Assistant West African Representative – Ford Foundation
Director for Nigeria – Ford Foundation
Director, Special Initiative for Africa – Ford Foundation
West African Representative – Ford Foundation
Dr. Akwasi Aidoo was born in 1950 to Mr. Thomas Akwasi Aidoo [a police officer] and madam Pompoe Yaa [a businesswoman] in the Ashanti region of Ghana. On the day of his birth a lion visited our home. This, according to our elders meant Akwasi would be both strong and great in future.
He attended the Apam secondary school in central Ghana and become the scholar of the year in 1972 having set a new school record in the advanced level GCE examinations. He did his bachelors at the Cape Coast university where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in sociology. After a national service there at Cape Coast university he registered for the master’s degree after which he took up lecturership position in the department of sociology, in the same university. He later left to the University of Connecticut in the United States Of America to pursue a doctorate in medical sociology. After a short period of teaching at University of Connecticut, USA, he left for Tanzania where he lectured at the University of Dar es Salaam.
After some time in Tanzania he joined his first international organization, International Development Research Centre as the health programme officer in Senegal, West Africa. It was from here that he joined the Ford Foundation, first as assistant representative in Lagos, later as the director and programme officer for the West Africa office, and then as Director of the Special Initiative for Africa in the vice-president‘s office in New York. Akwasi Aidoo is a great scholar and has a number of written papers to his credit.
Dr. Aidoo, Executive Director of TrustAfrica, has extensive experience in philanthropy in Africa. His positions have included IDRC Program Officer for Health and Development in West and Central Africa and head of the Ford Foundation’s offices in Senegal and Nigeria from 1993 to 2001. He serves as a director on boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Oxfam America, the Crime Prevention Centre of South Africa, the Soros Foundation’s AfriMAP initiative, and the Global Network Committee of the Ash Institute at Harvard University. He also chairs the executive committee of the Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group. Dr. Aidoo has taught at universities in Ghana, Tanzania, and the United States. He was educated in Ghana and the United States and received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Connecticut in 1984. He writes poetry and short stories in his spare time.