About Us

Dr. K.Y. Amoako
Dr. K.Y. Amoako
President and Founder
African Center for Economic Transformation
The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) began 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 ACET was formed, 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 Goal

ACET is an economic policy institute supporting Africa’s long-term growth through transformation.

We produce research, offer policy advice, and galvanize action for African countries to develop their economies, reduce poverty, and improve livelihoods for all their people. We are the pre-eminent African organization advancing African solutions to African challenges.

In our view, growth is not enough. Africa must also transform through diversified production, competitive exports, increased productivity, upgraded technology, and improved human well-being.

ACET Vision symbol


Our vision is an economically transformed Africa within a generation.

ACET Mission symbol


Our mission is to help government and business deliver economic transformation that improves lives.

ACET Goals symbol


Our long-term goal is economic transformation and improved human well-being through diversified production, competitive exports, increased productivity and upgraded technology.

The ACET Way

Download an overview of our priorities and approach.

ACET Brochure

ACET has many publications available that are a useful source of information for the latest developments for transformation related activities.

See our publications

Board of Directors

Tito Mboweni : Chair

Tito Mboweni


Mr. Tito T. Mboweni is the Chairman of the Board of ACET and Minister of Finance, South Africa. 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.

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K.Y. Amoako : Founder and President

K.Y. Amoako

Founder and President

Dr. 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 life 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, where he worked alongside leaders and policymakers in numerous African countries over two decades. In 1992, he became the Bank’s first Director for Education and Social Policy, overseeing the institution's first framework for gender equality in development. In 1995, Amoako joined the United Nations to serve as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the rank of Under-Secretary-General. Over the next 10 years, Amoako helped transform the ECA into a dynamic force on the world stage by amplifying the African voice and reshaping development partnerships. Under Amoako, the ECA established the influential African Development Forums and spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives such as the African Peer Review Mechanism. After retiring from the UN, Amoako served as a Distinguished African Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC before founding the African Center for Transformation in 2008.
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.
His book, Know the Beginning Well: An Inside Journey Through Five Decades of African Development, was published by Africa World Press in March 2020.
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Eveline Herfkens :

Eveline Herfkens

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.

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Arkebe Oqubay :

Arkebe Oqubay

Arkebe Oqubay, PhD, is a Senior Minister and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and has been at the centre of policymaking for over twenty-five years. He is the former Mayor of Addis Ababa and winner of the Best African Mayor of 2006 award presented by ABN

and was a finalist World Mayor Award 2006, for transforming the city. He currently serves as board chair of several leading public organizations and international advisory boards, and he is a recipient of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, presented by the Emperor of Japan.

Dr Arkebe is a UNU-WIDER Honorary Research Fellow; ODI Distinguished Research Fellow at London-based think tank Overseas Development Institute; and a research associate at the Centre of African Studies in the University of London; and holds a PhD in development studies from SOAS, University of London.

His recent published works include: the path breaking Made in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2015); The Oxford Handbook of the Ethiopian Economy (Oxford University Press, 2019); How Nations Learn: Technological Learning, Industrial Policy, and Catch Up (Oxford University Press, 2019); China-Africa and an Economic Transformation (Oxford University Press, 2019); African Economic Development: Evidence, Theory, and Policy (Oxford University Press, 2020); The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Hubs and Economic Development (Oxford University, 2020); and The Oxford Handbook of Industrial Policy (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Dr Arkebe was recognized by the New African as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2016 and a “leading thinker on Africa’s strategic development” for his work on industrialization and industrial policies, both theoretical and practical. His research focus includes structural transformation, technological learning and catch-up, industrial policy, sustainability and urban transformation, China-Africa ties, and public policy and leadership with a focus on emerging and developing countries and special interest on Africa.

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Rosine Sori Coulibaly :

Rosine Sori Coulibaly

Ms. Rosine Sori Coulibaly is a citizen of Burkina Faso, with 35 years of professional dedication to poverty reduction and sustainable development. She was the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in Guinea Bissau from August 2019 to December 2020, where she led the UN Integrated Office.

From January 2016 to January 2019, she spearheaded the economic policy reform agenda of Burkina Faso, as Minister of Economy, Finance, and Development.

Prior to this position, she served the United Nations for over 20 years in various senior level capacities.  In 2011, she was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his Deputy Special Representative in Burundi, cumulatively with responsibilities as UN Resident Coordinator, UN Humanitarian Coordinator, and UNDP Resident Representative. Her service in UN also included positions of UN Resident coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Togo (2006 – 2011) and Benin (2014 – 2016), UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Mauritania (2002 - 2006), and Senior Economist in Burundi and Benin (1995 – 2002).

Before joining UNDP, Ms Sori-Coulibaly held technical advisory positions in her home country, working with the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning (1982-1990), with ILO as National Coordinator in a Project for women in the informal sector (1991-1992), and with the Canadian Development International Desjardins (DID) (1993-1995) as private sector and entrepreneurship development  Advisor. She was active in civil society organizations.

Ms Sori-Coulibaly holds a Master's degree in development economics from Senegal’s Cheikh Anta Diop University and a postgraduate degree from the United Nations African Institute for Economic Development and Planning based in Senegal.

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Noomane Fehri :

Noomane Fehri

Noomane has 30 years experience in leading international firms in Energy & Digital Technology, in 10 countries across Africa , Europe and Asia.

He is the former Minister of Digital Economy in Tunisia in 2015 & 2016,  known to be a reformer and a leader in the digital economy space. His mandate has initiated the emergence of a Tunisian Startups Ecosystem which Noomane decided to support through the “Technology Payment card” & the “Startup Act” Law.  A law that inspired more than 10 African countries to stimulate their entrepreneurship ecosytem. Noomane is often referred to as the father of the Startup Act movement.

He was elected in 2011 as a member of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly to write a new constitution for the country. He was then re-elected to the subsequent Assembly of People's Representatives in 2014 and served as Minister of Digital economy.

Since 2017, he is the Managing Partner of ODF (OurDigitalFuture) a company focused on developing Innovation Ecosystems development and digital transformation as well as on Building public policy, Innovation. ODF founded and run the first privately run Incubator in Tunisia B@Labs, and was essential in developing the Incubation and acceleration hubs in North Africa.

Noomane is a business Angel and active member of Africa Startup ecosystems.

He is currently:

  • CEO of ODF managing technoriat.com accelerator
  • Member of the Investment committee of Oman Technology Fund otf.om
  • President of the Maghreb Business Angel Network mdban.org
  • President of the board of Novation City (a profitable public private technopole in Tunisia ) - novationcity.com/
  • Advisor to the steering committee of SmartAfrica Alliance www. smartafrica.org/
  • High Commissioner for the World Business Angel Forum responsible for Digital transformation. wbaforum.org
  • Member of the board of Enda a microfinance institution who served 1 Million customesr and has 450 000 active customers www. endatamweel.tn/
  • He is also advisor to international development institutions on entrepreneurship & innovation ecosystems building ( WorldBank, BADEA, …)

Noomane received the following Honors:

  • 2014 : Medal of the order of Merit from President of Tunisia
  • 2015 : Commander of the order of Freedom from President of Portugal
  • 2015: Commander of the order of the North Star from King of Sweden

Noomane has a master’s degree in Geophysics from ENS-ULM and an engineering degree from French Petroleum Institute.  He is married with 3 children.

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Nicholas Westcott :

Nicholas Westcott

Dr Nicholas Westcott has been Director of the Royal African Society since November 2017, having worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and European Union for 35 years, and been involved with Africa for over 40 years.

After completing a BA in History and PhD in African history at Cambridge University, he joined the FCO in 1982 and has served in Brussels, Washington DC, Tanzania (as Deputy High Commissioner) and from 2008-2011 as British High Commissioner to Ghana and Ambassador to Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo. Prior to that, from 2002-2007, he was the FCO’s Chief Information Officer. In 2011 he moved to Brussels to work for the EU's External Action Service as Managing Director for Africa, and from 2015 as Managing Director for the Middle East and North Africa. He is a Research Associate at SOAS’s Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, sits on the Editorial Board of African Affairs and the Board of the African Centre for Economic Transformation (Accra), and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of Chatham House. He was awarded the CMG in 1998. He has published a number of articles on African history, European foreign policy and international economic relations, and maintains an active interest in contemporary African and Middle Eastern politics, business, music and culture.

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Bogolo J. Kenewendo :

Bogolo J. Kenewendo

Bogolo J. Kenewendo is a global economist with deep expertise in international trade and development. She has a particular focus on Pan-African development and a passion for accelerating digitization and innovation across the continent.

As the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry in Botswana, she implemented reforms to significantly improve the ease of doing business, open up both domestic and international markets, and position the country to succeed in the global value chains as well as the digital economy. During her tenure, she was the youngest Cabinet Minister in Africa and in Botswana’s

Kenewendo is also a vocal advocate for gender equity and protection of children’s rights.

She has received global recognition for her work, being appointed as a member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, Senior Africa Advisor to Jack Ma Foundation and Africa Business Heroes, Jury for the FAO Africa Innovation Prize, a member of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation and group on Financing for Development, a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, WEF Trade Action Group and a WEF Young Global Leader.

She currently serves as Managing Director of Kenewendo Advisory, a Non-resident Fellow at
Center for Global Development and sits on multiple corporate boards.

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Paul Yaw Boateng :

Paul Yaw Boateng

Paul Boateng, in full Paul Yaw Boateng, Baron Boateng of Akyem and Wembley, (born June 14, 1951, London, England), British politician who became the first person of African descent to serve in a British cabinet when he was appointed (2002) chief secretary to the Treasury.

He was the son of Kwaku Boateng, a lawyer who served as a cabinet minister in the Ghanaian government of Kwame Nkrumah, and Eleanor Boateng. He received his early education in Ghana and relocated to the United Kingdom in 1966 after the Ghanaian government was overthrown in a military coup. After receiving a law degree from the University of Bristol, Boateng became a solicitor, focusing on housing, police, and women’s issues.

In 1981 Boateng won election to the Greater London Council. Having been unsuccessful as a Labour Party candidate for the House of Commons in 1983, Boateng was elected to that body in 1987, becoming with Bernie Grant and Diane Abbott one of the first persons of African descent to win a seat in the House of Commons. After the Labour Party won the 1997 general election, he served successively as a junior government minister for health and home affairs and as financial secretary to the Treasury. In May 2002 he became the first black British cabinet secretary when he was appointed chief secretary to the Treasury. He retired from the cabinet and from the House of Commons in 2005. In 2010 Boateng was made a life peer.

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Cecilia A. Conrad :

Cecilia A. Conrad

Cecilia Conrad is CEO of Lever for Change, a new nonprofit affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, created to accelerate large-scale social change around the world. The organization develops and manages customized, open and transparent competitions that connect donors with bold solutions to global challenges,

while strengthening the most highly rated ideas emerging from these competitions and catalyzing big investments through its Bold Solutions Network.

In addition to her role at Lever for Change, Dr. Conrad oversees the MacArthur Fellows and 100&Change, MacArthur’s competition for a $100 million grant to help solve a critical problem of our time. Before joining the Foundation in 2013, Conrad had a distinguished career as both a professor and an administrator at Pomona College in Claremont, CA and is currently Professor of Economics, Emerita at Pomona. She served as Associate Dean of the College (2004-2007), as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College (2009-2012), and as Acting President (Fall 2012). From 2007-2009, she was interim Vice President and Dean of the Faculty at Scripps College.

Dr. Conrad received her B.A. degree from Wellesley College and her Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.

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Robert Peiffer :

Robert Peiffer

Robert is a risk management and project management professional with more than 30 years of experience in the financial services and consulting industries. His background includes senior roles in internal audit, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, operational risk management, and banking operations.

He has extensive global experience, having lived and worked in the US, Europe and Asia, including Washington DC, New York, London, Budapest, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.  He has traveled extensively for business and pleasure.

Robert earned a Bachelors of Science in Business from Miami University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Robert currently serves on the ACET Board of Directors and is the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee.

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Management and Senior Staff

K.Y. Amoako : Founder and President

K.Y. Amoako

Founder and President

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 life 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, where he worked alongside leaders and policymakers in numerous African countries over two decades. In 1992, he became the Bank’s first Director for Education and Social Policy, overseeing the institution's first framework for gender equality in development. In 1995, Amoako joined the United Nations to serve as Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the rank of Under-Secretary-General. Over the next 10 years, Amoako helped transform the ECA into a dynamic force on the world stage by amplifying the African voice and reshaping development partnerships. Under Amoako, the ECA established the influential African Development Forums and spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives such as the African Peer Review Mechanism. After retiring from the UN, Amoako served as a Distinguished African Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC before founding the African Center for Transformation in 2008.
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.
His book, Know the Beginning Well: An Inside Journey Through Five Decades of African Development, was published by Africa World Press in March 2020.
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Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi : Executive Vice President

Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi

Executive Vice President

Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi joins ACET having built a distinguished career over 25 years in international development. Born in Ghana, she is a political economist by training and a private sector development specialist. She previously worked at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), where she led the creation and implementation of DFID’s first private sector development strategies in a number of countries.

More recently, she worked as the Director of Program Policy at Save the Children. In 2016, she joined a newly established NGO, the Power of Nutrition, as its Director of Investments, overseeing rapid growth across a dozen African and Asian countries. She holds an MPhil from the University of Sussex.

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Edward K. Brown : Senior Director, Research & Policy Engagements

Edward K. Brown

Senior Director, Research & Policy Engagements

Dr. Edward K. Brown is a Senior Director, Research & Policy Engagements at ACET. He has more than 35 years’ experience in international development and public policy, half of which were spent at the World Bank. He has worked extensively in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Currently, Ed manages a team of ACET in-house senior policy advisors, researchers and economists, drawing on a worldwide pool of expertise to assist African policymakers respond to specific challenges and opportunities—with the explicit goals of transferring knowledge, building local capabilities and spurring economic growth and transformation.

His main interests are in public policy, economic management (public resources mobilization and expenditure management), natural resource management, including institutional and organizational reforms and development strategies. Ed holds a PhD and MA in Development Economics and Demography from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Daniel Y. Nti : Chief Operating Officer

Daniel Y. Nti

Chief Operating Officer

Daniel Nti is the Chief Operating Officer at ACET. Prior to joining ACET, he was the Director of International Development Office of the Open University (OU) and managed multimillion-pound capacity-building programmes throughout South Asia and across 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Before joining the OU, he was the Managing Director of Arachnea, an international internet consultancy based in the UK with offices in the Middle East and the United States, which delivered integrated web based solutions to large corporates globally. Over the last 20 years he has held senior level positions in the private, public and international development sectors across Europe and Africa. He sits on several boards in the UK and in Africa and is a sought after international speaker on leadership and people motivation.

Daniel has an MBA and a Diploma of Imperial College in Management from Imperial College, London University.

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Roberto J. Tibana : Director of Research

Roberto J. Tibana

Director of Research

Roberto Tibana is an economist with more than 30 years of experience in development, macroeconomics, and public finance management. He joined ACET in July 2020 as an external consultant, and quickly moved into heading some of ACET’s flagship projects, leading to his appointment as ACET Director of Research on March 1, 2021.

Roberto started his professional practice as an economist in 1985, first as a university lecturer and then as a private consultant in agricultural economics and agro-industries. For the last 25 years he has been working in various areas of development and macroeconomics. He has provided technical assistance to national governments in the area of public finance management, including macro-fiscal analysis and forecasting, budget processes, fiscal risks, public expenditure reviews, and assessment of public finance management systems. He has worked both as an individual consultant and as long term expert for multilateral finance and development organizations including the World Bank, IMF, and UNDP, and individual or consortia of bilateral donors. Roberto has extensively traveled and taken up long-term residence in various countries in West, Central and Southern Africa, in some countries holding senior advisory roles to national governments including at the cabinet level.

Roberto holds a D.Phil. in Economics from the University of Oxford (UK), where he also obtained an M.Sc. in Economics for Development. He also holds a Diploma and an M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Reading (UK). His first degree in Economics was from the Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo (Mozambique).

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Rob Floyd : Director, Innovation and Digital Policy

Rob Floyd

Director, Innovation and Digital Policy

Rob is Director for Innovation and Digital Policy at ACET, where he is developing and scaling a new program on innovation and digital.

He served as an ACET Director and Senior Advisor from 2017 to 2021 supporting ACET's efforts to develop strategic partnerships, enhance its profile and deepen the ACET business model. In that role, he led much of ACET’s work on infrastructure and investment, including the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) and ACET’s program on infrastructure project cycles.  At that time, he also launched ACET’s first programs on innovation, technology and digitalization, including the continent’s first artificial intelligence challenge for regional infrastructure, ground-breaking work on industrial innovation and the nexus of innovation and COVID-19.

An economist and journalist by training, Rob joined ACET from the World Bank, where he has returned as a Director. He began his World Bank career in the Africa Region, serving as an economist in the office of the Vice President, and then as public sector specialist for Southern and Eastern Africa. He was Chief of Staff to two World Bank Presidents, James Wolfensohn and Paul Wolfowitz, served as Director of Operations and Strategy for the World Bank Group CFO, and oversaw the Bank's $2 billion annual lending programs to Pakistan and Bangladesh as Country Coordinator, including serving as interim Country Director in Bangladesh in 2009-2010.

From 2010-2015 he was a manager and Director at the World Bank Institute where he oversaw the Bank’s first Innovation Labs. The Labs launched innovation challenges to identify local solutions to local problems, supported an open-aid partnership, geo-enabled World Bank projects, leveraged big-data for development analytics, and promoted social enterprise innovation.

Prior to the World Bank, Mr. Floyd worked for GIC Group, a global consulting firm, and Sandler, Travis and Rosenberg, LLC, a law firm specializing in international trade issues. As a journalist in the early 1990s, he covered agricultural issues from Switzerland, Thailand and Australia.

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John Asafu-Adjaye : Senior Fellow - Economic Management and Governance Program

John Asafu-Adjaye

Senior Fellow - Economic Management and Governance Program

Dr. John Asafu-Adjaye is Senior Fellow at ACET tasked with leading research work under the economic management and governance program. Prior to joining ACET he held a position as an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

John has an extensive track record in research and consultancy on agricultural, environmental and economic development issues in Australia, Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. His areas of expertise include natural resource economics, environmental economics (including climate change economics), agricultural economics, applied econometrics, economic modelling (including CGE modelling), impact analysis and policy analysis.

His previous clients include the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the Danish International Development Agency, the Government of Papua New Guinea, Queensland Treasury, Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the African Economic Research Consortium, ExxonMobil, KPMG Ltd, Nera Consulting and FTI Consulting.

John holds a PhD in natural resource economics from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; an MSc in operations research from the University of Aston, Birmingham, UK and a BSc in agricultural economics from the University of Ghana, Legon.

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Maura K. Leary : Director of Communications

Maura K. Leary

Director of Communications

Maura K. Leary is Director of Communications at ACET. She comes to ACET after ten years at the World Bank, where she has developed impactful communications strategies that address risks and advance key policy positions, with a strong focus on thought leadership, economic progress, and stakeholder engagement.

Beginning in 2019 she was the Senior External Affairs Officer responsible for economic issues in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in 2020 she was Acting Manager for the World Bank’s Africa External Affairs team, implementing a dynamic communications and engagement strategy and leading a team of professionals across the African continent and in Washington, DC. She previously advised the World Bank’s Chief Executive Officer on communications, risk, and engagement, and prior to that she managed strategic communications and outreach on poverty reduction, equity, and inequality as the Communications Lead for the World Bank’s Poverty and Equity Global Practice. She began her career at the World Bank as a partnerships and communications specialist on the Gender and Development team.

Before joining the World Bank in March 2011, she worked at George Washington University and Tufts University managing academic programs in the United States and France for high school, university, graduate, and adult students. Maura is fluent in English and French, she holds a master’s degree in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, and a B.A. in French from Connecticut College.

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Catherine Evans-Totoe : Human Resource Manager

Catherine Evans-Totoe

Human Resource Manager

Catherine Evans-Totoe has been working in the field of human resources as a generalist for over 20 years. She has wide-ranging experience gained from having worked in various sectors including investment and retail banking, contract mining and mining support and a stint in tertiary education.

Catherine joined ACET in 2015 as the Human Resource Manager and is responsible for the management of the organization’s human resources towards the attainment of ACET’s vision and mission. She is primarily responsible for recruitment, performance management, training and development.

She has a BA in Social Sciences from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology in Ghana and the ICSA professional qualification.

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Anna Rosengren : Senior Program Manager

Anna Rosengren

Senior Program Manager

Anna Rosengren is an experienced development professional, who has worked in a wide range of countries across the European and African continents. As the Senior Programs Manager 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.

Anna combines a strong research background with extensive experience in strategy development, organisational reforms, program management, and monitoring and evaluation. Her research has primarily focused on areas of economic transformation, private sector development and agricultural development.

Anna received her Master’s degree in Political Science from Stockholm University, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Development from Gothenburg University.

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Mona Iddrisu : Head, Youth Employment and Skills

Mona Iddrisu

Head, Youth Employment and Skills

Mona is an international development expert and economist with extensive work experience in research and generating evidence-based learning across various sectors relevant to youth, including youth employment and job creation, entrepreneurship, education
and 21st century skills development, youth governance, agriculture and youth in technology.
Mona has a MSc in Development Economics from the University of Manchester and an MPhil in Evidence-based Social Policy from the University of Oxford. She currently works as Head for Youth Employment and Skills at the Africa Center for Economic Transformation (ACET).
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Lawrencia Adams : Senior Consultant, Resource Mobilization

Lawrencia Adams

Senior Consultant, Resource Mobilization

Lawrencia Adams is an independent development practitioner and currently ACET’s resource mobilization consultant. Previously, she was the Program Manager for Strengthening Transparency, Accountability and Responsiveness in Ghana (STAR-Ghana), a civil society and governance program.

Prior to this she was the Team Leader of the Ghana Research and Advocacy Programme (G-rap). She has been the Coordinator/Executive Director of the Pan African Organization for Sustainable Development (POSDEV), a consortium of African development NGOs and civil society organizations (CSOs).

Lawrencia is fluent in English and French and has an excellent working knowledge of Spanish. She holds an Executive MBA in Entrepreneurial Management and BA Honours in French, Spanish, Civilization and Culture from the University of Ghana, and two Diplomas from Université de Lille, Paris, and London School of Translators & Interpreters in Commerce, Economics, Comparative Law.

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Frederica (Freda) Yawson : Senior Manager

Frederica (Freda) Yawson

Senior Manager

Freda Yawson is the Senior Manager for Infrastructure and Innovation at The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), an Accra-based think tank.

She has extensive experience in the area of innovation leading youth programs and workshops that apply the principles of Human-Centered Design, STEM and entrepreneurship to community challenges. These include challenges in health, e-waste and plastic waste recycling, light manufacturing and more.

She is the founder of the Innovate Ghana Design Challenge, a co-founder of the African Health Innovation Center; and a Technical Advisor to the working group for the development of the Ghana Startup Bill. She’s has led policy workshops with over 500 entrepreneurs through the Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy).

She received her Masters in International Affairs from SIPA at Columbia University, and her BSc.E in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

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Policy and Research Analysts

Richmond Commodore : Research Analyst

Richmond Commodore

Research Analyst

Richmond Commodore currently works as a Research and Policy Analyst at the ACET. In this role, he has managed and supported multiple projects in the areas of public finance, organizational restructuring, financial inclusion, migration, development finance and trade across over six African countries.

He has extensive experience in economic data analysis, political economy analysis, impact assessments, project management, design and administration. 

As part of his role in ACET, Richmond serves as the program manager of the 4-year FCDO funded project dubbed, Strengthening the Use of Evidence for Development Impact (SEDI) in Ghana. He holds a BSc. in Economics and an MPhil in Economics from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He also has a certificate in New Structural Economics from the Peking University, Beijing China and was previously a Southern Voices Network Scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C.  

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George Boateng : Research Analyst

George Boateng

Research Analyst

George Boateng holds a Master of Science Degree in Rural Development and Management (International Development Studies) from the China Agricultural University (CAU) in Beijing, China.

He holds a bachelor's Degree in Agriculture from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana. He also holds a certificate in Climate Change from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and a certificate in New Structural Economics from the Peking University, Beijing China. He was previously a Southern Voices Network Scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington D.C. His career spans both public and private sectors.

Currently, he is a Research Analyst for the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), a pan African economic policy Think Tank working in the fields of Development Microeconomics: Agriculture, Food Security, Trade, and Production Economics in Africa. Prior to ACET, he worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in the fields of Agricultural Extension and Agroindustry Development, and with Barclays Bank of Ghana in the field of Business Development.

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Distinguished Fellows

Tutu Agyare : Distinguished Fellow

Tutu Agyare

Distinguished Fellow

Tutu Agyare is 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.

Previously, he had a 21-year career with UBS Investment Bank holding a number of senior positions, most recently as the Head of European Emerging Markets and as a member of the Investment Bank Board.

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.

Tutu 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, known for his views, experiences and knowledge of the continent.

He travels extensively across Africa advising corporates on business strategy and governments on policy, while also looking for investment ideas for his international relationships and to execute.

Tutu is a Founder and Director of the Nubuke Foundation, Ghana’s premier private arts foundation, and was 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 the University of Ghana, Legon.

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Florizelle Liser : Distinguished Fellow

Florizelle Liser

Distinguished Fellow

Florizelle (Florie) Liser is the third President and CEO of Corporate Council on Africa (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.

Ms. Liser joined CCA from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she was the Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa since 2003. At USTR, she led trade and investment policy towards 49 sub-Saharan African nations and oversaw implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

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.

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Antoinette Monsio Sayeh : Distinguished Fellow

Antoinette Monsio Sayeh

Distinguished Fellow

Antoinette Monsio Sayeh is currently the Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She has been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) since November 2016 and was Co-Chair for the recently concluded 19th Replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA19), the World Bank’s Fund for the poorest. 

She previously oversaw and significantly enhanced the International Monetary Fund’s engagement with its sub-Saharan African members as Director of the African Department between July 2008 and August 2016. As Minister of Finance in post-conflict Liberia (January 2006 through June 2008), she led the country through the clearance of its long-standing multilateral debt arrears, the HIPC Decision Point, the Paris Club, and its first Poverty Reduction Strategy, significantly strengthening its public finances and championing public financial management reform. Before joining President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet, Ms. Sayeh worked for the World Bank for 17 years, including as Country Director for Benin, Niger, and Togo; Senior Country Economist for Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as an Advisor in the Bank’s Operations Policy Vice Presidency and as Assistant to its principal Managing Director. Before joining the Bank, Ms. Sayeh worked in economic advisory positions in Liberia’s Ministries of Finance and Planning. Ms. Sayeh graduated with 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.  While at CGD, Ms. Sayeh has also served on the Board of Managers of Swarthmore College; Board of Directors of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development; and Board of Directors of Emerging Public Leaders.
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Jean-Louis Sarbib : Distinguished Fellow

Jean-Louis Sarbib

Distinguished Fellow

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 was an advisor to James Wolfensohn, the former President of the World Bank.

From 1980 to 2006, Mr. Sarbib was at the World Bank where he occupied a number of senior positions. From 1996 to 2000, Mr. Sarbib was the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa and from 2000 to 2003, the Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). His last position (2003 – 2006) was as Senior Vice President for human development, with global responsibilities for the World Bank activities in education, health, social protection, and HIV/AIDS.

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.

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Senior Fellows

Sajitha Bashir : Senior Fellow

Sajitha Bashir

Senior Fellow

Sajitha Bashir is former adviser for the Global Director of the Education Practice in the World Bank and former education practice manager for over 20 countries in Africa, responsible for policy dialogue and management of a large portfolio of projects. She led the work on digital skills as part of the Digital Economy initiatives of the World Bank.

She also pioneered the World Bank’s support for science and technology in Africa, including financing of the Africa Centres of Excellence regional project, creating the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, and establishing the first pan-African science fund, the PASET Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund.

She is the co-author of The Converging Technology Revolution and Human Capital – Potential and Implications for South Asia and of Facing Forward: Schooling for Learning in Africa, and of numerous other publications. She has worked on the human development sectors in Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East.

Prior to joining the World Bank, she headed the national research and evaluation unit of the Government of India’s primary education program. She holds a B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D in economics from the London School of Economics.

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Fayez S. Omar : Senior Fellow

Fayez S. Omar

Senior Fellow

Fayez S. Omar is an economist with over thirty years of experience in economic development. He currently serves as Vice President of an engineering company in the UAE (PMDC), where he has overseen the management of some of the Gulf Region’s recent flagship projects,

including Mubarak Al Kabir port in Kuwait, Abu Dahbi’s International Airport land-side master plan, and Fujairah International Airport expansion.

Previously, he served as Country Director at the World  Bank covering Ethiopia, Southern Africa region, and India. Earlier at the Bank, he served as a member of the core team of the World Development Report on two occasions. Prior to joining the World Bank, Fayez was a professorial lecturer in Economics at Georgetown University.

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Robin McLay : Senior Fellow

Robin McLay

Senior Fellow

Robin currently serves as the Regional Director of Fulbright West and Senior Advisor to the President and CEO of Fulbright, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious scholarship and research granting organizations with more than 160 offices in in 52 countries.

Prior to Robin’s current roles, he was leading the Province of British Columbia's work on social Innovation as its Executive Director of Social Innovation.  Prior to that role, he served as the Head of Research and Strategy at The MasterCard Foundation. Before joining the MasterCard Foundation, Robin was the Executive Director of McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development. He also worked for more than a decade at Canada's International Development Agency (Global Affairs Canada) as its Director of Research and Director of Democratic Institutions and Conflict. Before his work at CIDA, he served as the Executive Director of Harvard University’s Native American Program and is a research associate with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

Robin pursued his Masters in public administration at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Fulbright Scholar and as a Government of Canada Science Policy Scholar. He also holds a Master of Science from the London School of Economics where he graduated with Distinction. Robin earned his undergraduate degree in IR from McGill University where he graduated at the top his class with High Distinction and as a McGill University Scholar.

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Rogier van den Brink : Senior Fellow

Rogier van den Brink

Senior Fellow

Rogier van den Brink is an experienced economist with a demonstrated history of successfully conducting policy dialogue with senior policy makers in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has strong professional skills in macroeconomics, international economics, agriculture, land reform and rural development.

Rogier worked at the World Bank for more than 27 years, including as Deputy Resident Representative in Zimbabwe. He also served as Advisor to the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Affairs of the Government of South Africa on land reform. His most recent assignment was as Lead Economist for EU member states.
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Cezley Sampson : Senior Fellow

Cezley Sampson

Senior Fellow

Dr. Sampson is an Infrastructure Economist specialising in Power and Transport, with over 30 years of experience advising governments, public utilities, international development agencies, such as the World Bank, DFID, USAID, AFDB, COMSEC, CIDA and IADB.

He worked for 20 years with Alcan Canada subsidiaries in Jamaica and left in 1987 as Chairman and President of Alcan’s commercial operations in Kingston: Alcan Products of Jamaica Limited and Sprostons Jamaica Ltd. He has served as chairman of several SOEs in Jamaica and as Special Advisor and Chief Technical Director to Most Hon. P. J. Patterson, Prime Minister pf Jamaica. He has also served as team leader on several international consultancy projects. His career spans the public sector, academia, international consulting and private sector management and entrepreneurship.

He has advised on electricity and energy sector general policy and industry reform, energy sector market structures and trading arrangements, privatisation, PPP, energy implementation strategy, energy sector institutional regulatory and legal frameworks, energy efficiency and renewable programme, rural electricity policies, energy tariff structures and advising on Energy Funds.  He has had extensive experience in transport operations and management and on advising on transport sector reform, transport master plans, transport privatisation, PPP, and regulation, with over 40 years of experience in advising governments, international development agencies and public utilities. In particular, he has had practical experience in managing bus airports and railway operations.

He was Special Adviser on Energy to the Government of Jamaica on the early years of energy reform (1990-1995) where he was involved in two of the first IPPs to come on the market in a developing country. He served as Resident Privatisation and Regulatory Advisor to the Government of Tanzania (seconded from the UK DFID 1998 -2001) and as Resident PPP Advisor to the Government of Malawi (contacted to the World Bank, 2010). He was a Resident Advisor to BPE in Nigeria on the Nigerian electricity privatisation (2007-2014). He has worked as consultant to Adam Smith Institute, Oxford Policy Management Ltd and CPCS Ltd. He is currently a Senior Consultant to London Economics Ltd.

Dr Sampson worked as a consultant for the Commonwealth Secretariat in developing and implementing training and capacity building programs on infrastructure reforms and on regulation and was engaged by the World Bank as a resource person in the establishment of PPIAF and the Africa Regulatory Forum.  He was Executive Director of the Mona Business School, University of the West Indies from 1991-1998, where he was responsible for establishing the business school and where he lectured on public enterprise, entrepreneurship and utilities and financial market regulation.

He holds a MSc., in Marketing from the University of Lancaster, England, and a PhD in Public Utilities Economics from the University of the West Indies. He is the author of ‘End of Monopoly: Competition in Electric Utility Markets- Comparative Studies, with Pablo Spiller  ‘Telecommunications Regulation in Jamaica”, in Regulations, Institutions and Commitments: Comparative Studies in Telecommunication, eds., Brian Levy and Pablo Spiller, Cambridge University Press has been recognized as of seminal contribution significantly shaping the World Bank’s utilities regulatory policies in  the mid-1990s and with Veront Satchel, ‘Rise  & Fall of Railways in Jamaica 1845-1975’, Journal of Transport History. He was awarded Commander of the Order of Distinction (CD) by the Jamaica Government in 2006 for outstanding services to public management. He has practical experience in consulting in Jamaica, UK, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Jordan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, and India.

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Deepak Adhikary : Senior Fellow

Deepak Adhikary

Senior Fellow

Deepak Adhikary is the CEO and Principal Consultant of Frontline Development Solutions LLC, a development consulting company that focuses on Program Design, Evaluation, Team Effectiveness, and Learning Architect.

Deepak, a Nepali citizen, has more than 35 years of development experience with various international organizations like the International Finance Corporation (IFC), The World Bank, German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GIZ), Swisscontact/SDC, International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) etc. in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, besides teaching as guest faculty in many universities. Deepak retired from the World Bank in 2019.

Deepak is concentrating on building private sector solutions for technical/thematic challenges focused on business-specific issues related to identifying strategic priorities and how teams design solutions for, engage with, and deliver to clients. His work is primarily on Energy, Global Value Chains, SME Development, Entrepreneurship, Agribusiness, Trade, and Light Manufacturing through Program Design, Program Evaluation, Learning Architect, and Sector-Specific Project Management.

He is also one of the developers of the world-class CEFE (Competency-based Economies via Formation of Entrepreneurs) training method, now applied in more than 50 countries by the GIZ. Deepak has worked with Nepal, South Africa, and the Malawi government as an Economic/Technical Advisor. He also ran a consulting company focusing on growth enterprises. Deepak brings in more than 20 years of hard-core project implementation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and with 15 years of cross-cutting thematic global experience in the HQ. At the moment, Deepak is concentrating on finding private sector solutions in the development challenges of East and West Africa.

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Hasan Tuluy : Senior Fellow

Hasan Tuluy

Senior Fellow

Hasan Tuluy is an economist with over 30 years' experience in economic and social development across Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, specializing in strategy, macro-economic and trade policy, and rural development.

He currently is an associate with the Centennial Group International, where he advised with the African Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Government of Niger. He has also consulted for the World Bank Group on refugees and displaced persons, the Libya engagement program, and organizational design issues.

In addition, Hasan serves on the Board for Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF), which helps civil society organizations improve governance, transparency and reduce corruption in developing countries. Formerly, Hasan was the Chair of the Board for IREX, an international NGO to promote prosperity through youth and potential leaders, stronger institutions, and access to education.

From 1987 until his retirement in 2014, Hasan held various corporate and operational positions at the World Bank including Senior Advisor to the Managing Director, Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Vice President for Human Resources, Chief Operating Officer for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and Director of Corporate Strategy. He also served as Director of Strategy and Operations for the Middle East and North Africa region of the World Bank, and as Country Director in West Africa.

He began his career with a private economic consulting firm in Boston, with a focus on trade and price policy in Africa.

Hasan holds a PhD in Development Economics from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

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Klaus Tilmes : Senior Fellow

Klaus Tilmes

Senior Fellow

Klaus Tilmes is a Senior Policy Advisor with over 30 years’ experience in economic and social development issues, specializing in trade and competitiveness, technology and innovation, and organizational effectiveness. 

Klaus most recently worked with the office of the World Bank President to develop the institution’s strategy on emerging technologies and scaling adoption through financial assistance, policy advice, and partnerships. He also advises on the United Nations’ Science Technology and Innovation (STI) program and government agencies in Africa and across the globe. In addition, Klaus serves as member of the Sustainability Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Previously, Klaus served as Director of the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice at the World Bank, overseeing regional operations in Africa and the Middle East and global teams for Trade and Competition Policy as well as Innovation and Entrepreneurship. During his career at the World Bank, Klaus held various operational and corporate positions, including Director of Strategy and Operations in the Finance and Private Sector Development Network; Knowledge Strategy Adviser to the Managing Director; Manager at the Independent Evaluation Group; and Senior Country Economist. He holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of Mannheim.

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Tsidi M. Tsikata : Senior Fellow

Tsidi M. Tsikata

Senior Fellow

Tsidi Tsikata has over 35 years’ experience in formulating and implementing macroeconomic policies and providing advice on economic and development policy issues. He is a former Division Chief at the International Monetary Fund (IMF),

with wide ranging experience in all the main areas of IMF operations—surveillance, programs, and capacity development. Prior to the IMF, Tsidi worked at the Bank of Botswana and the Ghana Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

During a 27-year career at the IMF (1990-2017), Tsidi contributed to the work of the African, European 2, Policy Development and Review (PDR), and Statistics Departments, and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). His surveillance and program experience included stints as Mission Chief (Zambia, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, and The Gambia), Resident Representative (Tanzania), and senior desk economist (Georgia). In the area of capacity development, Tsidi provided technical assistance in the field of money and banking statistics to Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Yemen, and served as the Coordinator for all IMF technical assistance to countries in the African Department.

Tsidi contributed to major reviews of IMF Policies and Facilities, including review of IMF-supported programs in Indonesia, Korea and Thailand during the 1997/98 Asian crisis (PDR), review of programs supported under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (PDR), evaluation of Prolonged Use of IMF Resources (IEO), and evaluation of The IMF’s Role in Poverty Reduction Papers and the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (IEO).

At the Bank of Botswana where Tsidi was a Principal Officer in the Research Department, he was responsible for analyses of real sector developments and for monetary and exchange rate policies. In the Ghana Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning where he rose to Senior Economic Planning Officer, he undertook studies on the international competitiveness of various industries and sectors, evaluated policy options in the lead up to the 1983 Economic Recovery Program, and participated in negotiations with the IMF, World Bank and African Development Bank.

Tsidi holds an M.A. (Economics) degree from Vanderbilt University, and a B.A. (Economics with Mathematics) degree from the University of Ghana, Legon.

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Kapil Kapoor : Senior Fellow

Kapil Kapoor

Senior Fellow

Kapil Kapoor is the immediate past Director General, Southern Africa, at the African Development Bank Group. In this capacity, he provided leadership to a team of about 150 staff and an active portfolio of about 200 projects and programs across 13 countries in Southern Africa, valued in excess of US$12 billion.

Immediately prior to this position, he was the Director for Strategy and Operational Policies at the Bank. In this capacity, he led the preparation of the Bank’s Long Term Strategy; its Private Sector Development Strategy and, more recently, the “High5” strategies for agricultural transformation and “Jobs for Youth”. He has played a central role in developing and implementing several key policy initiatives that the Bank has
implemented in recent years such as the establishment of the multi-billion dollar Africa50 Fund to scale up infrastructure finance in Africa and the diversification of the Bank’s Credit Policy to provide eligible African Development Fund (ADF) countries access to resources from the ADB window.

Dr. Kapoor has an established track record of effectively engaging Governments in high level policy dialogue, catalyzing policy change in a variety of difficult economic and political settings and supporting development initiatives through innovative project finance. As a manager and development economist with the World Bank for over twenty years, he managed an annual portfolio of projects in excess of $1 billion. He has led numerous development initiatives in diverse country settings, ranging from fragile states like Afghanistan and Somalia, to small island economies like Mauritius and Sri Lanka, to large and fast growing economies like Bangladesh and India. Prior to joining the African Development Bank Group in 2012, he held a series of senior positions with the World Bank Group, the most recent of which included the World Bank’s Representative for Uganda and Zambia and the World Bank’s Sector Manager for its poverty reduction, economic management and governance program in Asia.

Dr. Kapoor is a member of the Executive Board of the Kukuza Project Development Company as well as the Brazil-Africa Institute.
He holds a PhD degree in Economics and an MBA degree in Finance.

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Paul Isenman : Senior Fellow

Paul Isenman

Senior Fellow

Paul Isenman is a development consultant specializing in human development and development effectiveness. He draws on extensive experience in economic policy, research and country operations, including as a senior manager at the OECD, the World Bank (with 10 years on Africa) and USAID.

Aloysius Ordu : Senior Fellow

Aloysius Ordu

Senior Fellow

Aloysius Uche Ordu brings over three decades of private sector and international development experience. He is currently the CEO of Omapu Associates LLC, a boutique advisory services and fundraising firm. He is lead advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded independent think-tank, the ADF Policy Innovation Lab.

Aloysius is an advisor to a number of entities operating in Africa, including the World Bank, the Trade & Development Bank of Eastern & Southern Africa and one2five advisory, a sovereign financial services firm. He also serves on the Washington DC-based Board of Directors of the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF).

Aloysius was previously Vice President for Operations at the AfDB, accountable for 14 Departments, including Regional Programs, Operations Policies, Quality Assurance, Fiduciary Oversight and Resource Mobilization & Partnerships. Prior to joining the AfDB, Aloysius worked at the World Bank for 22 years where he served in various leadership and managerial capacities. Prior to the World Bank, Aloysius worked in the UK at the Midland Bank Group Economics Department on the Debt Sustainability of African countries. He also worked at The Economist Intelligence Unit in London and taught Economics at the University of Sussex.

Aloysius holds a PhD in Economics (University of Sussex), M.Sc. Quantitative Economics (Bristol University), and B.Sc. Economics & Law (University of Wales), UK.

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Chux Daniels : Senior Fellow

Chux Daniels

Senior Fellow

Chux Daniels is a Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy researcher and expert, an international development specialist and STI policy consultant. He is based at the prestigious Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, where he is a Research Fellow in STI policy.

Chux is also an Extraordinary Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Technology Management (GSTM), Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Chux is highly skilled in connecting research to public policy. To this end, he has delivered research, public policy and consultancy projects for organisations that include the United Nations (UNCTAD and ESCAP), World Bank, African Union and various national governments in Africa and across the globe, and for businesses that include GSMA, KPMG, Fujitsu Services and MaceGroup.

His academic qualifications include a PhD in Science and Technology Policy Studies from SPRU at the University of Sussex, an MBA, a Postgraduate Executive Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership, an MSc in Business Information Systems and Management and a Bachelors in Agriculture.

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Yaw Ansu : Chief Economist Emeritus

Yaw Ansu

Chief Economist Emeritus

Dr. Yaw Ansu is Chief Economist Emeritus at ACET. He is the principal author of ACET’s 2017 African Transformation Report, Agriculture Powering Africa’s Economic Transformation, and the maiden 2014 report, Growth with Depth.

Prior to joining ACET, Yaw 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, and Regional Sector Director for Human Development for Africa. He led several World Bank teams in helping countries formulate and implement economic growth, transformation and export diversification strategies and to respond to macroeconomic crises. As Regional Sector Director, he led over 150 staff to deliver World Bank programs in education, health, population, nutrition and social protection.

Yaw holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University, and an M.S. and a PhD in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University.

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Elizabeth Asiedu : Senior Fellow

Elizabeth Asiedu

Senior Fellow

Elizabeth Asiedu is a Professor of Economics at the University of Kansas and the President and Founder of the Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists (AAAWE).

Professor Asiedu’s research focuses on issues relating to gender, foreign direct investment and foreign aid and her work has gained international and national prominence and have been published in leading scholarly journals.

Professor Asiedu is the recipient of several teaching, mentoring and research awards including Woman of Distinction award and the Emerging Scholars award.  She holds a Ph.D. in Economics, M.S. in Economics, and M.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a B.S. (Hons) in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Ghana, Legon.

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Sanjeev Gupta : Senior Fellow

Sanjeev Gupta

Senior Fellow

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.

Prior to joining the IMF, he was a fellow of the Kiel Institute of World Economics, Germany; Professor in the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad; and Secretary of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Mr. Gupta has authored/coauthored over 150 papers, many of which are published in well-known academic journals, and authored/coauthored/coedited thirteen books; the most recent ones, all published by the IMF, are "The Economics of Public Health Care Reform in Advanced and Emerging Economies," 2012; "Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications," 2013; “Equitable and Sustainable Pensions: Challenges and Experiences,” 2014; “Fiscal Policy and Inequality”, September 2015; “Fiscal Politics”, April 2017; and “Digital Revolutions in Public Finance”, November 2017. Mr. Gupta’s publications can be assessed at www.sanjeevgupta.net
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Helen Jane Slater : Senior Fellow

Helen Jane Slater

Senior Fellow

Helen Jane Slater is an experienced economist and policy advisor with a passion for education. She is a visiting Senior Fellow at ACET. She previously worked as a Deputy Director and Senior Policy Advisor for the UK Department for Education (DfE).

As a Senior Economist for HM Treasury (the UK's Ministry of Finance), Helen advised ministers on labour market and welfare policies and was the lead advisor to the Minister for Finance on the UK's National Minimum Wage. Prior to becoming Senior Economist for HM Treasury, she also served as an Assistant Economist and then Economic Advisor in the same institution.

Helen is a proud alumnus of both Bristol University and Oxford University where she gained an MPhil in Economics.

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Richard Carey : Senior Fellow

Richard Carey

Senior Fellow

Richard Carey 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. 

He was part of the core effort to develop the international development targets concept and helped facilitate its translation into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He has been a member of the World Economic Forum Agenda Council for Fragile States, the Development Evaluation Committee of CIDA and the IDS (Sussex) Advisory Group on Rising Powers in Development. He was the founding co-Chair of the China-DAC Study Group in 2009 and currently chairs the International Advisory Committee of the China International Development Research Network (CIRDN).
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Yaw Nyarko : Senior Fellow

Yaw Nyarko

Senior Fellow

Yaw Nyarko 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.

He has worked on models of human capital as engines of economic growth, as well as the Brain Drain and skills acquisition in the growth process, and is currently engaged in research on Technology and Economic Development. He is the former Chair of the Econometric Society Africa Regional Standing Committee and has served as a consultant to many organizations including the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Social Science Research Council.

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.

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Transformation Fellows

Habtamu Tesfaye Edjigu : STEG Fellow

Habtamu Tesfaye Edjigu

STEG Fellow

Habtamu Edjigu is an economist, currently working at the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) as a Fellow under the Structural Transformation & Economic Growth (STEG) programme which is coordinated by the Centre for Economic Policy Research and funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

Habtamu’s research experience and areas of professional interest include trade, market integration and firm dynamics. He is also an impact evaluation expert and has been actively engaged in designing experimental and quasi-experimental studies. Before joining ACET, Habtamu has been working at the World Bank as a Young African Fellow and consultant. In the World Bank, he has participated in several projects such as Industrialization for Jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa, Market Integration in the Horn of Africa, Challenges and Promises of the AfCFTA, and Economic Diversification in the Central African Republic. Habtamu has also been teaching trade and development courses in various universities, including the University of Haramaya, Ethiopia, the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Habtamu holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Adelaide, Australia, an MSc in economics from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark and BA in economics from Haramaya University, Ethiopia.

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Mohamed Traoré : Transformation Fellow

Mohamed Traoré

Transformation Fellow

Mohamed Traoré is an Economist, currently working at African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) as Transformation Fellow.

Traoré’s research experience and areas of professional interest include fiscal policy, industrial development policy, inclusive growth, and domestic resource mobilization in developing countries. Prior to joining ACET, Traoré worked on several development projects for several institutions including African Development Bank, Commission of WAEMU, International Monetary Fund as well as national institutions including the Center for Economic Policy Analysis (CAPEC). He also worked as a Lecturer at CERDI in the University Clermont Auvergne in France.

Mohamed holds a Ph.D. and MSc in Public Finances, International Development, and Econometrics from CERDI. He also holds an MSc in Applied Macroeconomics and International Economics from the University of Felix Houphouët Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

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Adiel Mbabu : Expert

Adiel Mbabu


Dr. Adiel Mbabu is currently serving as a development consultant with CAPDEV Consultants Limited.  He previously served as the Regional Director for the International Potato Center (CIP) in sub-Saharan Africa. In this position, he provided programmatic oversight for research and development portfolio;

provided leadership in regional operational systems; and played a representational role for CIP in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Dr. Mbabu previously served as Manager for Reaching Agents of Change (RAC), a project co-hosted by CIP and Helen Keller International (HKI).  The RAC project advocated for supportive policies and new investments by governments, donors and NGOs to scale-up adoption of Orange-Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) in selected countries. RAC also built capacity of implementing agencies to design and implement technically strong and cost-effective interventions to drive OFSP uptake.  Countries of focus included Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, and to a lesser extent Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Before joining CIP, he served as Senior Adviser – Agriculture Development (AusAID) and as Technical Director, Agricultural Research and Development Support Facility in Papua New Guinea (PNG).  As Technical Director, Dr. Mbabu was engaged in supporting selected national agricultural research organizations to develop and implement results-based strategic plans, translating these plans into impact-oriented programs and projects and to build human and organizational capacity to deliver on the emerging portfolio. Under his role as Senior Adviser-Agriculture Development, he provided advice to AusAID, PNG Post and PNG government on potential areas of investment to meet national development objectives.

Dr. Mbabu also served as Senior Research Fellow for Organization and Management of Agricultural Research Program with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), ISNAR Division; Technical Officer, Program Planning at the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA); as Planning, Management and Evaluation Adviser/interim Assistant Director - Socio-economics & Biometrics division, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI); as Research Fellow at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR); and as Resident Scientist for the Small Ruminant Collaborative Research Support Programme (SR-CRSP), sociology project (Kenya site), on behalf of the University of Missouri-Columbia, in collaboration with the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.

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Dan Preston : Expert

Dan Preston


Dan Preston is a Clinical Associate Professor at the highly-regarded O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University where he is acutely focused on finance as a catalyst for development, comparative policy analysis, international relations, and teaching pedagogy.  Dan is widely known as an international development finance expert.

In addition to ACET, Dan maintains high-level advisory relationships and consulting engagements with the OECD, World Economic Forum and Center for Global Development.  He has developed a global reputation as a thought leader in blended finance co-authoring the seminal book Making Blended Finance Work for the Sustainable Development Goals, serving as a working group member for the think tank report Payouts for Perils: How Insurance Can Radically Improve Emergency Aid, and providing innovative solutions exemplified in an op-ed he wrote titled The Potential for an SDG Mobilization Conduit.

Dan has been recognized as an elite instructor by senior faculty members, administrators and students alike.  He teaches courses covering topics ranging from public policy and international affairs to finance and economic development in addition to study abroad courses in Cuba, England and the Balkans.  He has held many faculty leadership roles including Chair of the honors program review, Deputy Director for Global Initiatives, and member of the Provost’s strategic planning committee.  Dan focuses his volunteer efforts serving as treasurer and member of the Board of Directors of the Creative Action Institute.

Prior to his faculty appointment, Dan worked in the private sector where he held investment banking positions with Citigroup in the United States and France specializing in economic advisory, debt management, and capital raising for sovereign governments in Europe, Africa and Asia and securitization programs for corporations primarily in Latin America, the Caribbean and Japan.  Earlier, he worked as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Information Resources on a range of strategic issues for Fortune 500 companies, technology start-ups, and the U.S. Defense Department.  His professional and personal experiences have spanned 70 countries and territories.  Dan earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

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Julius Gatune Kariuki : Expert

Julius Gatune Kariuki


Dr. Julius Gatune Kariuki researches and advises governments across Africa on issues of economic transformation. His areas of focus include extractive resources, agriculture, institutional review and development.

He was part of the team that wrote the recently launched African Transformation Report on agriculture. He also recently led a five-country study of 20 agricultural value chains across Africa. The study aimed to improve understanding of policies that can catalyze the emergence of upgraded agricultural value chains that can drive rural transformation.

Julius also has expertise in Futures Modelling and Long Term Planning. He was part of a global scanning exercise led by the Rockefeller Foundation to map the future of poverty and led the West Africa and North Africa aspects of the exercise. Julius worked with ACET as a Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor. Prior to this he worked as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co at South Africa office, based in Johannesburg.

Julius has a Ph.D in Policy Analysis from the Pardee RAND Graduate School, Santa Monica California and Masters in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, UK. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and an MBA from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

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Eugenia Kayitesi : Expert

Eugenia Kayitesi


Eugenia Kayitesi 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 has worked with public, private and civil society organizations with focus on capacity building, organizational development, policy analysis and research.

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.

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Aliyu Ahmed-Hameed : Expert

Aliyu Ahmed-Hameed


Aliyu Ahmed-Hameed 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.

He has also worked in multi-jurisdictional environments that include; think tanks, government, non-government and private sector organizations in several countries. His areas of specialization and experience include; public policy, intergovernmental relations, international development, strategic conflict management, natural resource governance, strategic management and organizational effectiveness.

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Alhassan Atta-Quayson : Expert

Alhassan Atta-Quayson


Alhassan Atta-Quayson 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.

He is a Lecturer at the Economics Education Department, University of Education, Winneba and a Member of Ghana-based National Coalition on Mining (NCOM).
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Mavis MacCarthy : Expert

Mavis MacCarthy


Mavis MacCarthy 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.

She has provided technical support to a number of donor agencies in designing and implementing programs to strengthen market functions and value chains, enterprise development and innovation, and multi-stakeholder partnerships - World Bank; IFC; DFID; DANIDA; GIZ etc. She has undertaken and been part of numerous programs and project reviews. She has also worked extensively with the Government of Ghana and the major donors in aid management and coordination.

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.

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Ezra Francis Munyambonera : Expert

Ezra Francis Munyambonera


Ezra Francis Munyambonera 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 extensively researched and published papers in accredited international journals as well as in EPRC working paper series in areas of financial sector, banking sector, agricultural financing, financing infrastructural development in Uganda, external development finance, and inter-governmental fiscal transfers in 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.

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Marysue K. Shore : Expert

Marysue K. Shore


Marysue K. Shore 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.

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Bayo Oyewole : Expert

Bayo Oyewole


Bayo Oyewole is an international development finance specialist with extensive experience in sourcing financing for and implementing growth-enabling public private partnership infrastructure projects in developing countries around the world.

Bayo worked at the World Bank Group for over 33 years, most recently as a Lead Specialist in the World Bank’s Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF), a global collaboration platform established to meet the infrastructure needs of emerging markets and developing economies by structuring quality infrastructure projects and programs and mobilizing commercial finance to support them.

Prior to the GIF, Bayo worked in the International Finance Corporation (IFC) for over 15 years; as Lead Specialist in IFC’s Public Private Partnerships Department, he advised African governments on structuring infrastructure PPPs, including in the health and education sectors. Prior to that he led a team that managed IFC’s trust funds and the Corporation’s relationship with the international donor community.

Bayo began his career in the World Bank Group as an advisor, then senior advisor in the office of the Executive Director at the World Bank where he represented the interests of 22 African countries on the Board of the World Bank Group.

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Anthony E. Paul : Expert

Anthony E. Paul


Anthony E. Paul 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.

As a consultant, he provides strategy, business development and implementation support through critical analysis of the inter-related policy, regulatory and technical and commercial facets of the industries. His recent interventions have focused on customising existing industry practice to mechanisms for implementing oversight and reporting by policy makers, regulators and civil society. He has drawn on Trinidad &Tobago's long and varied experiences, both good and bad, in using an integrated approach for capacity building, value addition and retention and governance.

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.

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