Yaw Nyarko, Director, Africa House

Yaw Nyarko is Professor of Economics at New York University (NYU) and the Director of NYU Africa House, the Center for Technology and Economic Development (CTED), and Co-Director of the Development Research Institute (DRI). As Co-Director of DRI, he was awarded the 2009 BBVA Frontiers in Knowledge Award on Economic Development Cooperation.

As one of the most highly ranked African academic economists in the world, his research interests focus on the areas of economic development, theoretical economics, models of human capital as engines of economic growth, brain drain and skills acquisition, labor economics, and migration. His current research focuses on technology and economic development, commodities exchanges and markets in Africa, and determinants and returns of labor migration from South Asia in the UAE, as well as the impacts of various policy measures on the mobility of labor within the UAE.

He is the former Chair of the Econometric Society Africa Regional Standing Committee. He has served as a consultant to organizations including the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the Social Science Research Council. As the former Vice Provost of NYU, he managed a portfolio that included the oversight and establishment of campuses in Abu Dhabi, Accra, and Shanghai. Yaw Nyarko received his B.A. from the University of Ghana and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.


Visiting Scholars


His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Former President of the United Republic of Tanzania (2005 to 2015), Africa House Visiting Scholar in Residence

(Spring-Summer 2018)

In April 2018, H.E. Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania (2005 to 2015), joined NYU as the Inaugural Former President in Residence at Africa House for a 3-month residency. President Kikwete collaborated with members of the NYU community and wrote his memoirs entitled “The Journey of My Life: From a Barefoot Schoolboy to President” with NYU Africa House staff and Student Research Assistants. This book reflects on his forty years in public service, his ascension to the presidency, leadership skills for the next generation of leaders, and his vision for the future of Africa. President Kikwete shared his vast knowledge and experiences with faculty, students, and various departments across the University, and further developed his ongoing work with NYU’s College of Nursing facilitated by the New York-based non-profit Miracle Corners of the World (MCW).

Prior to being elected to the presidency, Kikwete held various key positions as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Finance and Minister of Energy and Minerals from 1994 to 2005. During and after his presidency, he continued to be active and instrumental in championing a development agenda with a special focus on women and children. President Kikwete has served as the Co-Chair of the UN Commission of Information and Accountability on Women’s and Children’s Health, Chairperson of the United Nations High Level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crisis, and Chairperson of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA). After his retirement, Kikwete assumed leadership roles in different capacities as Co-Chair of the UN High Level Advisory Group on Every Woman Every Child; Member of the UN Lead Group on Scaling Up Nutrition; the Global Ambassador for Immunization; Member of the World Malaria Council; Commissioner of the International Education Commission for Financing Global Education Opportunity; Co-Chair of the World Refugee Council; African Union High Level Representative on Libya; and is the Chairman of the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation.


Benno J. Ndulu, Former Governor of the Bank of Tanzania

(Summer 2018)

Professor Benno J. Ndulu, who has just completed a 10 year term as Governor, Bank of Tanzania, now occupies the Mwalimu Nyerere Professorial Chair on Development at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. He is best known for having served as one of the pioneers for the most effective research and training network in economics in Africa, the African Economic Research Consortium, where he served first as its research Director and then as its Executive Director. Having begun in academia at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, he later served in the World Bank as a Research Manager in Development Economics (DEC) and Advisor to the Vice President for the Africa Region. He has published widely on growth, governance, and trade. He is currently co-directing the Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development anchored at Blavatnik School of Government.


Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa, Former Acting Chief Economist and Vice President, African Development Bank (AfDB)

(Spring 2016)

Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa received his Ph.D. in Economics from Gothenburg University in Sweden in 1988 and became Associate Professor at the same university in 1994. He worked as a Senior Economist at the IMF in Washington, DC., Project Director and Fellow at the World Institute for Development Economics Research (WIDER) of the United Nations University, Helsinki, and most recently as Director of Strategy, Director of Operations and Director of Research,respectively, at the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Tunis and Abidjan. His last post at the AfDB, which he left at the end of 2015, was Acting Chief Economist and Vice President. He has collaborated with many international and national institutions and has been an external examiner of doctoral students in Africa and in European countries. He has been a consultant for the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the World Bank, the OECD and the UNDP. He considers the policy dialogue which he undertook with government leaders from across Africa, during his years at the AfDB, as the height of his career, and is planning to write a book about these experiences.

He has researched and published widely in the areas of macroeconomics, international economics and development economics, focusing especially on Africa and other developing regions. His most recent publications include a co-edited volume on Urbanization and Socio-Economic Development in Africa (Routledge, London, 2014). A volume from his work at WIDER entitled “Reforming Africa’s Institutions: Ownership, Incentives, and Capabilities” by the United Nations University Press, Tokyo and New York, was used as course material in Development at leading universities.

Steve is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for African Development at Cornell and is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town. Aside from analyzing the political economy of African institutions, he is also studying, with colleagues at a number of African institutions, the “war to peace” dynamics in the Great Lakes Region of Africa–including Uganda, DRC, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi. Steve was born and raised in Uganda, but also holds Swedish nationality.


Advisory Board


Judith Aidoo

Judith Aidoo began her career as an investment banker at Goldman, Sachs, & Co. in the late 1980s. Currently, she is the Chief Executive of both Caswell Communications, Inc. in Charleston, SC, and the Aidoo Group Ltd. in New York City.  She holds degrees from Rutgers College and Harvard Law School.

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Elizabeth Klosty Beaujour

Elizabeth Klosty Beaujour is Professor of Russian and Comparative Literatures at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the widow of Michel Beaujour, Professor of French at NYU for more than 40 years.  They began to collect African art in the early 60’s. Dr. Beaujour advises Africa House on African art programming and exhibitions.

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Edward Bergman

Eddie Bergman is President of Innovative Development Services (IDS), a full service consulting firm focusing on tourism marketing and development as well as real estate management services in New York City. Eddie is also CEO of Proxima Hospitality Group, a restaurant management company which owns and manages Hill and Bay (Murray Hill, NYC).

Eddie co‐founded and serves as President of the Board of MCW (Miracle Corners of the World), an NGO devoted to empowering youth to make positive change in their communities, with a special focus on Africa.

Eddie was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the economic development program of the African Union, in recognition of his service as Executive Director of the Africa Travel Association, a position he held for nearly a decade (2006-2015).

Eddie is also an adjunct instructor of social entrepreneurship at SUNY Stony Brook University.  Eddie received his Masters from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a major in Social Entrepreneurship and his Bachelors in Hotel and Tourism Management from NYU’s Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, where he was a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholar.

Eddie serves on the boards and advisory boards of several international organizations in the non-profit, education and travel and trade sectors, including Shared Interest, the International Crisis Group, NYU Africa House and NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study and has served on the boards of the Museum for African Art, the Rubin Museum of Art and the Synergos Institute.


Robert Holmes

Robert Holmes is the founder of the Robert Holmes Travel and Research Award for African Scholarship. Through this scholarship, doctoral students studying the humanities and social sciences have been able to study abroad in Africa and visit important research sites. Robert E. Holmes earned a B.A. from Washington Square College in 1966 and a J.D. from NYU School of Law in 1969, prior to practicing law in the entertainment department of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Music Group and President of its music publishing companies. Prior to his twenty-five years at Sony, Mr. Holmes was Vice President of the Arista Music Publishing Group and General Counsel of Motown Records and Filmworks. Mr. Holmes was a recipient of NYU’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1998 and Washington Square College’s Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1992.  He is also the past President of the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association and is an original co-founder of the Black American Law Students Association. Presently on the board of NYU Africa House, Mr. Holmes also served on the boards of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Liberace Foundation in Las Vegas.


Michael E. Thoyer

Michael E. Thoyer is a retired partner of Morgan Lewis LLP in New York City. He and his wife, Judith R. Thoyer, are founding members of Friends of the University of Ghana and the first contributors to Africa House. They have also generously supported the Thoyer Fellowship for African students and researchers.



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Andrea Papitto, Program Director, Africa House/Center for Technology and Economic Development

Andrea Papitto has worked on development projects in Africa since 2005 when she studied at the New York University Accra campus and worked at Habitat for Humanity Ghana. Since then, she has worked on numerous projects related to Africa tourism, rural tourism development, community-led development, and ICT education in Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. In 2011, she produced The Last Song Before the War, a documentary chronicling the Festival au Desert in Timbuktu, Mali and its role in sustaining peace, cultural preservation, and economic development. The film has played at Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and international film festivals around the world. Before joining Africa House, Andrea was the Director of Trade Relations and Communications at the Africa Travel Association (ATA), the leading travel trade organization promoting the sustainable development of tourism in Africa. At ATA, she managed programming; research initiatives such as the Africa Tourism Monitor produced in conjunction with NYU Africa House and the African Development Bank; communications; and media relations for the organization. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s in Tourism Management with a focus on African destinations from New York University.


Temi Alabi, Program Administrator, Africa House/Center for Technology and Economic Development

Temi Alabi has worked on development projects in and out of Africa with organizations like the United Nations Population Fund, Baobab Consulting, Life Builders Initiative, Yolélé Foods, and She Leads Africa. She has done fieldwork and research on issues in education, community-led development, grass-root activism, democratization, urbanization and small-scale entrepreneurship in cities like Dakar, Ouagadougou, Lagos, Accra, Abuja, and New York City. She received her Bachelor’s degree from New York University’s School of Individualized Studies where she designed a custom concentration that studied the global factors and trends that have contributed to and still contribute to the under-development of some of the most impoverished parts of today’s world, with the aim of better understanding the best ways to promote equitable economic development in those areas.



The following NYU faculty members have strong Africa or Africana interests:

J. Lawrence Aber
Steinhardt, Applied Psychology and Public Policy

Awam Amkpa
Tisch, Drama

K. Anthony Appiah
Law, Department of Philosophy

Offiong Aqua
Steinhardt, Art and Education

Nancy Barton
Steinhardt, Art and Art Education

Robert Berne
Wagner, Public Policy and Financial Management

Renee Blake
FAS, Department of Linguistics

Breyten Breytenbach
FAS, Creative Writing

Carlos Chirinos
Steinhardt, Music and Performing Arts Professions

Ngina Chiteji

Chris Collins
FAS, Linguistics

Fred Cooper
FAS, History

Deborah Damast
Steinhardt, Music and Performing Arts Professions

Christine Dang
FAS, Music

Robyn d’Avignon
FAS, Department of History

Kevin E. Davis
School of Law

Karen Day
NYU School of Medicine Medical Parasitology

David J. Dent
FAS, Journalism

Manthia Diawara
FAS, Comparative Literature, Africana Studies

Alex K. Dontoh
Stern, Accounting

George Downs
FAS, Politics

William Easterly
FAS, Economics

Frankie Edozien
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute

Rosalind Fredericks

John Gershman
Wagner, Public Service

Lewis Goldfrank M.D.
NYU Department of Emergency Medicine

Michael Gomez
FAS, History

Lynn Gumpert
Grey Art Gallery

Sally Guttmacher
Steinhardt, Public Health

Morgan Hardy
Economics, NYU Abu Dhabi

Lyle Ashton Harris
Steinhardt, Art and Art Education

Stuart M. Hirsch
NYU College of Dentistry

Lewis A. Kornhauser
School of Law

David Levering-Lewis
FAS, History

James Macinko
Steinhardt, Public Health

Jonathan Morduch
Wagner, Public Policy and Economics

Jennifer Morgan
FAS, Social and Cultural

Pamela Newkirk
FAS, Journalism

Yaw Nyarko
FAS, Economics

Olugbenga Ogedegbe, M.D.
School of Medicine, Department of Population Health

Heitor Pellegrina
Economics, NYU Abu Dhabi

Erin Pettigrew
History and Arab Crossroads Studies, NYU Abu Dhabi

Ato Quayson
FAS, Department of English

Michael Ralph
FAS, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis

Hila Richardson
NYU College of Nursing

Marcia Rock
Journalism at NYU

John Singler
GSAS, Linguistics

Paul Smoke
Wagner, Public Finance and Planning

Samara Soghoian
School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine

Clyde Taylor
Gallatin School, Individualized Study and Africana Studies

Yesim Tozan
GPH, Nutrition and Public Health

j. Siguru Wahutu
Media, Culture and Communications

Deborah Willis
Tisch, Photography and Imaging

Jonathan Zimmerman
Steinhardt, Educational History


NYU Departments




NYU Stern in Africa

Established in 2007, Stern in Africa (SiA) is dedicated to providing the Stern and NYU communities increased exposure to business and investment opportunities in Africa and enhancing awareness of Africa's growing economies. SiA organizes professional, educational, and social events, enabling thought leaders, industry practitioners, and MBA students to promote investments in Africa and highlight the growing economic importance of the continent.

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Africa Law Association

The Africa Law Association (ALA) is a vibrant and diverse community of students and faculty that seeks to support, encourage and inspire interest in African laws, societies, cultures, and institutions. Members of the ALA community come together to engage each other in discussion and debate on current legal and political issues and developments in Africa.

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Association for African Development

The Association for African Development (AAD) at NYU works towards the advancement of the skills of NYU students by focusing on raising awareness and developing knowledgeable leaders with the intent of promoting African enhancement. We intend on achieving this in part by running a Speakers series with prominent industry and political leaders from across the continent presenting on the growing opportunities in a quickly transforming Africa.

Facebook / Instagram

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African Students Union

The African Students Union exists to provide a means for the meaningful discussion, exploration and celebration of all things politically, socially, and culturally African. We want to create an environment on campus where people who are educated on African topics or wish to be can come together to have fun, discuss and enjoy a variety of African dishes.

Facebook / Instagram

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Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association

The Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association aspires to promote Ethiopian and Eritrean culture throughout NYU. The club welcomes people from any background and hopes to raise awareness about the rich history of Habesha people through both social and cultural events. All students are of course welcome to our events, especially East African students from countries like Somalia and Kenya! In addition, the association also aims to strengthen the bond between Ethiopian and Eritrean students as well as their relationship to NYU by creating a presence on campus. We aim to extend this relationship outside the confines of campus and into New York City as well, creating and strengthening liaisons with alumni, nearby universities, and local East African businesses."