Kwabena Amporful is a graduate of SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College, Ghana. He completed his B.A. studies at Hampshire College, and his MBA at Stanford University, both in the United States. He began his finance career in New York City as an equity analyst at then-Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America Merrill Lynch), during which time he also developed an interest in education and skills development. He worked in impact investing with San Francisco-based Imprint Capital (now Goldman Sachs | AIMS Imprint), before returning to Accra to help raise a $34 million African Agriculture Fund to invest in small and medium enterprises. In Accra, Kwabena served as a consultant to Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED) in the setup of SEED's first global innovation center in West Africa, and continues to support the formation of Africa-focused private equity funds. He also founded Institute of Teacher Education and Development (INTED), which works to professional learning communities in schools across Ghana, and co-founded Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Africa, a corporate leadership development nonprofit organization for young Africans.
Why did you originally decide to pursue an IB diploma?
To be fair, and fortunate enough to be in the situation, I initially saw the IB as the estimable extension for me, after my IGCSE course. In hindsight, pursuing the IB impacted me in at least two ways. First, studying mathematics and economics HL (higher level) developed my business career interest, switching me away from the sciences. Second, our school community projects, part of creativity, activity, service (CAS), sowed the seeds of my long-term interest in social development projects, likely resulting in my involvement with INTED and SEO Africa, both of which have benefitted from strong support from my high school and IB classmates. Now, along my 15 years in finance and investment, I have developed an active interest in skills development entrepreneurship, with a focus on quality secondary education and corporate skills.
Which of your teachers inspired you the most?
A truly difficult question. My most impactful teacher was Mr. Donkor, my math teacher, who had a classic ‘proof from first principles’ approach to mathematics that I came to enjoy. However, most of the teachers who inspired me were for reasons outside of the classroom—Mr. Michael Djan, Mrs. Margaret Nkrumah, Mr. Isaac Quist, and Nii Amaa Akita are teachers who inspired me on why my education needed to be useful to my African context. The most inspirational, who continues to support me through today in my personal and professional pursuits, is Mr. Israel Titi Ofei.