Jan 18 , 2020

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) gave a green light to Melaku Kebede as the fifth president of United Bank, replacing Taye Dibekulu.

The central bank approved Melaku's appointment on January 14, 2020. The board of directors of the Bank appointed him as an acting president on December 12, 2019, following the resignation of Taye, who served as president for six years.

Melaku has worked in the banking industry for 14 years, 11 years of which as a vice president. He served Zemen and United banks as a vice president for four and seven years, respectively. Melaku earned both his first and second degree from Addis Abeba University in physics and information science.

Melaku took part as a study team leader in establishing Eth-Switch, which enables all banks to have ATM inter-operability. He has worked in the preparation of the financial national cybersecurity framework for financial institutes together with the Information Network Security Agency and NBE.

“I didn't have any special feelings, except making myself ready to face challenges that I always liked in my past experiences,” Melaku told Fortune.

Before Taye, Berhanu Getane, Admassu Techane and Kebede Temesgen had served as presidents of United.

The latest ex-president, Taye, graduated from Addis Abeba University (AAU) with a bachelor's in accounting in 1985. He started his career at the Development Bank of Ethiopia a few months after his graduation. He completed his master's degree in business administration in the United Kingdom in 2001. He joined United Bank as vice president 13 years ago, and seven years later he became president.

On January 4, 2020, the Bank bid a farewell to Taye at Hilton Addis and awarded him a Land Cruiser V8, which he has been driving while in office. He also received half a million Birr and a gold chain necklace with the logo of the Bank.

While serving as a vice president, his incumbent Melaku was involved in the bank's achievement in launching multi-channel banking services. He was part of the launching of interest-free banking and a new way of handling the local remittance services called Broadband Local Money Transfer (BLMT ) and loan origination workflow, a process by which a borrower applies for a new loan and a lender processes the application.

“I have a dream to make United a digitally-oriented Bank that brings innovative banking products to the market and becomes a most preferred bank in Ethiopia as well as in East Africa," said Melaku.

The Bank netted 770.2 million Br in the last fiscal year. It also managed to increase its paid-up capital to nearly 2.3b Br. However, last year it faced a huge decline in foreign exchange gains. Currently, the Bank has 4,064 employees that serve at the 274 branches throughout the country.

PUBLISHED ON Jan 18,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1029]

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