Ghana’s economy: is it sixty-three or twenty-seven years of economic stability?

First Republic

Ghana was officially declared an independent State on 6th March 1957 by the British Colonial Government. At this stage in the nation’s political history, the elected President, the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was still “answerable” to the Queen of England. Before 1st July 1960, Dr. Nkrumah somewhat assumed the role of a Prime Minister. The declaration of independence freed Ghana primarily from the shackles of colonial rule and slavery. However, sixty-three successive years down the line, it is difficult to determine, economically, whether or not Ghana is indeed, sixty-three years.

On 1st July 1960, Ghana attained a Republican status. This “immuned” the elected President and leader of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Dr. Nkrumah, from being directly answerable to the Queen of England. Following independence from Great Britain in 1957, Ghana’s economy was characterized by the following features: well-developed infrastructure for trade servicing; world’s leading producer of cocoa; a country endowed with natural resources such as gold, diamond, manganese, and bauxite in commercial quantities; endowed with oil palms in commercial quantities; relatively advanced system of education; socio-economic stability and prosperity; central economic planning; availability of resources encouraged adaption and implementation of State-led economic strategy; limited room for free trade; provision of free health care, housing, and education (Socialist-driven policies); positive economic recognition in the international community; redistribution of national prosperity; agricultural-led economy; state perceived as mother and father of citizens; and maintenance of an irreversible process of economic, social and political development, among others (Brydon, 1999; Brydon & Legge, 1996).

Thus, the state of the Ghanaian economy in immediate post-independence era was an obvious envy of other African countries that were struggling for socio-economic and political freedom. The country was on the path of economic stardom among the comity of nations not only in Africa, but also across the globe. There is no gain-saying the foundational economic development model of Ghana, whether socialist-driven or otherwise required consolidation; and building on the gains through the introduction of other economic development models such as the capitalist model. Indeed, a blend of the two protagonist economic models, capitalism and socialism, remains the dominant national economic management approach in many advanced, emerging and developing economies around the world.  

Immediate Post-Independence Economic Measures Immediately after independence, Dr. Nkrumah latched on the relative stability of the Ghanaian economy to embark on expansion and diversification; transformation of the Ghanaian economy from agricultural-led to a mixed agricultural-industrial-led economy. Further, he considered the establishment of industries for import substitution; and processing of goods for export. Industries were established through borrowing (loan), using proceeds (revenues) from cocoa as collateral or security. The latter is not too distinct from the current cocoa syndicated loans contracted by successive governments for economic growth through increased productivity in cocoa farming

activities and cocoa processing industry; and through support for other key and deprived areas of the Ghanaian economy.

Dr. Nkrumah’s economic policies sought to minimise Ghana’s vulnerability to world trade; and to reduce Ghana’s over reliance on foreign goods (imports). Unfortunately, prices of cocoa suffered a sharp decline in the mid-1960s. As a result, the fundamentals of the Ghanaian economy were adversely affected; it became difficult for the President Nkrumah-led government to continue with the intended projects. During the period, some state enterprises were over-staffed while incompetence characterised the performance of some staff of state enterprises. Further, allegations of corruption were leveled against some CPP government officials whilst the prevailing economic challenges induced government’s major source of revenue to be eventually borrowing.

Some opponents described President Nkrumah’s development agenda as “over ambitious.” For instance, Dr. Nkrumah believed infrastructural development witnessed in the United States in hundred years could be carried out in Ghana in ten years. However, President Nkrumah’s submission could be described as contextual. Given the geographic size, population, natural and financial resources at the beck and call of the United States compared to Ghana’s related features during the period, President Nkrumah’s declaration on infrastructural development within the Ghanaian context, may not be described as an exaggeration. Indeed, the geographic size, population, human capital, natural and financial resources of the country supported President Nkrumah’s assertion on infrastructural development. Proponents of President Nkrumah’s development agenda argued his positive intentions for the country would have been feasible and realisable if key stakeholders at the time demonstrated holistic commitment to the national cause. Although socio-economic development continuum was elusive in the First Republic, the reverse seems to characterise development efforts during the Fourth Republic.    

Effects of Fall in Cocoa Prices – 1960s

The fall in price of cocoa in the 1960s had the following debilitating effect on the Ghanaian economy: weak demand for the leading export commodity – cocoa; over valuation of the nation’s currency; crippled productive capacity; accumulation of debt, especially foreign debt; failure to settle debts resulted in ten times increase in the country’s debt between 1960 and 1966. Suggestions by some economists in the mid-1960s to devalue the Ghanaian Cedi as a solution to the prevailing economic crisis were not heeded to based on the following economic arguments: repayment of loans in foreign currencies, such as the United States Dollar, would have required more Cedis; and cost of importing finished goods and raw materials would have been very high to consumers and the infant industries. Further, it was believed the economic consequences outweighed the economic benefits of devaluation. However, the opponents were of the firm conviction a devaluation of the Cedi would have made cocoa price more attractive to buyers in the world market (Brydon, 1999; Brydon & Legge, 1996; de Hoyos, 1991). The resultant economic effect of this adjustment would have been an increase in government’s total revenue to reduce the extent of borrowing; and total national debt.

Major Economic Reforms – 7-Year Development Plan The first major comprehensive economic plan developed in Ghana for implementation was the 7-Year Development Plan under Dr. Nkrumah. The 7-Year Plan had three broad objectives. That is, to speed-up Ghana’s economic growth rate; rapidly develop the State and co-operative sectors of the economy through a socialist transformation approach; and complete eradication and replacement of the colonial structure in the Ghanaian economy. The plan sought to ensure balanced development in the areas of social, institutional, and industrial infrastructure across the country.

It is worth-emphasizing the 7-year plan was developed after a thorough examination of the country’s needs and resources. Besides, the first ever drawn-up economic plan for Ghana was the 7-year development plan; the 7-year plan was highly integrated and comprehensive; the plan was designed to lend credence to CPP’s programme dubbed, “Work and happiness,” which had gained popularity across the country. The plan was designed to consolidate the socialist production and distribution ideology of the CPP Administration, among other significant socio-economic considerations (Azindow, 2005; Hutchful, 2002; Nkrumah Infobank, 2017).

The 7-year development plan sought, inter alia, to protect Ghana’s independence and socialist ideology; encourage higher growth in the public and co-operative sectors than in the private sector in the areas of agriculture and industry. The state enterprises were expected to be efficient, self-sustaining, and profit-deriving while profits from the operations of the state enterprises were expected to develop into capital for new investments (Azindow, 2005; Hutchful, 2002; Nkrumah Infobank, 2017). Thus, expectations of elected governments from state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to be profit-oriented dates back to the first political administration of this country. A major challenge to successful management and derivation of profits from the operations of SOEs under the first republic was lack of qualified human capital to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in day-to-day operations.

The narratives revealed in spite of the relatively low level of educated population, the country had individuals with the requisite skill and acumen to effectively steer the affairs of the SOEs to assure the nation of economic success and profit. However, most of these qualified personnel were found in the opposition political parties and groups; and were not ready to offer their services through the President Nkrumah-led government to the nation. This professional reluctance had dire economic implications for the economy. Indeed, it contributed immensely to the accumulation of national debt through increased infrastructural development with less than proportionate increase in total inflows (revenues), especially from the operations of state-owned enterprises. Inarguably, effective management of the SOEs would have actualised the foundations of the country’s development agenda during the first republic to set strong development imprints for subsequent periods.

NLC’s Approach to Economic Leadership Recurring economic challenges led to the overthrow of the Dr. Nkrumah-led government through a bloodless coup d’état on 24th February, 1966 by the National Liberation Council (NLC) under the leadership of Gen. Joseph A. Ankrah. Most of the industrial projects commenced by Dr. Nkrumah were abandoned by the NLC; the latter had the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The NLC became pro-IMF. De Hoyos (1991) noted major projects launched, and in some cases nearly completed by the Dr. Nkrumah government, were abandoned following IMF orders. Some of these included the fully completed state concrete panel factory and the huge state farms which were abandoned; the Ferro-manganese project which was left to rust; construction of the gold-refining factory which was halted; and pulling down of the cocoa storage silos on orders of the IMF. The latter was intended to compel the country to release all her cocoa in a given year for export, irrespective of the prevailing price in the world market. Abandonment of major projects completed or initiated during the first republic extended beyond the NLC era to subsequent political-administrative periods. The NLC’s decision to discontinue industrial projects and programs commenced by the President Nkrumah-led government could be attributed mainly to the former’s implementation of austerity measures on the dictates of the IMF; and divergence in socio-economic development views of the two governments – capitalism and socialism. Strict adherence to the economic management orders of the IMF by the NLC culminated in the clarion call by organized labour and other national key stakeholders for general elections to be organized; and the country returned to civilian rule during the period (Boafo-Arthur, 1999b).

Economic history revealed discussions between representatives of the NLC and IMF were centred on monetary and fiscal discipline; liberalization of Ghana’s trade; devaluation of the Cedi; and removal of subsidies. The NLC sought to redirect Ghana’s development focus from the socialist-driven approach to a neo-liberal (market-oriented) approachby revising Dr. Nkrumah’s state-led policies. The new regime identified the private sector as the engine of economic growth and as part of its remedial economic measures, sought to empower the private sector to assume its rightful role as the major stimulant of the Ghanaian economy. As noted in the preceding section, the NLC’s market-oriented economic approach was heavily resisted by organised labour; professional associations comprising industrial workers, teachers, and lawyers were opposed to the “novel” economic policies that sought to increase individuals’ financial commitments and responsibilities while reducing government subsidies. We observe suggestions by the IMF to the NLC in the 1960s for economic recovery were not too distinct from those proffered to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) through the Extended Credit Facility Agreement in April 2015.  The extended credit facility agreement emphasised on removal of subsidies and introduction of taxes to shore up government’s revenues to expedite debt servicing, among other key economic management strategies and considerations.

Under the NLC, one would dare say a good economic policy was introduced at the wrong time. For instance, as at 1960, Ghana’s total population was estimated at 6 million people. However, only 6% of the total population was presumed to be literates; and this translated into 360,000 people (6,000,000 x 0.06 = 360,000 people), implying 5.64 million people (6,000,000 – 360,000 = 5,640,000) could barely read and write. This large population (5.64 million people) depended essentially on the few literates (360,000 people) to decipher and appreciate government’s planned and implemented policies and programmes. Further, majority of the population was accustomed to the socio-economic freebies enjoyed under the Dr. Nkrumah administration and were therefore, at variance with the neo-liberal economic policies which sought to increase their stake in governance through increased financial burden and commitments. However, the economic strategies adapted for implementation by the NLC were able to tame inflation during the period. As an example, the rate of inflation in 1966 was 13.24%. This was 13.21% less than the 26.44% recorded in the preceding year (1965). The respective rates of inflation in 1967 and 1968 were negative 8.42%, and (positive) 7.89% (World Bank as cited in Macrotrends, 2020). Data in Figure 1 depict periods of single digit inflation in the chronicles of Ghana’s economic history. The data suggest for over fifty-five (55) years that is, from 1965 through 2020, Ghana has recorded single digit inflation in nine (9) financial years – 1967 through 1971; 2011 and 2012; and 2018 and 2019. Two (-8.42% and 7.89%) were recorded under the economic watch of the Gen. Ankrah-led government.    

Evidently, the market-oriented or capitalist approach to economic development and growth which was introduced in the mid-1960s and in the early 1970s remains the model that drives Ghana’s economy today. Its adaption and implementation among economies on the African continent are widespread. The mode of acceptance and implementation is characterised by minimal resistance. Today, the lop-sided ratio of educated population relative to the total population of Ghana and most African countries has increased considerably. In Ghana, the literacy rate among persons who are 15 years and older is estimated at 79%. This is significantly higher than the literacy rate in La Cote d’Ivoire (47%) (World Bank Group, 2020). The positive effect of increased investment in education is the people’s ability to comprehend with relative ease and appreciate government policies and programmes. All things being equal, high literate population minimises government’s burden of providing innumerable explanations for intended policies and planned programmes; and engenders compliance, among others.

PP’s Economic Approach – Second Republic

Incessant pressures from the citizenry compelled the NLC to organise elections and hand over to a democratically elected President or government. On 3rd October, 1969, the NLC handed over political power to the Progress Party (PP) led by Dr. Kofi A. Busia. The latter was declared winner of the presidential polls organised in that year.  Dr. Busia’s government was formed in the Second Republic. Like the NLC, the PP pursued market-oriented or neo-liberal policies. That is, the economic trajectory of Dr. Busia’s administration was private sector focused. As part of the economic reforms, the PP sought to tackle inflation. The success story of Dr. Busia’s government on inflation cannot be underestimated. The lowest inflation rate (3.03%) in the annals of Ghana’s economic history from 1965 through 2020 was recorded in 1970. Shared data in Figure 1 affirm Dr. Busia’s stewardship was characterised by single digit inflation rates: 7.32% in 1969; 3.03% in 1970; and 9.56% in 1971. However, investments in the public sector and employment in the private commercial sector witnessed steady decline while budgetary allocation for agriculture was reduced by 35% (World Bank as cited in Macrotrends, 2020; de Hoyos, 1991).  

Figure 1: Single Digit Inflation Periods – 1965 – 2020

Data Source: World Bank (as cited in Macrotrends, 2020)

In 1968, the Ghana Gold Company became a junior partner to the London-Rhodesian Mining Company (Lonrho) in the ownership and management of then Ashanti Gold Mines (now AngloGold Ashanti). The investment in Ashanti Gold Mines by Lonrho during the period was described as the major single takeover in the history of the company (de Hoyos, 1991). In 1971, the Dr. Busia-led government prepared an austerity budget which included the introduction of development levy; introduction of import taxes; trade liberalisation; withdrawal of subsidies; abolishing of free transport and free education; and devaluation of the Ghanaian currency (Cedi) by 44%. The austerity measures of the Progress Party attracted public uproar; a large section of the population was discontented with the Progress Party government’s neo-liberal stance.

NRC/SMC’s Economic Approach

On 13th January, 1972, the Dr. Busia-led government was toppled by the National Redemption Council (NRC) led by then Col. Ignatius K. Acheampong. On 9th October, 1975, now Gen. Acheampong changed the name of his government to the Supreme Military Council (SMC). This later became known as SMC I after the Palace Coup by led by Gen. F. W. K. Akuffo on 5th July, 1978 emerged with the Supreme Military Council (SMC) II. The NRC/SMC promised to propel Ghana’s economy to greater heights. The regime sought to abolish the market-oriented economic approach. Under the NRC, benefits to public sector workers were fully restored; the country’s currency (Cedi) was revalued by 42%; most of the country’s foreign debts were cancelled – the NRC refused to pay external national debts; development levy was abolished; and efforts were made to achieve food sufficiency through Operation Feed Yourself (OFY) (Shillington, 1992; Gyimah-Boadi, 1993).

The NRC/SMC’s economic measures gained immediate domestic popularity, but later worsened the nation’s economic position. The regime was believed to be characterised by corruptive practices; incompetence; economic mismanagement; siphoning of nation’s limited resources; diversion of substantial part of foreign exchange earnings from sale of cocoa; and high inflation rates. In 1972, inflation rate was 10.07%. This was a marginal increase from the 9.56% recorded earlier in 1971. Other inflation rates recorded during the NRC/SMC period as shown in Figure 2 were: 1973 (17.68%); 1974 (18.13%); 1975 (29.82%); 1976 (56.08%); 1977 (116.45%); and 1978 (73.09%) (World Bank as cited in Macrotrends, 2020). The inflation rate in 1977 (116.45%) is the third-highest in the 55-year economic history of the country.

AFRC’s Economic Approach

On 4th June, 1979, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) led by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings toppled the NRC/SMC government. A section of Ghanaians described the 1979 Coup as the “1st Coming of J.J.” The AFRC succeeded in fighting economic mismanagement; corruption; and profiteering and exploitation. After cleaning the “mess” in Ghana’s economy, the AFRC supervised a Presidential Election in 1979. The political mandate of the AFRC ended on 23rd September, 1979.

PNP’s Economic Approach – Third Republic

The baton of leadership was passed on by the AFRC, led by Flt. Lt. Rawlings, to the People’s National Party (PNP) led by Dr. Hilla Limann on 24th September, 1979. Dr. Limann’s government was formed in the Third Republic. The PNP government inherited weak state institutions; limited foreign exchange earnings; limited supply of goods; economic mismanagement under the NRC/SMC I & II regime; and deteriorating social infrastructure.

Under the PNP, external assistance, including IMF loan were sought to revive the economy; negotiations with the IMF were opposed to vehemently by pressure and labour (professional) groups such as the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Ghana Bar Association (GBA), and Association of Registered Professional Bodies (ARPB). The pressure and labour groups were concerned about the negative implications of the IMF policies for the Ghanaian economy (Gyimah-Boadi, 1993; Azindow, 2005). The enormity of the challenges inherited by the Dr. Limann-led government affected her ability to turn around the economic fortunes at an accelerated pace. Macroeconomic indicators such as inflation were not favourable. Statistics in Figure 2 indicate the rate of inflation in 1980 was 50.07%, an improvement over the 54.44% recorded earlier in 1979. However, the rate recorded in 1981 was 116.50%, the second highest in the last 55 years.   

PNDC’s Economic Approach

The Military described Dr. Limann’s government as “dull” and incompetent. Therefore, it came as a little surprise when on 31st December, 1981 the PNP government was ousted out of power by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) led by Flt. Lt. Rawlings. A section of Ghanaians described the 1981 coup as the “2nd Coming of J.J.” The Military described the takeover as a “Revolution” culminating in the formation of the PNDC.

Figure 2: High Inflation Periods – 1965 – 2020

Data Source: World Bank (as cited in Macrotrends, 2020)

As of 1981, Ghana was heavily dependent on international trade; and highly dependent on foreign aid for economic survival. As at 1983, the nation’s coffers were virtually empty; the country was in disarray; Ghana’s economic ranking in the world has shrunk considerably; the nation did not have the economic and political muscle to be independent of the Western economies; Ghana’s economic conditions were worsened further by the Nigerian government’s decision to repatriate over 1 million Ghanaians in January 1983. The preceding factors subjected Ghana to the dictates of external forces, especially the industrialised (now called advanced) economies. The foregoing economic challenges culminated in an inflation rate of 122.87% in 1983, the highest over the last 55 years (see Figure 2).  

Second Major Economic Reforms – SAP

The second major reforms in the economic archives of Ghana’s history were the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) under the leadership of Flt. Lt. Rawlings. Ghana’s SAP had two dimensions: political which required government machinery must be structured on democratic lines. Thus, the PNDC was tasked to ensure a transition from military rule to a democratic rule; and economic which emphasised the need for government to embrace market-oriented policies, including privatisation, trade liberalisation, and fiscal discipline, among others.

The SAP is a generic phrase used by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank) and the IMF. Adaption and implementation of the SAP vary from country to country. In Ghana, SAP was launched and implemented under the caption, “Economic Recovery Programme (ERP).” The ERP was launched in Ghana in 1983 under the guidance of the World Bank and IMF. The overarching objective of the ERP was to create the enabling environment for capital creation in the Ghanaian economy. ERP sought to improve Ghana’s trade position in the international market while reducing debt to an appreciable level.

Further, ERP was designed to curb inflation through stringent monetary, fiscal, and trade policies; increase Ghana’s foreign exchange inflows; direct the foreign exchange inflows to prioritised sectors of the Ghanaian economy; restore incentives for production in the economy; restructure economic institutions; rehabilitate infrastructure to increase production and export; and to increase supply of essential goods in the Ghanaian market. The foregoing was intended to shore up national revenue and to reduce significantly the total national debt to help improve the debt to GDP ratios in subsequent financial years. The debt to GDP ratio in 1982 was 105.7% (Issahaku as cited in Azindow, 2005).

ERP I (1983 – 1986):  In phase I of the ERP, emphasis was on creation of incentives for private production; reduction in government expenditures; improvement in tax collection; reduction in budget deficit (6.3% of GDP in 1982; 0.1% of GDP by 1986); and easing government’s pressure on the banking system.

ERP II (1987 – 1989): Phase II of the ERP was characterised by divestiture of state assets through privatisation; introduction of more stringent foreign exchange reforms, leading to further devaluation of the Cedi; and introduction of foreign exchange bureaus in 1987 to minimise, if not eliminate, the activities of black market operators.

ERP III (1990 – 1991): In Phase III of the ERP, Ghana witnessed reduction in private corporate tax; private sector growth; more monetary reforms; improvements in repayments of international debt; improved economic reputation in the international community; and first entry into the international market after over two decades of exit. Under the ERP, about US$4.2 billion was sourced for infrastructural projects in the country. More than half of the funding was obtained from external sources. Agricultural sector’s share of government’s budget in 1983 equalled 10%; 1986 was 4.2%; and 1988 equalled 3.5%. The foregoing excluded foreign projects. Cocoa’s contribution to GDP was less than food crops. Cocoa received 9% of capital expenditures in the 1980s.

Due to its value, cocoa received about 67% of the recurring expenditures in the agricultural sector. The Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) was introduced by the PNDC government to minimise the barrage of criticisms against its policies. PAMSCAD involved US$85 million. PAMSCAD was introduced to create 40,000 jobs in two years (1988 – 1990); improve the living conditions of artisans, small-scale miners, and poor individuals; and to assist communities execute labour-intensive self-help projects (Ahiakpor, 1991; Azindow, 2005; Bawumia, 1998; Boafo-Arthur, 1999a; Brydon, 1999; Donkor, 1997; Gyimah-Boadi, 1993; Nugent, 1995; Shillington, 1992).

The Fourth Republic

Under the fourth republic spanning from 1993 till date, one could affirm, with substantial evidence, the development of new infrastructural facilities to accelerate the pace of national development and growth. For instance, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government has enumerated about 17,334 projects over the four-year period (2017 through 2020). The statistics revealed 8,746 projects, equivalent to 50.5% of the total projects have been completed while the remaining 8,588 projects, representing 49.5% are ongoing, and at various stages of completion. These plethora of projects adds up to other projects completed by previous political administrations. The quantum of infrastructural projects initiated and completed during the fourth republic is unheralded in the chronicles of Ghana’s political and economic history.

Evidence suggests that on paper and officially, Ghana is sixty-three years. However, in real economic terms, the country is actually twenty-seven years (1993 through 2020) since most of her steady, tangible and intangible development projects are traced to this period. The economy’s lower middle income status was achieved within the last twenty-seven years. Actually, it was attained about ten years ago (in November 2010) when government Statisticians discovered the nation was undervalued by over 60% (MacDougall, 2011).

Economic Summary

Ghana was the world’s leading producer of cocoa over a sixty-seven (67)-year period. That is, from 1911 to 1978. The country controlled 40% of the total market share and set quality standards for cocoa between 1911 and 1978. The commodity – cocoa – contributed 60% to Ghana’s total export earnings by 1980. However, between 1977 and 1986, the world price of cocoa dropped from £3,000 per tonne to £600 per tonne. The Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board offered ¢360 per load to cocoa farmers, and this was significantly low; La Cote d’Ivoire and Togo offered ¢1,200 and ¢900 respectively to the Ghanaian cocoa farmers during the period. Due to the low price offering, about 15% of Ghana’s cocoa production was lost through smuggling between 1980 and 1981; and Ghana’s foreign exchange earnings were negatively impacted by the activities of smugglers (Brydon, 1999; Brydon & Legge, 1996).

However, the usher of the country in the fourth republic seems to have changed the narratives; revised economic strategies and improved technology have reduced overreliance on cocoa as the principal source of foreign exchange earnings to the country. Inflows from crude oil, precious minerals such as gold, diamond, manganese, and bauxite; non-traditional exports; international trade taxes, domestic taxes and others, complement inflows from cocoa exports. Current efforts aimed at establishing cocoa processing factories and refineries for precious minerals in strategic parts of the country would increase the respective commodities’ contributions to total revenue and GDP while leveraging on employment opportunities and unit prices of chocolates and gold ornaments.

Conclusion

Ghana’s economic history from 1957 to 1991 through 2020 has been chequered; it has been characterized by vicissitudes and challenges in some cases, beyond economic measure owing to frequent change in governments; and extended period of military rule through coup d’états (see Table 1). The narratives revealed stability in the nine years (1957 to 1966) following independence. The fifteen years (1966 to 1981) following the nine years were characterized by dramatic changes in governments through coup d’états, followed by eleven years (1981 to 1992) of stable military administration; and twenty-seven years (1993 to 2020) of stable democratic rule. The incessant political instability contributed significantly to the deteriorating nature of infrastructural facilities constructed and many factories established in the nine years immediately after Ghana’s independence. Indeed, the fourth republic has succeeded in addressing this anomaly to a large extent; and made it possible for the country to chart the course of socio-economic prosperity at an accelerated pace.

The discussions suggest accelerated development and growth thrive in a stable democratic environment. If the foregoing is a truism, it affirms the need for all stakeholders in the country to eschew negative political trajectory and complacency; and guard “jealously” against the current democratic dispensation and economic gains to guarantee the nation of rapid development and growth to facilitate her transition from lower middle income to upper middle-income economy within the shortest possible period.

Table 1: Ghana’s Political Administrations – 1957 – Present

Source: Author’s compilation

Ebenezer M. Ashley (PhD)

Chartered Economist /

Business Consultant 

About The Author

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