This article explores the concept of central bank independence (CBI), discussing how it emerged, and what criteria may be used to assess the extent of its existence. The paper critically examines the theoretical and empirical foundations of CBI and investigates the reasons for the deviation of de facto from de jure CBI, with emphasis on the relevance of the political regime. While there is a consensus that CBI does not preclude cooperation between the central bank and the government, disagreement regarding monetary policy objectives persists. The case of Egypt's central bank (CBE) is examined and it is found to be subservient to the government, mainly due to the absence of democracy. This inquiry concludes by highlighting the need to adopt a developmental perspective to the status and role of the central bank instead of the currently dominant neoliberal perspective. The proposed perspective broadens the objectives of monetary policy and assures their integration with fiscal and social policies.