Dr. K.Y. Amoako
President and Founder
African Center for Economic Transformation
We began the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) in 2008 with a central understanding – that Africa needs more than economic growth. Even as our continent makes steady economic gains, too many countries are not positioned to sustain their progress.
They continue to rely excessively on low-productivity agriculture for rural employment, and they have failed to develop strong manufacturing sectors. Exports are generally limited to a narrow range of agricultural commodities and natural resources, and businesses are difficult to open and operate, stifling the development of a vibrant private sector. Previous attempts to reform the situation through incremental poverty reduction backed by foreign aid have had limited success in addressing the underlying structural limitations facing most African economies.
Much of the well-intentioned policy advice to African governments comes directly from bilateral and multilateral donors. The advice tends to reflect the donors’ priorities and assumptions while lacking a richer understanding of the local context. Even when the required reforms are appropriate, most African governments lack the capacity to implement them.
So when we formed ACET we called for a new approach to ensure that African countries could fundamentally reorient themselves and realize sustained economic transformation. We wanted to address some of the policy and institutional barriers that hampered sustained economic growth on the continent.
Vision, Mission and Goals
The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) is an economic policy institute supporting Africa’s long-term growth through transformation.
We provide research, policy advice, and institutional strengthening for African countries to develop their economies, reduce poverty, and improve livelihoods for all Africans. We are the pre-eminent African organization advancing African solutions to African transformation challenges.
In our view, growth is not enough. Africa must also transform.
Our vision is an economically transformed Africa within a generation.
Our mission is to help government and business deliver economic transformation that improves lives.
Our long-term outcome is economic transformation and improved human well-being through diversified production, competitive exports, increased productivity, and upgraded technology.
Board of Directors
Mr. Tito T. Mboweni is the Chairman of the Board of ACET. Mr. Mboweni brings a wealth of leadership experience from business, government, and academia. A trailblazer in African ownership of Africa’s future, his credentials include ten years as the first black governor of the South African Reserve Bank and Minister of Labour in President Nelson Mandela’s cabinet, in which capacity he is credited with being the architect of South Africa’s post-apartheid labour legislation. He has also served as Chairman of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd, Chancellor of the University of North West, and has played various roles within the African National Congress.
Currently, he is an International Advisor to Goldman Sachs International and chairman of the following companies: Accelerate Property Fund, Nampak Limited, and SacOil Holdings Limited. He is also a non-executive director at Discovery Limited and a founding partner of Mboweni Brothers Investment Holdings.
Demonstrating his commitment to public service, Mr. Mboweni is a trustee and Chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a member of the Council of Advisors of the Thabo Mbeki Foundation, and honorary professor at several South African universities. Mr. Mboweni is a BA graduate in politics and economics from the National University of Lesotho and holds a Master’s Degree from the University of East Anglia. He has been awarded multiple honorary doctorates from amongst others, the universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch, KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg, and the University of East Anglia.
K. Y. Amoako
K.Y. Amoako, Founder and President of the African Center for Economic Transformation and former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, has dedicated his career to solving the development challenges of the world’s poorest countries, especially those in Africa.
Amoako began his career in 1974 at the World Bank, becoming the Bank’s Director for Education and Social Policy from 1992-1995. From 1995-2005, Amoako served as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the rank of Under Secretary General of the UN, during which he transformed the institution to more effectively serve African policy-makers, to amplify the African voice internationally and to influence African partners.
After his 10-year stint at ECA, Amoako spent 2006 as a Distinguished African Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. Amoako has worked with leading development experts and political leaders on high-level international commissions and task forces that address the development prospects of Africa and many of today’s central global issues. Among many others, he chaired the Commission for HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa, convened by Kofi Annan and was a member of the Commission for Africa established and chaired by Tony Blair as well as a member of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health chaired by Jeff Sachs and the Task Force on Global Public Goods co-chaired by Ernesto Zedillo. Amoako holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Ghana, and a PhD in Economics from University of California, Berkeley.
Bowman Cutter has been managing director of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm headquartered in New York City, since 1996. Mr. Cutter previously held senior economic policy roles in the administrations of two US Presidents – at the National Economic Council, from 1992-1996, during the Clinton Presidency – as director of the National Economic Council and Deputy Assistant to the President; and at the Office of Management and Budget from 1976-1981, during the Carter Presidency, as Executive Director for Budget. Mr. Cutter also served as leader of the OMB transition team after the election of President Obama.
Mr. Cutter’s central public policy interest has been the development and management of economic policy, and in particular the issues related to economic growth, development, and the alleviation of poverty. He has worked extensively with the World Bank; he is currently the Chairman of the Board of CARE USA; and is a founder and current Chairman of MicroVest, a leading global microfinance fund with assets under management now in excess of $100 million.
Mr. Cutter holds degrees from Harvard University, the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. He is a member of the executive committee and immediate past co-chairman of the Committee for Economic Development, the leading business “think-tank” in the United States.
Eveline Herfkens was formerly the United Nation Secretary-General’s Executive Coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals Campaign. Prior to this, Ms. Herfkens was the Netherlands Minister for Development Cooperation from 1998-2002. She also served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Permanent Representative of the Netherlands at the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva. From 1990 to 1996, she was Executive Director of the World Bank in Washington D.C. Ms. Herfkens was a member of the Lower House of Parliament from 1981-1990. She served as a committee member and treasurer of Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) from 1985 to 1996, and from 1986 to 1989 was also a member of the Economic Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and joint organizer of the North-South campaign. From 1976 to 1981 she worked as a policy officer in the field of development cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ms. Herfkens has also served on the council of the Labor Party (PvdA), and has been chair of the Evert Vermeer Foundation, chair of the Dutch Fair Trade Organization, and a member of the Development Committee of the Netherlands Council of Churches. She studied law and economics at Leiden University, and graduated in 1975.
Linah Kelebogile Mohohlo
Linah Mohohlo was appointed Governor of the Bank of Botswana in 1999, following a 23-year career with the Bank. She has also worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, in her capacity as Governor of the IMF for Botswana, she has been a member of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), representing the Africa Group 1 Constituency comprising more than 20 Anglophone sub-Saharan African countries.
Ms Mohohlo also serves on the Boards of major corporations in Botswana and abroad. Among her international engagements, she was appointed Eminent Person in 2001 by the former Secretary General of the United Nations (Mr. Kofi Annan) to oversee the evaluation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa. She served in former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa, which addressed Africa’s poverty and stagnation problems. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Africa Emerging Markets Forum and of the Africa Progress Panel. Ms Mohohlo is a recipient of several awards including the BankerMagazine’s Central Bank Governor of the Year (2001) for Africa and the Middle East, Euromoney’s Emerging Markets Central Bank Governor of the Year (2003) for Sub-Saharan Africa, Presidential Order of Honour (2004) – Botswana’s highest public service award.
Ms Mohohlo has read accounting and business, economics, finance and investments at the University of Botswana, The George Washington University (Washington DC) and University of Exeter (UK), and has undertaken an Executive Management study programme at Yale University.
Tony Oteng-Gyasi is the President of Association of Ghana Industries, and Managing Director and Chairman of Tropical Cable and Conductor Ltd, a wholly Ghanaian owned manufacturer of electrical cables. He is also a Board Member of the Ghana Export Investment Development Fund (a Ghana Government Fund which disburses USD 50 million annually in loans and grants to the export sector) and the immediate past Chairman of the University of Ghana Governing Council.
Tony began his career at the Research Department of the Bank of Ghana. He subsequently joined the Ghana Operation of British Petroleum. In 1986, he set up his first Company, Tropical Products Limited, which he nurtured to become a successful trading and manufacturing firm. It became the largest manufacturer of crates and pallets in Ghana. In 1997, he set up the Cable Manufacturing Company, called Tropical Cable and Conductor Limited. The modern factory is the only wholly Ghanaian owned Cable Manufacturing Company in Ghana. The Company manufactures electric and telecommunications cables and is the first cable manufacturer in Ghana with ISO 9001 Certification. In 2007 he again set up the only continuous casting and rolling factory for the production of EC Grade Aluminum Rod in West Africa. The company, Western Rod & Wire Ltd. has become a source of raw material for aluminum conductor manufacturers in the region.
Tony is a recipient of several awards and has been a member of the Council of the Ghana Stock Exchange, and the Council of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). He is the immediate past Chairman of the University of Ghana Council.
He holds a degree in Economics and a Certificate in Law from the University of Ghana. He also has a diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK, and is a member of the Ghana Bar Association.
Stephen Yeo was until 2014 the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), a leading European research network in economics that brings together over 900 European economists, and is the focus of most European research on international trade and trade policy. Yeo also has extensive experience in research and capacity building in Sub-Saharan Africa. He worked with the Department of Trade and Industry in South Africa to establish the Trade and Industrial Policy Secretariat, and later established the Southern African Trade Research Network (SATRN).
Founder and President of the African Center for Economic Transformation
K.Y., Founder and President of the African Center for Economic Transformation and former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, has dedicated his career to solving the development challenges of the world’s poorest countries, especially those in Africa.
Prior to joining ACET, he spent over 26 years working at the World Bank in various capacities including: Research Economist, Country Economist, Country Director, Director for Economic Policy and Head of the Economists Sector Board.
Edward K. Brown
Director of Policy Advisory Service
Edward has more than 27 years experience in international development and public policy at the World Bank. He has worked extensively in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Director of Research
Dr. Amoako-Tuffour is currently the Director of Research at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) and the Senior Advisor providing overall strategic direction for ACET’s extractive resources program. As advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Amoako-Tuffour in 2001-2003 played a lead role in developing the multi-donor budgetary support framework for Ghana, and was also responsible for inter-ministerial coordination on aid delivery. In 2009-2011, he played a lead role in the preparation of Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Act and subsequent review of the Act. Some of his research work are on petroleum laws, fiscal regimes for extractives, donor aid, poverty and inequality, and public debt. Before joining ACET, Dr. Amoako-Tuffour taught for nearly 25 years at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Alberta, Canada.
Daniel Y. Nti
Chief Operating Officer
Director, Communications and External Relations
Analysis and Advisory Team
Dr. William Baah-Boateng
Senior Research Fellow
Country Program Manager
Buddy is a country program manager with ACET, with a focus on implementing public financial management reform projects and managing ACET’s Africa-China practice. She also undertakes various organizational strategy, business-process mapping, and human-resource optimization projects in Africa.
Julius Gatune Kariuki
Senior Research & Policy Advisor
Julius is a Kenyan national, passionate about Africa’s future. He has a multi-disciplinary background covering engineering, computer science, business administration and policy analysis.
Economic and Research Analyst
Diana Love-Luck Dadzie
Administrative Assistant - Research
Diana Love-Luck Dadzie is currently an Administrative Assistant-Research at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). She has also worked as a Research Assistant in ACET. Before joining ACET, Diana worked with the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Dept. of the Ministry of Food & Agriculture and the SME division of the Ministry of Trade. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Development Studies (Economics and Entrepreneurship) from the University of Development Studies, Wa.
Sarah has Undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of London. She has worked in a number of organizations, including the Commonwealth Secretariat (Economic Affairs Division) and the United Nations Development Program (Ghana Country Office) where she worked on economic research and analysis.
Maame Esi Eshun
Maame Esi Eshun is a Research Associate at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). Her focus is on the implementation and coordination of the research and analytical work stream of the Extractive Resource Service (ERS) Program. She also serves as the ERS focal person on research and case studies carried out by third parties on behalf of the ERS. Prior to joining ACET, she facilitated and lectured on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology’s (KNUST) and University of Ghana’s distance learning programs in Kumasi. She has also worked as a research consultant for UNIDO and the Environmental Protection Agency on Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production in Ghana. Miss Eshun holds an MPhil degree in Economics and a B.A degree in Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
His research focus includes: economic development, public finance and economic management, trade and health economics. He holds a Bsc. in Economics and an MPhil in Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.
George is a Research Analyst at the ACET involved in economic policy research in Agriculture Value Chains and Trade Welfare Analysis in Africa. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Rural Development and Management from the China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing. He also holds a certificate in Climate Change from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Prior to ACET, he worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in Extension and Agroindustry, and with the Barclay Bank of Ghana in the field of Business Development.
Benedicta S. Amenyo
Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst
She is a Local Economic Development graduate from the London School of Economics with an eye for technology transfer research. Before joining ACET after her graduation, she worked briefly with Farmerline, a local start-up agricultural technology product company as a business development analyst, managing the firm’s business relations and providing programmatic support.
She joins ACET as a Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst, working in together with the Program Coordinator to ensure project accountability and reporting requirements are in tandem with ACET’s strategic objectives. She is a registered member of the Project Management Institute.
Strategic and Operations Team
Frederica (Freda) Yawson
Senior Programs Manager
Freda is a development professional who is passionate about economic transformation in Africa. As the Program Coordinator at ACET, her primary responsibilities are to ensure alignment of ACET’s portfolio and programs to strategic objectives and offer advisory services across various engagements.
MacGeorge is a chartered management accountant and also holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Hull, UK.
Human Resource Manager
HR & Admin Assistant
Nana Adadzewa Manful
Finance & Admin. Assistant
Finance and Administrative Assistant
Amazing Grace Lois Danso
She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology: Counseling and Human Development. She is a language fanatic who speaks French and a little Spanish and three local dialects (Ashanti, Fanti, and Akuapem Twi) in addition to English. She is passionate about the development and transformation of Africa and she aims to use her skills to help facilitate this process. She currently works at ACET as the Operations Assistant where she lends support on various operational needs.
Having held positions in the non-governmental and private sectors, she brings on board a variety of corporate and office management experiences. She holds an M.A in International Relations from the University of Ghana.
Abigail joined ACET in 2010 and is currently the Events Coordinator.
Eric is a part qualified ACCA student, holds BBS Accounting and a product of the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS) in Accra. He previously worked as a Finance Officer for IBIS, a Danish non-governmental organization, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Owusu also practiced as an Auditor for a local audit firm in Ghana. Owusu joined ACET in June 2009.
Ekow joined ACET mid 2015, bringing with him an extensive experience in ICT administration. Prior to joining ACET, he was the ICT Officer for GiG Ghana Ltd. (formerly GECAD). He graduated in 2008 from Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (School of Technology) where he studied Network Administration. As ICT Coordinator, He is in charge of the provision of ACET’s ICT strategic direction by ensuring that ICT Systems are robust and functioning in line with ACET's strategy and policies as well as best practices in ICT.
He is currently the Managing Partner at Nubuke Investments, an FSA registered asset management and advisory firm focused solely on Africa, which he founded in 2007. Nubuke Investments is based in London and Accra.
He is a non-executive Director of Tullow Oil the largest Independent Oil Exploration company in Africa.
He is a member of the Senior Advisory Group of Power Africa, the President Obama initiative, to significantly increase access to electricity, across Africa.
He is the Chairman of Kempinski Hotel, Gold Coast City, Accra and is also the Director of a number of his Portfolio Companies.
He has a very strong network of African relationships both at the Government and Business level and is a sought after International Public Speaker and Advisor on his views, experiences and knowledge of the Continent.
He travels extensively across Africa advising Corporates on business strategy, Governments on Policy and also looking for investment ideas for his international relationships and executing these.
Tutu is a Founder and Director of the Nubuke Foundation, Ghana’s Premier Private Arts Foundation, and was most recently voted one of the 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine.
He is a Director of 1-54, The world’s Premier Contemporary African art fair.
He has a degree in Mathematics and Computing from University of Ghana, Legon.
Florizelle (Florie) Liser is the third President and CEO of CCA. Ms. Liser brings expertise and an extensive network on trade and Africa to her new role, along with a strong track record of working with the private sector to translate policy into action. She is the first woman to lead the Council since its founding in 1993.
Previously, Ms. Liser served as Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Industry, Market Access, and Telecommunications from 2000-2003. She also served as Senior Trade Policy Advisor in the Office of International Transportation and Trade at the Department of Transportation from 1987-2000; worked as a Director in USTR’s Office of GATT Affairs, and served as an Associate Fellow at the Overseas Development Council (ODC) from 1975-1980.
Ms. Liser holds a M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Dickinson College. Ms. Liser is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, on the Board of Women in International Trade (WIIT), and in 2017 won the WIIT Government Service Award.
Antoinette Monsio Sayeh
Antoinette Monsio Sayeh is currently a distinguished visiting fellow at the Center for Global Development. She was from 2008 to 2016 director of the African Department at the International Monetary Fund, where she oversaw and enhanced the Fund’s engagement with its sub-Saharan African members.
Sayeh also worked in economic advisory positions in Liberia’s Ministries of Finance and Planning. She earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in Economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in International Economic Relations from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Jean-Louis Sarbib is currently Chief Executive Officer at Development Gateway, an international nonprofit social enterprise with the mission to reduce poverty in developing nations by improving aid effectiveness, governance, and transparency through information technology. He continues to advise James Wolfensohn, the former President of the World Bank.
Upon leaving the Bank, Mr. Sarbib joined Wolfensohn & Company as a managing director from October 2006 to March 2009. He was a non-resident senior fellow at The Brookings Institution (2006-2011) and taught at Georgetown University (2009-2010). He serves on a number of non-profit boards and is a member of the board of governors of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and the boards of the African University of Science and Technology and the Nelson Mandela Institution.
In 2006, Mr. Sarbib was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, and received a Lifetime Award for Diversity and Inclusion by the World Bank. He received numerous honors from the countries where he worked.
Sanjeev Gupta is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development. Previously, he was Deputy Director of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and has worked in its African and European Departments.
Aliyu is the Principal Consultant and Managing Partner with Cardston Consulting Inc., a research, consulting and capacity building firm with offices and engagements in Canada and several African countries. He was until recently, Policy and Program Development Advisor and Research Fellow with the Government of Alberta, Canada and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) respectively.
Alhassan is an economist and expert in sustainable development of natural resources, with emphasis on non-renewable resources particularly hard minerals and hydrocarbons. His research on natural resources focuses on governance, local content, value addition, fiscal regime, artisanal and small-scale mining, environmental stewardship, compensation negotiations and resettlement.
Richard is a Senior Advisor to ACET. A former OECD Director of Development Cooperation, he was closely involved with the UNECA in developing ways to operationalize the concept of mutual accountability in the context of the NEPAD and the African Partnership Forum, a model taken up subsequently by the G7 and the G20.
Eugenia is the Executive Director of the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research IPAR-Rwanda. She is the current President of the Policy Institute Committee (PIC), an Advisory Board Member of the African Portal, and a member of Board of Directors for the Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA Rwanda) and sits on the National Independent Review Panel (NIRP) for Rwanda Public Procurement Authority RPPA.
She is an Honors Graduate of Social Sciences from Makerere University with an MBA from Maastricht School of Management, Netherlands. She is pursuing her PhD degree in Business Administration specializing in Strategic Management from Jomo Kenyatta University.
Mavis has over 20 years experience in investment climate reform and enterprise development. She was part of the team that designed Ghana’s Medium-Term Strategy for Private Sector Development, an ambitious program of policy and reform initiatives to make Ghana one of the best investment climates in Africa and to eliminate the key barriers to doing business in the country. She also worked with Government to coordinate the first two years of implementation.
Prior to entering into full-time consulting she worked with the International Finance Corporation promoting the development and growth of private enterprises in Ghana and Nigeria. She holds an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with First Class Honors, from the University of Ghana.
Ezra Francis Munyambonera
Ezra is currently working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Macroeconomics Department at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC). At EPRC, he has contributed to various research works and topical discussions relating to: fiscal and monetary policy, financial sector and public finance management. In 2012, he was the Task Manager of the Financial Services Survey (Fin-Scope III Uganda).
He has also supervised a number of post-graduate students, at Masters and PhD levels, from the Universities of Makerere, Bugema, and Makerere, in areas of fiscal and monetary policy, trade finance, and industry and firm competitiveness in Uganda as well as in the East African (EAC) Sub-region.
He hold a PhD in Economics, MSc. in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a BSC. Agriculture, majoring Agricultural Economics from Makerere University, Kampala.
Yaw is a Professor of Economics at New York University (NYU) and the Director of Africa House at the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED), and Co-Director of the Development Research Institute (DRI). As the Co-Director of DRI, he received the BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award on Economic Development Cooperation (2009). His research interests are in the areas of Economic Development and Theoretical Economics.
As the past Vice Provost of NYU, he managed a portfolio that included the oversight and establishment of campuses in Africa, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai. He has a B.A. from the University of Ghana and M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.
Anthony E. Paul
Anthony is an energy and strategy advisor, focusing on assisting countries rich in extractives to retain more of the value generated by their resources and to manage them in a manner that supports sustainable development. In his more than 35 years in petroleum and mining, he has held technical, commercial, management and leadership roles, spanning the entire petroleum exploration and production value chain in Government and State and Multinational companies.
He has worked in East, West & Southern Africa, the Middle East, Central & Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, He holds a BSc (Hons) in Geology from Imperial College of Science & Technology, University of London and an MS in Geophysics from the University of Houston, Texas.
Marysue K. Shore
Marysue is president of Global Business Strategies and a member of the U.S. Trade Advisory Committee on Africa. She has extensive experience in facilitating trade and investment into emerging markets, which includes advising governments, international institutions and companies on “best practices” for international trade regulations and investment policies.