-related complications. He had been in and out of hospital in recent years for the same complications.

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