Kwesi Yankah is the author of two award winning books: Speaking for the Chief, which won the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Gold Book award and The Proverb in the Context of Akan Rhetoric, winner of the Ghana Book Award. The latter was based on his award-winning doctoral dissertation at Indiana University, USA, 1985. He also co-edited African Folklore: An Encyclopedia.
Yankah has held fellowships at several universities including, Stanford, Northwestern, Michigan, Berkley, Pennsylvania and Birmingham. He was from 2009 to 2017 an Associate Director of the African Humanities Program, established by the American Council of Learned Societies.
Between 2017 and 2021 he was Ghana's Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary Education.
Yankah is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Folklore Society.