Ernest Aryeetey, Head of Leading African Think Tank, Joins Brookings to Direct Africa Growth Initiative

Ernest Aryeetey, a leading economist at the University of Ghana, will join Brookings as senior fellow and director of the Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Part of the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings, the Africa Growth Initiative focuses on Africa’s development challenges, and aims to draw more heavily on knowledge and analysis of Africa researchers.

Aryeetey currently serves as professor and director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana in Legon, and is a member of the Program Committee of the African Economic Research Consortium. His research has focused on economic development in Africa, regional integration, economic reforms and financial systems in support of development and small enterprise development. He has played a prominent role in shaping the economic policy debate in Ghana, and his work on informal finance and microfinance in Africa has influenced the microfinance programs of a number of international development finance organizations.

“I cannot think of a better person to lead Brookings’ efforts to promote growth and employment in Africa through collaboration with the African policy research community,” said Lael Brainard, vice president and director of Brookings Global Economy and Development program. “Ernest’s outstanding leadership and research expertise will help us contribute to a stronger policy debate in Africa through partnerships in Africa and globally. We are delighted to welcome him to Brookings.”

“I look forward to joining Brookings to focus on building a network of partners and solutions for Africa’s growth and development challenges in the years ahead,” said Aryeetey. ”By enhancing Africa’s policy research capabilities through programs such as Brookings’s Africa Growth Initiative, we will help build a better economic future for Africa.”

Aryeetey has also served as a member of or expert advisor to a number of major international commissions and working groups, including as member of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals Task Force on Growth and Poverty Reduction. He studied economics at the University of Ghana and obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Dortmund, Germany. He has published numerous books, journal articles and papers, including Financial Integration and Development in Sub-Saharan Africa (Routledge 1998), Economic Reforms in Ghana: The Miracle and the Mirage (James Currey 2000) and Testing Global Interdependence (Edward Elgar 2007). Aryeetey has held a number of previous teaching and research appointments, including at the University of London, Yale University, Ohio State University and Swarthmore College. He is a board member of the Global Development Network and also of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research.

Aryeetey will begin working with Brookings immediately on a part-time basis from Ghana and will become a full-time resident scholar at the Institution beginning in January 2010.