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KAMPALA: Uganda's central bank governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, who has shepherded the east African country's economy for more than 20 years, has died, the deputy speaker tweeted on Sunday.

"The great Icon of our economic journey as a country, a banking genius and a patriot has rested. We shall hold on to his legacy of dedication to the service of his country. RIP Prof. Mutebile," deputy speaker of parliament, Anita Annet Among, tweeted.

The bank, in a tweet, said Tumusiime-Mutebile died in Nairobi, Kenya. It did not disclose a cause of death.

Tumusiime-Mutebile, who was 72, was the country's longest-serving central bank governor. Before becoming governor in 2001, he also worked as head of the treasury at the finance ministry.

Kenyan shilling little changed, hovers above all-time lows

He won plaudits for many economic accomplishments. Notably, he helped steer Uganda's economic recovery in the 2000s after collapse in the 1970s and 80s amid political upheaval during the rule of presidents Idi Amin and Milton Obote.

Analysts also praised him for playing a crucial role in sweeping reform imposed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the 1990s and 2000s that opened Uganda's economy to private investment and accelerated gross domestic product growth to around 7%.

Tumusiime-Mutebile's profile on the central bank website showed he also worked as a consultant for international organisations including the World Bank, IMF and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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