University of Manitoba
University of Ghana
University of Western Ontario
Born in Ghana, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Ghana, and then came to Western where he received an Master of Arts in Economics. He went on to receive his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Manitoba in 1981.
George Ayittey, a native of Ghana, is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute, former Distinguished Economist in Residence in the Department of Economics at American University and President of the Free Africa Foundation. He has served as Associate Professor at Bloomsburg University, Assistant Professor at Wayne State College, Assistant Professor at University of Ghana, Distinguished African Scholar in the African Studies Department at the University of Delaware, President's Visiting Scholar at California State University at Chico, Fellow in the Business in Africa Research Group at the University of Bradford, Marvin Wachman Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, Bradley Scholar at the Heritage Foundation, National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Visiting Scholar in the Center For Study of Public Choice at George Mason University.
Dr. Ayittey is the author of the books, "Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Development", "Africa in Chaos, The Blueprint for Ghana’s Economic Recovery", "Africa Betrayed, Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyrants in Africa and Around the World", and "Indigenous African Institutions." "Africa Betrayed" won the H.L. Mencken Award: “Best Book for 1992,” and in 2009, he was selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the “The World’s Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
A contributor to numerous scholarly volumes, as well as The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, he has served as Contributing Editor to the Journal of Defense and Diplomacy and has consulted on various economic policy issues with the World Bank, U.S. A.I.D., U.N.D.P. and other international organizations. He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including NPR, BBC, Radio Canada, CNN, NBC, CTV (Canadian), among others. He has further testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, House Africa Sub-Committee, and Standing Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate of Canada.
Dr. Ayittey is the recipient of the Canadian International Development Agency Award, University of Ghana Award, and the Mellon Faculty Research Award from American University. He was nominated for The Africa Prize for Leadership by The Times of London, invited to the White House by Presidents George H.W. Bush, William Clinton, and George W. Bush, and invited to the G-8 Summit in 2005 by the German Marshal Fund. He lives in Lorton, Virginia.
Ayittey believes there are three keys to successfully rescuing Africa from oppressive despotism. First, he advocates forming coalitions consisting of small groups of "elders" who have no political ties and monitor the activities of the various opposition groups. Ayittey explains "They must be able to reach out to all the opposition groups." "The council should bring all of the opposition into an alliance ", which would prevent dictators from overpowering severely divided competition. Second, nations have to gain control of the civil service, security forces, judiciary, election centers, and national bank. Ayittey sees control of at least one of these resources as central to subverting dictatorial power in African countries. These organizations are currently staffed by cronies of dictators throughout Africa. Third, and finally, a nation has to use the correct sequence of reforms.
George has championed the argument that "Africa is poor because she is not free", that the primary cause of African poverty is less a result of the oppression and mismanagement by colonial powers, but rather a result of modern oppressive native autocrats and socialist central planning policies. He also goes beyond criticism of the status quo to advocate for specific ways to address the abuses of the past and present.