Profile of the Outgoing VC of Legon- Prof. Ernest Aryeetey

By | July 10, 2016

This is all you need to know about Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, the outgoing vice Chancellor of University of Ghana. During his time as a vice Chancellor, he set out to transform University of Ghana into a world-class research institution in the world and the number one on the African continent. As at May 2016, University of Ghana rise through the ranks to become the7th best university in Africa and the best university in West Africa.
He is credited with massive infrastructural turnaround of the university. One of his first concerns was to complete the newly initiated hostel facilities and now we have the four new halls in the diaspora – Limann Hall, Alex Kwapong Hall, Elizabeth Sey Hall and Jean Nelson Hall.
Road infrastructure on the University of Ghana campus took a drastic turnaround during his time of service. As at the time he is leaving office, every corner and every road on university of Ghana campus is coated by the best road constructors.
The lecture to student ratio did not only get better but the lecturers were constantly encouraged to take further studies in order to be able to teach the students better.
Though most people will confidently say Prof. Ernest Aryeetey is the best vice Chancellor of university of Ghana so far due to his solid leadership credentials and the transformational turnaround in the assets and rankings of the university, most students will only associate his name with the GPA. Prof. Ernest Aryeetey made changes in the calculation of the GPA moving the mark required to obtain an A grade from 70% to 80%. This led to a drastic fall in the number of students who usually graduates with a First Class honor from the university. This he said will separate the average students from the excellent ones. According to him, when things continue the way they are going, a third class student from university of Ghana will compete with any first class student from other universities on the same platform.
He is credited with the famous statement “University education is not for the poor”. This statement came to light when he was confronted as to why academic user fees and residential fees are becoming increasingly expensive during his tenure of office.
Professor Ernest Aryeetey, the outgoing Vice Chancellor of University of Ghana is a Professor of Economics. Prior to his appointment as Vice-Chancellor, he was a Senior Fellow and Director of the 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. Professor 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 and took a Masters degree in Regional Planning at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (1979-1981) and obtained a Doktor-Ingenieur at the University of Dortmund, Germany in 1985. Ernest 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, Ernest Aryeetey 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 Senior Research Fellow in 1990, Associate Professor in 1997 and a full Professor in 2000. Prof. Ernest Aryeetey taught at the Department of Economics, University of Ghana (1986-1992). He has also been 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).
Ernest 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 such universities 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. Ernest 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: the Miracle and the Mirage (James Currey 2000). His latest publication is 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. Ernest Aryeetey was the President of the Ghana Institute of Planners (1998-2000). He is currently the Chairman of the Board of the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), Helsinki. He is Board Member of the Global Development Network, New Delhi and also of the Centre for Development Research at the University of Bonn, Germany. He was previously a Member of the Programme Committee of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), Nairobi (2005-2009). He has been associated with AERC since 1988.
Professor 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. Ernest Aryeetey is a non-Executive Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana Ltd. He was Priest’s Warden of Christ Anglican Church, Legon (2003-2010).
Professor Aryeetey is married to Ellen Bortei-Doku Aryeetey and has two children, James Nii Armah and Felicia Naa Dedei