Atlas Network is proud to announce the launch of a locally driven, Africa-centered intellectual society named in honor of the great free-market, Ghanaian-economist Dr. George Ayittey.
The George Ayittey Society was created thanks to generous funds from Templeton World Charity Foundation. The society aims to nurture a growing network of liberal scholars across the continent and stimulate new, exciting scholarship that apply core principles of individual liberty to current issues impacting the peace, prosperity and mobility of over a billion Africans.
The George Ayittey Society will host its first virtual meeting on October 17, 2023. During this reunion of renowned African scholars, attendees will be invited to share their research, build communities of practice for their research work, and identify research projects on which cross-continental collaboration is possible.
The Society’s Namesake - George Ayittey
Professor George B. N. Ayittey was born on October 13, 1945, in Ghana. He graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Ghana, earned his MA at the University of Western Ontario, and completed his doctorate in economics at the University of Manitoba. He taught in Canada and the United States and retired as professor of economics from the American University in Washington, D.C.
He was among the intellectual enemies number one in Africa in the 1990s. Ayittey’s university office was firebombed; he was banned from entering several African countries. Ayittey’s crime was that he believed in an Africa that works; an Africa where politicians would not have to sign away the rights to their people’s natural resources and economic future in exchange for loans that would be eventually stolen by the same leaders and spent on luxuries like expensive cars and private jets. Instead, Ayittey believed in an Africa where Africans could build roads, schools, and hospitals all by themselves, and not one where African leaders would have to beg Eastern or Western powers for financial support. Ayittey believed in an Africa where foreign aid and loans would not be the substructure of national budgets, but one where leaders can fix corruption and extract the funds that Africa needs from export earnings.
Ayittey was justifiably confident in the ability of Africans to solve their own problems. While he was a research scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California, he conducted extensive research for his magisterial work Indigenous African Institutions. In that book, he examined the institutions of law and governance, property and exchange, arbitration and peacemaking, by which Africans have solved their own problems. Those institutions still exist, but they are often submerged under the bureaucracy and sheer violence that were imported by the colonial powers.
Find out more about Dr. George B. N. Ayittey, in his own words and those of his admirers: