Honorary Doctor 2020

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Secretary-General of the African Research Universities Alliance and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, has been named the 2020 honorary doctor at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Professor Ernest Aryeetey, photo.
Professor Ernest Aryeetey. Photo: UNU-WIDER.

Photo attribution: WIDER Annual Lecture 22 - Ernest Aryeetey by UNU-WIDER, used under CC BY / cropped from original. 


Ernest Aryeetey is a well-known name in African university circles and has played a crucial role in the implementation of Lund University’s Africa strategy. According to many analysts, Africa is “the next China”, i.e. a continent that is advancing and gradually contributing a larger proportion of international research publications.

Research and education exchanges with African universities are consequently not to be regarded mainly as a form of aid, but as a smart way of making contacts with universities that will soon be considered as highly interesting, comments Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt, professor of cultural and economic geography, who nominated Ernest Aryeetey, professor of development economics at the University of Ghana, for honorary doctor.

“Since 2016, he has been the chair of the advisory group to Lund University’s strategy group for collaboration with Africa. He has considerable knowledge and experience of global research and education issues as well as a large international contact network”, she says.

“In addition, he is a visionary and strategist. He has been very important in making Lund University’s collaborations as good as they are.”

Ernest Aryeetey is not only a prominent researcher. As well as being a professor, he was formerly vice-chancellor of the University of Ghana, chair of the board for the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) and senior fellow and director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

Aryeetey has been general secretary of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) since 2016. Formed in 2015, ARUA is a partnership and network for 16 leading African universities that has successfully commenced the establishment of 13 thematic Centres of Excellence where researchers of the member universities collaborate.

Contact with Lund University was initiated in 2007, when Aryeetey was invited to participate in Afrint, a Swedish-African research programme based at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Lund.

“Ernest visits us every year in connection with the advisory group’s spring meeting. This also involves lectures and active participation in our Africa days”, concludes Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt.