Ghana - Development Case Study

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in Ghann
r 'I'm still carryingbuckets water] on
my head- at my age!Maybeour
economists are cookingthe figuresJ
Samuetr Ablakwa, 26-year-o1d political
science graduate, questioninggovernment
data on Ghana's economicgrowth n 2007
IBBCWorld ServicewebsiteJ. f .- rL-
.-iqb.e.:d-*hi ..
ft isnearly 3 yearssince
I husedebtrelief to someof the world's countries. Ghana(Figure1) is one
countrywhich hasbenefited. This Getting
Started explores somechallenges facedby
Ghanatoday,and considers whether debt
relief canhelp in developingthe country.
Ghana's colonial past
In March L957Ghanagained independence
from the UK. It was the first colony in sub-
Saharan Africa to free itself from colonial
ru1e. The country's period as a British
colony h a sa l a s r i n glegacy - forinstance,
Englishis sti11 Ghana'sofficial language. l. "l a , iL
^ lnu l l a
r ll drr
i .t n
rr l rrrll u a
rL, a a n
rrpL\1 nu
rr y ^r
t tL a
r rt r L ' r r o . ian guesi workers, who were forced to
Britishrule broughtsomebenefits, suchas This created employment in construction return home,so that remittancepayments
schoolsand hospitals.Hor4iever, British andthere\,vas an optimisticfeeling.People driedup.
expatriates werebroughtin to do thehighest- moved from rural areas to the capital,
ranking andbest-pald jobs. Accra,to take advantage ofjobs. An emerging debt clisis
During this period Ghana's major source One of the biggestprojectswas the Volta
of income was cdcoaproduction- it was dam scheme. The RiverVoltawas dammed Much of Ghana'sstruggleto developslnce
the largest producerof cocoa in the world. ro create the hugeLakeVolta, anda hydro- the 1970scanbe explainedby its debt.
The colonial government,appointedby electric power station was built at Ako- Ghana was one of many African countries
Britaln, decidedthe price that cocoafarm- sombo. This was intended to generate to developin the 1960s and 1970s using
ers received.Cropsand resources wele electricityto process Ghana's hugereserves overseas capitaTloaned at cheapinterest
exportedcheapiyto Britain in a raw state. of bauxite(aluminlum ore).Near-neighbour rates.In the 1980s, globalinterestrates
The UK processed them and profitedfrom Nigeriawas at the time developing its huge
the addedvalue - Ghanadid not. oi1 reserves, and drew in thousandsof
Independence shouldhave meant that Ghanaian guestworkerswho sent money
Ghana wasfree to determineits own future. back to Ghanaas valuableremittancepay- Fact file
At the time of independence, its per capita ments.Ghanaseemedassured of a bright Totalpopulation,
2005 22.1million
GDPwas equalto that ofSouth Korea.Yet economic future. Lifeexpectancyat birth,2004 57 years
South Koreahas gone on to far outstrip However,this 1eve1 of investmentwas Average populationgrowthrate, 2006
Ghanain prosperity.How has Ghanafallen expensive, and was fundedby huge inter- 1,.97%(a doublingtimeof 36 years)
behind?It is a long way now from achieving nattonaT loans.It focused development on population45%
economic independence, andis sti11 depen- urban areasandthe coast.Cocoa, so suc-
Under rate,2004 7I2 pe(
5 mortality
dent on the decisions madeby other people cessfulin colonial tlmes, was neglected, thousand
in distantcountries. incomesfell, and socialunrest followed.
GNI percapita,
2005 $450.Ranked 176
A m i l i t a r y c o u p r e s u l t e di n t h e a r m y outof 208countries. Lowincome
Development and early ruling the country.By the late 1970s a series country accordingto the WorldBank
of droughtshad pushed up food prices,
progress peoplewere going hungry and there was
Fixedlineandmobile phone subscribers,
2004 93 perthousand
At the time of Ghana's independence, large-scale unemployment.Nationaldebt Ca6ondioxide emissions percapita,
Prime Minister Nkrumah built schools, reachedrecord levels.The situation was 2002 0.4tonnes
, o u s i n g ,a n e w i n t e r - madeworsewhen Nigeria expelledGhana-
r o a d s ,l a c t o r i e sh
38 GeographyReview

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Water provision is abig challenge in
wEST ., i r in' $
,: - ro*.rr*p
i.,n , o *
\\ .' -/---J
'--'l Yendi. (:'-'i
) .ramale
\o I,
\" vX%
i.…read more

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GhanaWaterwould be likely to lose their moving away from rural cocoa-growing
Bagsof cocoabeansat the Kaapa Kokoo jobs as the new private sectorcontractor areas, leavingthe older peoplebehind to do
cooperatiue soughtto cut costs the farming.
r plans at present are to privatise only Most of the chocolate consumed in the
The impactsof a lack of piped water and urban water and sanitationsystems.…read more

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Life in Ghanatoday
r Families struggleto payaverage rents
of US$16 a month.
r lt is common for oeople to livewithno
power, a bizarre situation in a country
which produces HEP. However, almost all Ashby, M. Megacities,migrationand Manila,4, 2-5
theelectricity generated is sold to thealu-
miniumsmelterand oricesare above Bek, D. and Binns,F. Puttingethicson the table.
affordable levels
for mostGhanaians. Part 7 Consumption,2, 24
r Mostpeople workintheinformal sector, Bek, D. and Binns,f. Puttingethicson the table.
andnever paytax. Part 2 Case studiesfrom SouthAfrica,3.…read more


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