Ernest Aryeetey

Foundation Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), Professor of Economics at the University of Ghana, ISC Fellow


Ernest Aryeetey is the foundation Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), a network of 16 of Africa’s flagship universities. He is a Professor of Economics and former Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana (2010-2016). He was also previously Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at University of Ghana and the first Director of the Africa Growth Initiative of Brookings Institution, Washington D.C. Professor Ernest Aryeetey is a recipient of two Honorary degrees from University of Sussex (2017) and Lund University (2020).

He has held academic appointments at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London), Yale University and Swarthmore College in the U.S. at various points in time. Ernest Aryeetey was a member of the Governing Council of the United Nations University (May 2016 – May 2019) and was previously Chair of the Governing Board of UNU-World Institute for Development Economics Research (Helsinki). He was also a member of the Governing Board of the Centre for Development Research at University of Bonn until September 2020. He served as Resource Person and member of the Programme Committee of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC Nairobi) for many years. He is currently Board Chair of AERC. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex, and also of the SCOR Board of the UK Collaborative on Development Research (UKCDR). Until December 2021, he was Board Chair of Stanbic bank Ghana Limited.

Ernest Aryeetey’s research 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. Among his many publications are Financial Integration and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (Routledge 1998) and Economic Reforms in Ghana: The Miracle and The Mirage (James Currey 2000). His publication with Ravi Kanbur on The Economy of Ghana Sixty Years after Independence (Oxford University Press 2017) is one of his best-known works.

One of Aryeetey’s strategic priorities as Vice Chancellor at University of Ghana was to develop the University into a research-intensive institution that supports structural transformation in Ghana and in Africa.  He led his colleagues to engage in building many new research and graduate programmes that aim to both advance knowledge and to promote scientific and national development. 

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