Profile on Jonathan Frimpong Ansah

Dr Jonathan Frimpong-Ansah was born on Wednesday, 22 October 1930, at Asante Mampong in the Ashanti Region.

He was the second son amongst six born to Hammond Owusu-Ansah and Elizabeth Achiaa.

He was married in 1954 to Selina nee Yeboah and had three sons and one daughter.



He was educated at the local Presbyterian school and the Presbyterian Secondary School, Odumase Krobo. He studied Statistics at the LSE and graduated B.Sc. (Econ) in 1954.

He then trained in Monetary Economics at the IMF in 1961 to 1962. Already a renowned authority in Monetary Economics, he branched into postgraduate studies in the Economics of Development at the University of Salford in 1983 and graduated Ph.D. in 1989, and was awarded the John Hearne Prize for best thesis in that year.

The detour resulted in the publication, in 1991, of his best-seller, The Vampire State in Africa.

Frimpong-Ansah attained distinction in all fields in which he was involved. He commenced public life as a statistician in the Government Statistician’s office in 1954.

In public policy he was best known as the Governor of the Bank of Ghana from 1968 to 1973 when the first serious attempts at the economic reforms and monetary liberalization were made at the bank’s initiative.

In the Bank of Ghana, he rose through the ranks of Research Statistician, 1961-1963, Director of research, 1963-1965 and Deputy Governor, 1965-1968. Before that, he studied central banking at the Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, and the Bank of Israel, Jerusalem.

He was also Chairman of Ghana Diamond Marketing Board, 1965-1970, Ashanti Goldfields Corporation, 1968-1973, Chairman of the agricultural Development Bank, 1965-1968, Director of the Volta River Authority, 1968-1973 and Director of the Cocoa Marketing Board,1965-1973, among many other senior positions in Ghana.

Internationally, he held senior public policy positions such as Vice Chairman of the IMF Committee of Twenty which reformed the international monetary system in 1973 and 1974, a member of the World Bank’s Council of African Advisors and the first Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation in Harare, 1991-1992.

His involvement in the Ghana private sector included Executive Chairman of the Standard Chartered Bank LTD, 1976-1981, Director of Akosombo Textiles LTD, Volta Garment’s LTD, Akotex Synthetics Ltd. and Angelina Textiles Ltd. Internationally, he was Senior International Advisor at the Standard Charted Bank Group in London, 1981-1991 and Chief Executive of J. H. Frimpong-Ansah Co. Ltd. in London specialising in the African monetary Economy, with client’s such as the World Bank, UNCTAD, ECOWAS, PTA (East & Southern Africa), Rockefeller Foundation and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

In academia he holds the Honorary position of the Professor of Finance at the School of Administration, University of Ghana. He was Vice President of the Royal African Society, London, a member of the Policy Committee of Oxford University’s Center for the Study of African Economics, and Fellow of Warwick University’s Development Economics Research Center.

He was Lecturer in Statistics at the University College of the Gold Coast in 1955-1957 and had been a Fellow of Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs, 1978-1979 and Academic Visitor at the London School of Economics, 1979-80. He was elected fellow of the Ghana academy of Arts and Sciences in 1979. He published widely in Economics and Political Economy.

Dr. Frimpong-Ansah’s Versatility was further demonstrated by his skills in batik art, textile designing, orchid gardening and painting; in oils and watercolour.