Associate Fellow, Africa Programme
Lopes, Carlos

Contact information


Dr Lopes is a professor in the Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice at the University of Cape Town and also a visiting professor at Sciences Po, in Paris.

During 2017, he was a visiting fellow of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, and is on the boards of several institutions, including the Geneva Graduate Institute, the Kofi Annan Foundation, and the Jakaya Kikwete Foundation.

Dr Lopes has occupied several leadership positions across the United Nations system, including policy director for Secretary-General Kofi Annan and executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

He is a member of the African Union reform team led by President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, the Global Commission for Economy and Climate (serviced by WRI), the Global Commission for the Future of Work (serviced by ILO) and the Global Commission on the Geostrategy of Energy Transformation (serviced by IRENA).

He is also an award-winning author widely published with over 20 edited or authored books and feature articles in Project Syndicate, CNN, Le Monde, Financial Times, China Daily, The Guardian, New African and Jeune Afrique.

Areas of expertise

  • Development economics
  • Multilateralism
  • Industrialisation
  • China-Africa relations

Past experience

2016 - presentProfessor, University of Cape Town
2012-16Under secretary general, United Nations (Ex. Sec. UNECA)
2007-12Assistant secretary general, United Nations (Ex. Director, UNITAR & UN System Staff College)