Samir Amin was born in Cairo in 1931 and was educated at the Lycee Francais there. He gained a Ph.D. in Political Economy in Paris (1957), as well as degrees from the Institut de Statistiques and from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques. He then returned home where he was attached to the planning bodies of Nasser's regime. He left Egypt in 1960 to work with the Ministry of Planning of the newly independent Mali (1960-1963), and following this, he commenced an academic career. He has held the position of full professor in France since 1966 and was for ten years (1970-1980) the director of the U.N. African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (in Dakar). Since 1980 he has been directing the African Office of the Third World Forum, an international non-governmental association for research and debate.