The big Dam - Ghana

River Volta dam - Akosombo Dam


The story behind the Dam

  • Ghana got independence in 1957- wanted to develop quickly
  • it wanted: Factories, schools, hospitals, roads and homes
  • All needs power (electricity)
  • Ghana's answer lake Volta
  • a dam that can produce hydroelectricity (Akosombo dam)
  • dams are expensive
  • loans from world bank, UK and a massive loan from the USA
  • as part of the USA loan an American company Valco could produce aluminium using the power created by the dam at low prices
  • Ghana has lots of Bauxite (needed for making Aluminium)
  • The electricity would be cheep for 50 years
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What Ghana hoped/thought would happen

  • Valco would use Ghana's Bauxite - and some could be exported for a good price
  • some of the aluminium used for making goods in Ghana and then being sold in Ghana and some sold abroad 
  • power for homes and other businesses
  • transport routes
  • fish farming
  • tourism
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The project

  • 80,000+ were moved
  • 4% of Ghana was drowned
  • Valco built an smelter (used to extract aluminium) at the port of Tema
  • They said they would only import Bauxite from Jamaica while Ghana built an alumina plant and an railway had been built before Ghana's bauxite would be used.
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What happened...

  • The dam was 100% compete in 2000 (35 years later)
  • Valco was still importing (using none of Ghana's Bauxite)
  • used almost half the power from the Dam at a smaller price than everyone else
  • no tax on imports or export
  • droughts were causing lower water levels
  • Ghana had to export its Bauxite
  • The lake was only used for fishing
  • most villages still didn't have any power
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The Latest problems

  • in 2003 Ghana said Valco must pay more for Power from the Dam
  • Valco said they weren't making enough profit and left
  • Now Ghana can make there own
  • they would first need a railway and a alumina plant
  • it's estimated it would cost $1billion
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ghazala salim


Maybe some Questions to :D



I agree with ghazala 

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