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KWAMINA PANFORD: BIO: 2021
Senior Fulbright Scholar, Triple Carnegie Africa Diaspora & US Institute of Peace Fellow
Kwamina Panford teaches Africa/Global Studies, Development/Natural Resources and Public Policy at Northeastern University, Boston. He is also affiliated with the grad program in Law and Public Policy, School of Public Policy & Urban Affairs and the Center for International Affairs at Northeastern where he has been Chair of Department (2002-2005) and Vice Provost for Academic Opportunity & Access (2003-2008).
Panford just won his third Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellowship (CADFP) for 2020-2021. For Spring/Summer 2017, he was on Sabbatical on his second CADFP at the School for Development Studies (SDS), University of Cape Coast (UCC). In recognition of his work on Ghana and other countries, he was awarded a Fulbright as a Senior Scholar/Visiting Professor at the SDS for 13 months in 2011-2012. He was also selected again as a Fulbright candidate for 2013-2014 after a successful peer review.
Panford has contributed to the fields of labor, development and international organizations with emphasis on the UN, the ILO, the World Bank, the WTO and the African Union. Panford was designated a Special Guest/Observer by the AU Secretary General at the founding of the African Union in Durban, South Africa in 2002. He also served as consultant for the first codification of Ghana’s labor laws since independence and advised the Government of Ghana, labor associations and private employers on appropriate labor relations practices. He contributed to drafting Ghana’s Labor Relation Act, 2003.
Since 2009, his research and publications have been on Ghana’s emerging oil and gas (OG) and other extractive sectors, mainly gold, diamond, timber & cocoa. His latest book: Africa’s Natural Resources & Underdevelopment: How Ghana’s Petroleum Can Create Sustainable Economic Prosperity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) has received excellent reviews in top notch peer reviewed journals and in the popular media including the London, (UK) based leading Pan-African Magazine, NewAfrican; Ghana’s leading newspapers (Daily Graphic & The Ghanaian Times) and the Herald, Zimbabwe. Besides publication of his work in Africa Today and Ghana’s Public Policy Journal (Special Issue on OG) he provided critical input into drafting Ghana’s Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRM Act 815, 2011) and he was a key resource person for developing the curriculum on Ghana’s OG for UCC’s new OG Studies Institute. He also led the technical team that wrote Ghana’s first and subsequent Public Interest and Accountability Committee’s (PIAC) Report, 2012. This publication documents Ghana’s petroleum revenues and expenditures to ensure transparency. He has also been responsible for three additional PIAC Reports including one of the latest published in 2018. Thus Panford has led the production of 4 of PIAC reports for Ghana. The Africa Progress Panel of 2013 led by world luminaries such as Kofi Annan of the UN, Ned Rubin, US President Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury and Camdessus, the IMF’s Managing Director praise the PIAC and its work as the most innovative and potent solution to the world’s problems relating to the resource curse.
In addition, Panford has used his extensive expertise to assist the Ghana TUC (main national trade union) to produce its first Policy Paper on OG. He was one of the first researchers to study existing OG skills in Ghana. This particular study was commissioned by LO-Norway and the Ghana TUC. His other interests are Africa-China relations and the roles of Technology/ Science and Human Capital (“Brain Power”) in Africa’s Development and the African Union, the World Bank/ IMF and WTO in developing countries.
Due to his immense experience, expertise and recent spate of external fellowships/grants, Panford is on the roster of experts who review Fulbright Senior Scholars’ and Carnegie Africa Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP) applications for grants. As a result of his senior leadership roles at Northeastern and his sustained services to the profession in and out of the US and Ghana/Africa, he was made Co-Chair of the world’s largest professional group’s meeting at Boston, US from 20-24 November, 2019. Over 2000 participants attended this conference from all over the world. Under his leadership and as Co-Chair, the ASA’s Boston Local Arrangement’s Committee exceeded its funding target and raised over $55,000.
Panford’s passion is successfully placing his students in highly competitive, nationally and internationally recognized graduate programs. He has successfully mentored and placed as high as 6 of his 6 students who applied to graduate from the US’s leading International Law & Diplomacy Program, Fletcher School at Tufts University. He also has an impressive record of placing his other students in high-level positions from the White House in the US; Senior US Diplomats and Development Advisor, Norwegian Embassy, Zambia to establishing the oil unit at Aso Rock, the Office of the President, Nigeria. His student/mentee worked with Ms. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister for Finance for Nigeria, who the World Trade Organization (WTO) has appointed as the first African/Woman WTO Director-General to oversee global trade.
Panford is currently using his third Carnegie Fellowship assisting the University of Energy & Natural Resources at Sunyani in Ghana in capacity building.