He started his education at Cape Coast Methodist ‘B ‘Primary School and passed the Common Entrance examination from the Akim Oda Methodist School in 1964.
He entered Ghana’s oldest Secondary School, Mfantsipim in Cape Coast later in 1964 and passed the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level in 1969, and the GCE Advanced Level in 1971.
He then entered the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1971, graduating with a Bachelor of Science (BSc. (Economics) degree in 1974.
He was granted a University of Ghana Post-Graduate scholarship in 1975.
In 1980 he was awarded the Master of Science MSc (Economics) degree and lectured at the Economics Department, University of Ghana, 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, he served as Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and appointed a Deputy Finance and Economic Planning Minister in February 1986, a position he held until April 1997.
After retiring from public office in 1997, Vice President Amissah-Arthur continued to work on a number of consultancy jobs.
He was the 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.
He also worked on the Trade and Investment Reform Project aimed at enhancing Ghana’s export competitiveness.
Between 2001 and 2002, he was contracted to execute a special assignment by the Danish Foreign Ministry.
He co-authored 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.
Former Vice President Amissah-Arthur also worked as a private international consultant/economist to the World Bank and some 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 Programme.
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.
He 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.
Former Vice President Amissah-Arthur t was appointed the Governor of the Bank of Ghana on October 01, 2009.
A soccer enthusiast and a great fan of Accra Hearts of Oak, one of the leading football teams in Ghana, and he enjoyed playing table tennis.
The former Vice President was a devoted family man and was a Christian by faith. He was married to Matilda - a marriage blessed with two adult children.
On August 6, 2012, he was sworn-in as the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, and served in that position until January 07, 2017.