The Economic Development Of Ghana Essay, Research Paper
Ghana is an African country located on the western side of Africa. Its neighbors are Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Cote D’Ivoire to the west. It has a population of 18,100, 703 and a population density of 197 people per square mile. Ghana is 92,098 square miles and English is its official language. The capital city of Accra has around 1, 673,000 people residing in it. There are the physical statistics, now onto the more interesting part.The country’s greatest strengths lie in its natural resources. In those terms, it is very rich. Cocoa, its biggest export, accounts for 15% of the world’s supply. Also its gold production, in recent years, it’s exported as many as one million fine ounces. Ghana also has a good supply of bauxite, diamonds, coffee, rice, cassava, timber and rubber. Moreover, since 1983, the economy has steadily grown. With economic recovery policies intact, the economy has raised 5% a year since 1983. Tourism also is growing within Ghana. Tourist rates are increasing also. With all these cash crops, costly goods, and economic restructuring, one would wonder why they need assistance at all.
Ghana’s weaknesses though, almost outweigh the strengths. Like most countries in Africa, Ghana is in heavy debt since its independence in 1957. It also suffers from high budget deficits. All of the foreign investors that come in only invest in the gold fields. The richest business, Ghana isn’t getting that profit. Because of clearing the land for farm use and urbanization, 70% of the forest has been destroyed. With the new urban communities and mining, pollution is a very serious problem in this small nation.
As for other statistics that are related, its farming does well because of the two rainy seasons. There is only one doctor for every 12,523 people, but because of hygienic lessons, that doesn’t cause too much of a problem. The major causes of death are malaria, diarrheal diseases, and tuberculosis (due to the pollution). As for regions, the north is rather poor, while the urban south is richer.Now I chose Ghana for multiple reasons. First of all, because I always thought that Ghana was near the Philippines for some reason. So I decided that it’d be good for me to research it. Also, as I said, Ghana is very rich in natural resources. If you helped them get off on the right foot, not only could they help themselves, but you could make some money also. Ghana would also be a good place for economic help because all of its close neighbors also. If a neighboring country saw that what they were doing was working, they’d either mimic them or ask them for help (as long as the countries weren’t enemies). So hopefully it’d spread throughout the region.Now for government. The history of Ghana and its politics is very violent and turbulent. It has a long history of coups and militant overthrows, for a while it happened every couple of years. Even the current president, Jerry Rawlings, led two himself in 1979 and 1981. From 1981 to 1992, Rawlings was the leader of the Provisional National Defense Council. Right now there is a military/republic government. When Rawlings took office after ousting who he stepped down for, he imposed an austerity plan that helped control inflation in the country. It also helped Ghana receive financial support from the UN. The value of the currency there, called the new cedi, devalued three different times to stimulate exports. Although he was doing a good job helping Ghana back to its feet, he had to suppress several coups himself. A new referendum that he wrote in 1992 reestablished a constitutional government and Rawlings won the next election in 1996. It was a multiparty election.Now my plan isn’t too creative, but I believe that it’s just what Ghana needs. Because the country already has plenty of available natural resources, what it needs is the economic knowledge to put those to work and try to repay debts and earn capital. What needs to be done is simply education. If these farmers and government officials were trained in business sense, then the economy would be one of the highest in Africa. If around the world (possibly the UN could be of service) teachers (or people with business skills) were able to go to Ghana for a year and teach large classes, there would be a major improvement right there, And simultaneously, train native Ghanians to be able to teach people themselves. Then have them teach people also. So it would build this massive network of people helping each other. You see, I believe that education is the start of everything, without that, then people cannot help themselves. That’s why so many countries are in debt right now, lack of knowledge. If an investor saw that a country was well educated, then he’d be thinking about the more difficult and skilled labor that the workers could do. It would interest them more and they’d be more persuaded to invest. So if the educators would come to the country, then it’d lead Ghana on the path to being able to help themselves, which is what all development plans goals are.Goals are also quite simple. Short term goals: get at least 30 educators to the country to train civilians and other teachers, raise GNP and per capita GNP, reduce pollution and deforestation, and raise literacy rates. Long term goals: to have the natives teach each other so the hired abroad workers could go elsewhere, lower growth rate and disease rates, get country out of debt.If this would all work, Ghana could and would be a powerful small country. With its high variety of natural resources and arable land, it wouldn’t take much to get this country out of debt. If plans go extremely well, Ghana could possibly start handing out the loans. Remember that education is the foundation of everything possible.