Samir Amin (Arabic: سمير أمين) (born 3 September 1931) is an Egyptian economist. He currently lives in Dakar, Senegal. Samir Amin was born in Cairo, the son of an Egyptian father and a French mother (both medical doctors). He spent his childhood and youth in Port Said; there he attended a French High School, leaving in 1947 with a Baccalauréat. From 1947 to 1957 he studied in Paris, gaining a diploma in political science (1952) before graduating in statistics (1956) and economics (1957). In his autobiography Itinéraire intellectuel (1990) he wrote that in order to spend a substantial amount of time in "militant action" he could devote only a minimum of time to preparing for his university exams.
Arriving in Paris, Amin joined the French Communist Party (PCF), but he later distanced himself from Soviet Marxism and associated himself for some time with Maoist circles. With other students he published a magazine entitled;Étudiants Anticolonialistes. In 1957 he presented his thesis, supervised by François Perroux among others, originally titled The origins of underdevelopment - capitalist accumulation on a world scale but retitled The structural effects of the international integration of precapitalist economies. A theoretical study of the mechanism which creates so-called underdeveloped economies.
After finishing his thesis, Amin went back to Cairo, where he worked from 1957 to 1960 as a research officer for the government's "Institution for Economic Management". Subsequently Amin left Cairo, to become an adviser to the Ministry of Planning in Bamako (Mali) from 1960 to 1963. In 1963 he was offered a fellowship at the Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planification (IDEP). Until 1970 he worked there as well as being a professor at the university of Poitiers, Dakar and Paris (of Paris VIII, Vincennes). In 1970 he became director of the IDEP, which he managed until 1980. In 1980 Amin left the IDEP and became a director of the Third World Forum in Dakar.