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Erik Karlsson
Governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho


Preceded by

Stefan Shoenberg

Succeeded by

Anthony Mothae Maruping

Governor of the Bank of Namibia


Preceded by

Wouter Benard

Succeeded by

Jaafar bin Ahmad

Biographical information

Flag of Sweden Swedish


prior to July 16, 2010

Occupational information



Erik L. Karlsson sig

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Erik Lennart Karlsson was a Swedish banker active in southern Africa during the 1980s and early 1990s. He was appointed as the third governor of the Central Bank of Lesotho, and later the second governor of the Bank of Namibia. Beforehand, he worked as Deputy Director at the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden.


Sveriges Riksbanks huvudkontor vid Brunkebergstorg

The Sveriges Riksbank

At one point, Karlsson was appointed as Deputy Director of the Sveriges Riksbank. During his association with the Swedish central bank, Karlsson also became affiliated with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. He was eventually commissioned by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) to aid in the development of a central bank in Lesotho. He became its third governor on November 9, 1985, preceded by German banker and economist Stefan Shoenberg. Karlsson resigned from his position on November 18, 1988, and was succeeded by Mosotho official Anthony Mothae Maruping (1944–).

In the 1980s, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), at the time led by Sam Nujoma (1929–), requested assistance from Prime Minister Olof Palme (1927–1986) of Sweden with the establishment of a central bank of Namibia, which at the time was still not recognized as independent from South Africa. Palme directed the organization to Karlsson. Nujoma and SWAPO's Secretary of Finance, Hifikepunye Pohamba (1935–), eventually met with Karlsson at Rome, Italy, where they discussed banking and economics for Namibia. The nation's bank was successfully established in 1990, shortly after it itself became independent. Karlsson served as Deputy Governor from that date until November 1992, working under Governor Wouter Benard, a Dutch banker who was also commissioned to aid in the development of a Namibian banking system. Karlsson attained the position of Governor following Benard's resignation in 1991, and began his term in late 1992. He resigned a year later, in 1993, and was replaced by Malaysian banker Jaafar bin Ahmad in 1994. On July 16, 2010, a celebration commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Bank of Namibia was held in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. In his welcoming address, Ipumbu Shiimi, the current Governor of the Bank of Namibia, recognized Karlsson for his help, and that even though he passed away, "his memories [would] remain with [the bank]."


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Governors of the Central Bank of Lesotho
Ezekiel Kobeli Molemohi (1979-1982) • Stefan Shoenberg (1982-1985) • Erik Karlsson (1985-1988) • Anthony Mothae Maruping (1988-1998) • Stephen Mustapha Swaray (1998-2001) • Esselen Motlatsi Matekane (2001-2006) • Moeketsi Pius Senaoana (2007-2011) • Rets'elisitsoe Matlanyane (2011-present)
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Governors of the Bank of Namibia
Wouter Benard (1990-1991) • Erik Karlsson (1992-1993) • Jaafar bin Ahmad (1994-1996) • Tom Alweendo (1997-2010) •
Ipumbu Shiimi (2010-present)