George Ayittey (born 1945) is a Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC. He is a professor at American University, and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
|Born||1945 (age 72–73)|
University of Manitoba|
University of Western Ontario
University of Ghana
He 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; specifically he calls for democratic government, debt reexamination, modernized infrastructure, free market economics, and free trade to promote development.
Ayittey holds a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ghana, Legon, an M.A. from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba. He has taught at Wayne State College and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He held a National Fellowship at the Hoover Institution in 1988–89, and then joined The Heritage Foundation as a Bradley Resident Scholar. He founded The Free Africa Foundation in 1993, to serve as a catalyst for reform in Africa. In 2008, Dr. Ayittey was listed by Foreign Policy as one of the "Top 100 Public Intellectuals" who "are shaping the tenor of our time". 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.
- Indigenous African Institutions, Transnational Publishers, 1991; 2nd ed., 2004
- The Blueprint for Ghana's Economic Recovery, Africana Publishers, 1997
- Africa Betrayed, St. Martin’s Press, 1992
- Africa in Chaos, St. Martin’s Press, 1998.
- Africa Unchained: the blueprint for development, Palgrave/MacMillan, 2004
- Defeating Dictators: Fighting Tyrants in Africa and Around the World published September 2011.
- Faculty page at American University
- Bio at Foreign Policy Research Institute Archived 2010-04-07 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Africa’s crisis is of modern socialist making and stems from the misrule, mismanagement and corruption of the elite." "Betrayal: Why Socialism Failed in Africa," adapted from a speech Ayittey delivered at “Evenings at FEE” in April 2005; accessed 01 January 2017
- "Free Africa Foundation". www.freeafrica.org. Retrieved 2017-10-17.
- Top 100 Public Intellectuals, Foreign Policy
- mariam, al. "Ayittey's War on African Dictators". Online article. huffingpost. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
- Reviewed by Jeremy Harding for The New York Times