In a career spanning almost five decades, Dr. K.Y. Amoako has contributed with passion and energy to Africa’s ongoing development. After obtaining a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1974, he began his career at the World Bank, where he spent two decades working in Africa and Washington, D.C., on vital but underserved economic and social development issues, such as gender equality and poverty reduction.
In 1995, then-UN Secretary-General Boutrous Boutros-Ghali appointed Dr. Amoako Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the level of Under-Secretary General. During a decade at ECA, Dr. Amoako instituted sweeping reforms that revitalized the institution and made it a thought leader on the most pressing and complex socioeconomic issues, including debt relief, trade, HIV/AIDs, and governance.
Currently, Dr. Amoako is the President of the African Economic Center for Transformation (ACET), which he founded in 2008 in Accra, Ghana, to help governments identify the right policy and institutional reforms for sustained growth, inclusive development, and lasting poverty reduction. Through its flagship African Transformation Report and global African Transformation Forums, ACET under Dr. Amoako’s leadership, has become a highly respected and leading authority on long-term development strategies in Africa. His recent book, Know the Beginning Well: An Inside Journey Through Five Decades of African Development, draws lessons from the past to better inform the future of Africa’s development. He lives in Accra and Washington, D.C., with his wife Philomena.