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Africa World Press & The Red Sea Press

KNOW THE BEGINNING WELL: An Inside Journey Through Five Decades of African Development. By K.Y. Amoako


KNOW THE BEGINNING WELL: An Inside Journey Through Five Decades of African Development. By K.Y. Amoako


Product Description

With this book, the author offers a personal look at some of the landmark policies, people, and institutions that have shaped Africa’s post-independence history—and will continue to shape its future. It is a true inside account—told from a very personal perspective—of the evolution of African development over the last five decades.

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The lessons in this book have the potential to change the way people view Africa and international development.

–-Kofi Annan (d. 2018), former Secretary-General of the United Nations, in the Foreword to Know Beginning the Well


Know the Beginning Well is a captivating account of the several years journey of an African economist who worked through international institutions to affect meaningful change—and ultimately to promote the economic transformation of Africa. It is a compelling story of leadership and dedication, and a must read for every development professional, young or old.

– Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of Liberia


A well-crafted and fascinating read, K.Y. Amoako’s book is part insightful memoir, part historical review. It gives the reader a front-row seat to Africa’s development journey. Despite the challenges still faced by countries on the road to transformation, one is left with a sense of optimism that Africa will make it. 

–-Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former Coordinating Minister for the Economy of Nigeria


Know the Beginning Well is an important book for understanding Africa's economic and social development. Infused with the author's passion for the continent and its people, it tells a compelling story of serving Africa with dedication, competence, and humility. In doing so, K.Y. Amoako weaves a rich and elaborate tapestry that illustrates the triumphs and struggles of transforming Africa. This book will inspire many as it inspired me.

–-James D. Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank


Without doubt this is an important book about how policy is actually made. K.Y. Amoako writes from the front lines of economic development, engaging the most important leaders of the time in Africa. The book is filled with exciting stories of presidents, ministers, and international institutions as they grapple with policy decisions that have shaped–and will continue to shape–Africa's future. Amoako sheds light on all them, with engrossing, personal accounts. Where was this book when I began my career?

–-Yaw Nyarko, Professor of Economics, New York University


About the Author

K.Y. AMOAKO is the President of the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), which he founded in 2008 in Ghana. He spent the first two decades of his career at the World Bank. From 1995 to 2005, he served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) at the rank of UN Under Secretary-General. In addition to a degree from the University of Ghana, he holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.


World Rights


Memoir, Autobiography/AFRICA

Trim size

6 x 9”

Page count


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