Ayensu was educated at Miami University in Ohio, George Washington University and the University of London where he obtained his PhD. He is president of the Pan- African Union for Science and Technology and vice chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel, Global Environment Facility. His previous positions include: Director of biological conservation, Smithsonian Institution; secretary general, International Union of Biological Sciences; senior adviser, African Development Bank; and commissioner of the World Bank Energy Sector Management Assistance Program. His awards include: US National Museum of Natural History Award; Ghana National Book Award; Ghana National Science Award; and Ghana’s Outstanding Statesman Millennium Award. His membership includes: Inspection Panel, World Bank; Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences; Indian National Science Academy; and the African Academy of Sciences.