Popularly called Paa or P.K., he was born in Cape Coast in Ghana’s Central Region to Mr. J. R. P. Amissah-Arthur, an educationist, and Mrs. Effie Amissah-Arthur in April 1951. The third of six children of his parents, he has a brother and four sisters. He married Matilda, a Professional Librarian in 1978 and they have two children: 1980-born Kwesi, an Ophthalmologist and 1983-born Araba, a trainee Solicitor.
The Vice President started his education at Cape Coast Methodist ‘B’ Primary School and passed the Common Entrance examination from Akim Oda Methodist School in 1964. He entered Ghana’s oldest Secondary School, Mfantsipim in Cape Coast later in 1964 and passed the GCE Ordinary Level in 1969 and the Advanced Level in 1971. He entered the University of Ghana, Legon as a freshman in 1971, graduating with a B.Sc. (Economics) degree in 1974.
Mr. Amissah-Arthur was granted a University of Ghana Post-Graduate scholarship in 1975. He was awarded the M.Sc (Economics) degree in 1980 and was immediately appointed to the Faculty of the Economics Department at the University of Ghana, where he lectured for a number of years. He also lectured at the State College of Education, Awka in Anambra State of Nigeria from 1981-1983.
In July 1983 the Government of Ghana invited him to take up a position as Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning. It was while in this position that he was, in February 1986 appointed Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, a position he retained until April 1997.
After retiring from public office in 1997, Vice President Amissah-Arthur continued to work on a number of consultancy jobs: as Senior Economist for the Sigma One Corporation, Ghana, from 1998 to 2000 where he helped design and implement the “Ghana Policy Dialogue Project”, a USAID-funded project that provided advisory services to the Government of Ghana, and also the “Trade and Investment Reform Project”, aimed at enhancing Ghana’s export competitiveness.
Between 2001 and 2002, the Vice President was contracted to execute a special assignment by the Danish Foreign Ministry. He was a co-author of a review of Ghana’s public financial management system, titled: “Guidance Note: Financial Integration into Relevant Ghanaian Structures”, a report that has been used as a training manual for new employees at the Finance Ministry.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur has also worked as a private international consultant/economist to the World Bank and foreign countries. As Consultant for the World Bank, he trained the staff of The Department of State for Agriculture, Republic of The Gambia in 1997 in initiating a review of the World Bank-funded Medium-term Expenditure Program. He was the consultant at all stages of the Netherlands’ Government-funded Technical/Vocational Education project for Ghana’s Ministry of Education in association with TNW Export BV of Waalwijk, Netherlands).
As part of his public service stewardship, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Amissah-Arthur has also served on a number of Boards and Committees including the Boards of the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, Ghana National Procurement Agency, Ghana Supply Commission, and the Academic Board and Finance Committee of the University of Ghana.
For the love of the NDC, H. E. the Vice President Papa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, even after retiring from public office still continued to work hard behind the scenes for the party during the turbulent days in opposition. He single handedly commissioned and funded very crucial and important research activities for the party when it was in opposition. It is on record that former President John Evans Atta Mills once said that Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur is a gentleman, hardworking and his chief fundraiser. It therefore was not a surprise when the late President Mills appointed him Governor of the Central Bank of Ghana on the 1st of October 2009 to replace Dr Paul Acquah.
He is a soccer enthusiast and a great fan of Accra Hearts of Oak, one of the leading football teams in Ghana and enjoys playing table tennis in his leisure time.
Vice President Amissah-Arthur is a devoted family man. A Christian by faith, he holds firm to the belief that with God all things are possible. Together with his wife Matilda they are justifiably proud of their two children who are budding professionals in their chosen fields of study.
His mission is to help maintain the economy as a strong platform for Ghana’s development. H. E. President John Dramani Mahama and H. E. the Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur are working for Ghanaians to ensure stability, development and access to A Better Ghana for all Ghanaians.