Professor Ernest Aryeetey, born 19 October, 1955 in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, is a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon. Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, he was a Senior Fellow and Director of Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C. He was also Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana, Legon, for the period February 2003 – January 2010.
Prof Aryeetey was educated at Achimota School (1968-1973) and at the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School, Legon, (1973-1975).
He studied Economics with Statistics (1975-1978) at the University of Ghana (UG) and took a Master’s degree in Regional Planning at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, (1979-1981) and obtained a PhD (Doktor-Ingenieur) from the University of Dortmund, Germany, in 1985. Prof Aryeetey’s area of specialisation is development economics. He was elected Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009.
After teaching on the Spring Programme at the University of Dortmund for a year, he returned to Ghana in 1986 to start work as a Research Fellow at the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER). He was promoted to a Senior Research Fellow in 1990, Associate Professor in 1997 and a full Professor in 2000. Prof Aryeetey taught at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana (1986-1992). He has also been a Temporary Lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (1993); Visiting Professor at Yale University Department of Economics (1999); and the Cornell Visiting Professor, Department of Economics at Swarthmore College (2001-2002).
Prof Aryeetey’s research work focuses on the economics of development with interest in institutions and their role in development, regional integration, economic reforms, financial systems in support of development and small enterprise development. He is very well known for his work on informal finance and microfinance in Africa. He has consulted for various international agencies on a number of development and political economy subjects. He has presented seminar papers at departments of economics and planning in universities such as as Ohio State University, the University of Manchester, Oxford University, Harvard University, Yale University, New York University, University of Copenhagen, University of California, Los Angeles, Georgetown University, and Sophia University, Tokyo.
Prof Aryeetey has published 3 books, 5 edited volumes, 32 journal articles and over 100 conference, working and discussion papers. Among his publications are Financial Integration and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (Routledge 1998) and Economic Reforms in Ghana. His latest publication was with Chris Udry in the American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings (May 2010). He was the second recipient of the Michael Bruno award of the World Bank to become a Visiting Scholar for May–October 1998.
Prof Aryeetey was the President of the Ghana Institute of Planners from 1998 until 2000. He was a member of the Programme Committee of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Nairobi (2005-2009). He has been associated with AERC since 1988.
He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki. In April 2016, he was appointed by the former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban, and Director-General Irina Bokova of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to the governing council of the United Nations University.
In addition Prof Aryeetey served as member of the Board of the Global Development Network, New Delhi, and also of the Centre for Development Research at the University of Bonn, Germany.
Prof Aryeetey was a Managing Editor of the Journal of African Economies and is currently a member of the editorial board of Development Southern Africa and of African Development Review. He was until recently the Editor of the New Legon Observer.
Prof Aryeetey is a non-Executive Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana Ltd. He was Priest’s Warden of Christ Anglican Church, Legon (2003-2010).
He is married to Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey and they have two children, James Nii Armah, and Felicia Naa Dedei.