Why can't Ghana print its own currency?

Ghana - Development policy study using the example of Ghana


Africa is still a large, unknown continent today. Little positive can be learned about the continent in the western world. Wars, hunger and poverty are the main pieces of information. That Africa has as rich a cultural history as Europe is rather unknown. In our enlightened western world, one repeatedly encounters terrifying ignorance about Africa. No wonder then that Africa has to fight hard for recognition in the world in many areas. Africa as a continent has to be differentiated into the individual regions. Often the problems of different regions are thrown together to form one global African problem. Every country has its own specific problems that cannot be described as Africa's problem. This also applies to the country of Ghana. If one were to analyze the problems of neighboring countries, one would certainly come across very different local difficulties. Some problems will certainly also occur supra-regionally, but basically every African country has its own specific problems.

There are several reasons why I am writing a paper specifically about Ghana: Ghana was the first independent African country and at that time it enjoyed a great reputation in Africa and the rest of the world. As the first democratic African country, Ghana was a model for many other countries in Africa. The economic prerequisites were also more than ideal, if only because of the great natural resources. But today Ghana is a developing country with great elementary difficulties. In this thesis the question should be asked why the once so rich Ghana is today a developing country, where the current most important problems lie and what future Ghana has. In Part I I will give an overview of the historical development of Ghana, the political development and show how Ghana became a developing country. Part II shows the fundamental current problems of Ghana, whereby I have put my focus on the areas of the political framework, the economy, the social system, tourism and current development aid. Because these topics symbolize the fundamental difficulties of the country.

Part III gives an outlook on the future of Ghana, whereby I first present the visions of the current Ghanaian government and then present my own assessment of the situation. I will present my solution approaches, which are primarily based on the principle of Local Agenda 21 are based. A summary at the end of the work presents the problem, taking into account the various solutions.

Part I: Historical and current data and facts about Ghana

1. Statistical overview

The following is data from 1997. They were collected by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation Unit 122. Some data, especially demographic and social, are very imprecise, as it is not possible to precisely record all of the inhabitants of Ghana. Therefore, these data are largely estimated. The economic data was obtained by the World Bank.

1.1. Statistically relevant data

Figure not included in this excerpt

Capital: Accra (together with the port city of Tema) Population approx .: 2 million

Figure not included in this excerpt

1.2. Demographic and social data

Around 18.5 million people live in Ghana. 2 million Ghanaians live abroad, including many scholars and intellectuals. With this population, Ghana is the most densely populated country in Black Africa1. Ghana is located in tropical West Africa and stretches from the Guinea coast not far from the equator from 4 • 45` to 11 • 10` north latitude and 3 • 15` W to 1 • 12`E. The national territory covers 238,540 square kilometers and is almost the largest in the old Federal Republic of Germany. In administrative terms, Ghana is divided into 9 regions and 64 districts. The municipalities have extensive self-administration, with the authorized administrators (similar to a mayor) being commissioned by the government to administer and not being elected. Nevertheless, in addition to the modern administrative authorities, the traditionally anchored authority of the tribal elders and chiefs persists.

In Ghana there are around 100 different ethnic groups spread across the country. The official language in all of Ghana is English, but there are also around 70 different tribal languages ​​that are very different. Therefore, there is a great problem in communication. Almost 50% of women in Ghana are illiterate, the figure for men is around 30%. Only about 40% of students in the country go to secondary school and only 1.5% are given the opportunity to go to college.

Religion also plays a major role in Ghana. Due to the colonial era, there are 30% Protestants and 12% Catholics in the country. 15% of the population are Muslims. There are also free preachers and natural religions

1.3. Economic data

Ghana has a population of approximately 18.5 million people. The annual growth rate is around 3%. Average life expectancy at birth is around 56 years. The gross national product per capita is around US $ 430. Real GDP growth is less than one percent.

About 60% of the population can read and write, the rate for men is around 70%, whereas for women it is only around 50%. 76% of the children go to school, 38% only attend secondary schools, and only 1.5% go to other universities.

The state's military spending is 3.53% of the total state budget. The proportion of the poor in the population is around 36%.

The Republic of Ghana imports more goods (for approx. 1.73 billion US $) than it exports (1.05 billion US $). The trade balance is - 677 million US $, the current account - 265.20 million US $. The country's inflation rate is around 27%. The public and private long-term foreign debt is US $ 4.84 billion (debt), or 67.88% of the gross national product. The main buyers of Ghanaian exports are the USA, the Federal Republic of Germany, Great Britain and France. The main exports are raw materials (41%), oil, minerals and metals (24.7%) and electricity (4.9%). The main suppliers to Ghana are Great Britain, Nigeria, USA, Japan, Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany. Imported products are capital goods (44.5%), semi-finished goods (28%), consumer goods (14.7%) and energy (10.2%). Ghana exports goods worth DM 255.73 million from Germany, including construction and timber (23.9%), vegetable oils and fats (21.2%), cocoa (20.9% ) and aluminum (16.9%). Machines (28.8%), vehicles (17.5%) and chemical products (15.7%) are imported from Germany for 233.67 million DM.

Ghana receives worldwide development aid; the total benefits amount to 653.20 million DM, which is approx. 7.5% of the gross national product of Ghana. Among the bilateral donors, Germany ranks third with 43.7 million DM annually. In first place is Japan with 122.1 million DM.

2. Historical development of Ghana up to independence

Traces of a 30,000 - 40,000 year old settlement can be found in Ghana2.

The first Ghanaian Empire came into being where the present-day republics of Mauritania, Senegal and Mali are located. The exact period of its creation is unknown, the first verifiable point in time for Ghana dates back to 790 AD. back3. The empire lasted until the 11th century and was a large and prosperous empire. This was mainly due to the abundant gold deposits in the country, and Ghana also controlled the region's most important trade routes. Only when the Islamists conquered the African continent did the empire collapse and the Berber empire and other Islamist empires followed. From that point on, Ghana was called Mali. The wealth of the region was lost through further waves of immigration and the wars caused by them, so that only individual ethnic groups lived in the Ghana region. These were scattered groups of the Kwa - Peoples who were settled in the south of the region and the Gur - Peoples who populated the north of the region. After this time the Akan people began to immigrate4who displaced the ethnic groups living there .. With the first wave of immigration came the Guan to Ghana, in the second wave the Fanti and in the third wave the Ashanti. These were the most important and largest ethnic groups that came to the region. Several smaller ethnic groups migrated to the Gold Coast in the following decades5 and fought with the tribes there for supremacy. An exact description of this historical epoch is very difficult because there are no sources from this time.

The pre-colonial peoples had no writings to leave behind for posterity. This fact is a major problem in Africa research.

2.1. The Europeans are coming

The Gold Coast was first set on by Portuguese sailors in 1471. In doing so, they found so much gold that they began to trade with it extensively. To protect against other immigrants and competitors, the Portuguese built the near Elmina in 1482 Sao Jorge da Mina (Ford Elmina). Initially, the Portuguese concentrated on the pure trade in gold, pepper and ivory. With the discovery of America in 1492 and the subsequent development of the tobacco, cotton and sugar industries, however, there was a great need for cheap labor. From 1505 the slave transports from Africa to South and Central America began, which for more than three centuries should fundamentally determine the fate of Africa. A total of around 6 million people were transported from the west coast during the slave trade, of which around 5000,000 were from the Gold Coast.6 The gold and human trade, which was very profitable at the time, attracted more Europeans to the Gold Coast. A fierce battle for supremacy on the Gold Coast raged until the middle of the 18th century. The English, Dutch, Swedes and Danes, and towards the end of the 18th century also Brandenburgers and Kurlanders, fought a bitter battle for this region. Many of the 35 fortifications are still from this time7built along the coast. These fortifications often changed hands during this period. The English showed themselves to be the strongest and took over rule towards the end of the 18th century. The English finally ended the slave trade around 1850. European missionaries came to Africa. They built schools and churches.

2.2 The colonial era

The ban on the slave trade, the industrialization of Europe, the increasing importance of the African market and the gradual formation of a local elite brought great, almost revolutionary changes to West Africa. At that time, private merchants and trading companies were responsible for trade. This policy changed, however, because it was recognized as important to own some overseas colonies. In 1821 the British government put the Gold Coast under their direct control8. The Ashanti Empire had turned against British control of the Gold Coast. They wanted to assert their own interests. The time of the Ashanti Wars began9who inflicted some severe defeats on the British. After only seven years, the British therefore returned control of the colonies to private trading companies. London companies sent George McLean as administrator to the Gold Coast. In 1831 he was able to make peace with the Ashanti, even established a general jurisdiction and stationed law enforcement officers along the trade routes. Due to his efficiency, a peacefully growing prosperity arose on the Gold Coast. British influence spread all over the country. Yet the boy's activities McLean went far beyond his authority, so that the British removed him through a commission of inquiry and took over the direct administration of the Gold Coast again on March 6, 1844. The agreement Bond of 1844 was closed in which the coastal tribes voluntarily submitted to the British. In return, they demanded military support in clashes against intruders.

In the meantime, Great Britain had risen to become a world power. The British also anchored themselves more and more on the Gold Coast. The Ashanti were almost eliminated in recent wars and imperialism made more and more socially acceptable. On July 24th, 1874, despite considerable resistance from the local elite, the Gold Coast was formally proclaimed a crown colony. The last Ashanti uprising took place in 1896. But this time the British got the upper hand. They reinforced their troops and marched after Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti, and razed it to the ground. The Ashanti King Prempeh 10 was captured and exiled to the Seychelles with his family for 25 years. For the British, the victory meant not only the internal security of the colony, but also the conquest of the hinterland. This enabled the British to secure the area against the Germans in Togo and against the French on the Ivory Coast.

2.3 The road to independence

Long before the boundaries of the individual colonies were established, there were already signs of discontent among the population. The administration of the crown colonies was based on the system of indirect rules, this only guaranteed the tribal chiefs traditional authority, but not any political co-determination. A number of organizations emerged that were seriously involved in the struggle for the country's independence. But their success was quite modest. In 1947 a new party was founded with the name United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) 11. This was a rallying movement of liberal intellectuals, wealthy merchants and some Chiefsas the land kings were called by the British. They had some success but were only interested in a gradual process of independence. They wanted independence in "the shortest possible time". Fundamental changes could not be achieved as a result. To Nkrumah came and asked: "Independence NOW".

2.3.1. Kwame Nkrumah

1947 became the party United Gold Coast founded (see above). But success wanted to subside Dr J.B Danquah, the first man at the head of this party, because it was an elitist party at the time that was without support from the people. Until the party decided Kwame Nkrumah to fetch from London and explain to their general secretary. In contrast to its predecessor Nkrumah"Independence NOW". This gave him the support of the general public. He mobilized the masses and was eventually elected Prime Minister in 1952. The British lost more and more influence. A final amendment to the constitution in 1954 resulted in no more Europeans being admitted to the government. The way to African self-determination was free. After British rule was lifted, the Gold Coast was given independence on March 6, 1957. The new state was called Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah became the first president and it was decided to introduce a parliamentary centralism in the new Ghana. On March 8, 1957, Ghana was admitted to the United Nations. On July 1, 1960, Ghana was named a republic after a referendum Nkrumah as head of state and head of government.

Statesman, revolutionary, pan-Africanist, socialist, savior, dreamer, nutcase. These are some of the many names that come up Kwame Nkrumah be brought into context. It is judged differently by all people inside and outside Africa. The fact is that he is the man who not only has a decisive influence on the history of Ghana but also the history of Africa. He devoted all his energy to his goal of the complete liberation and unification of Africa. Its work has influenced the history of Ghana so deeply that the effects can still be felt in Ghana today.

Nkrumah was born on September 21st, 1909 in a small village in the southwest of Ghana. He grew up in very simple farming conditions and was one of the few children who could go to school at the time. But this was, as in all of Ghana, a missionary school run by Catholic priests. He grew up during the period of imperialism and was confronted with the great contradictions of British democracy through his British upbringing. Everywhere the British clung to their ideals of freedom, only in their colonies did they trample on democracy. After finishing school he became a teacher. He left the Gold Coast in 1935 and ended up in the USA on a wrong track. There he studied political science. He deliberately avoided England because he wanted nothing to do with imperialism. In the USA he came into contact with prominent African freedom fighters, and he himself became active on the topic of African emancipation. After almost ten years, during which time he had obtained his doctorate, he went to London to act directly against the colonial power center. He founded the Pan African Congress along with other African freedom fighters who later played leading roles in their countries in the struggle for independence. 1947 came Nkrumah back to Ghana. In 1949 he founded his own party (Convention Peopel's Party). In 1950 he called for a strike across the country, whereupon he and eight other people were arrested. In 1951, he was elected president in the country's first elections, despite being in prison. In 1957 he becomes the first president of the now independent Ghana. In 1966 he was deposed in a military coup because he stood in the way of rapid industrialization with his sole rule and his socialist ideas. He lived in exile in Bucharest until his death in 1972 and wrote several political books during this time.

In contrast to his predecessor who demanded Nkrumah"

3. Development of Ghana into a developing country

Ghana went into independence in 1957 with a lot of hope12. Thanks to good world market prices for cocoa, gold and diamonds, Ghana was the richest colony in Africa on the day before independence. There was an intact economy with large foreign exchange reserves and mineral resources. But if you look at Ghana today, wealth is long gone. Why did a once rich country become today's developing country?

3.1. Government systems in independent Ghana

Since independence, the country has had eight different systems of government. In 1957 the first system of government, a multi-party parliamentary system (1957-1960) was established13. 1960 called Nkrumah the republic from. As president, he was now head of state and head of government in one, which resulted in him building a dictatorship. Opposition parties were banned. In 1964 the constitution was changed: the separation of powers was abolished, all power now rested with the state. The socialist thought Nkrumah ´ s prevailed. At the economic level there were only state-owned companies; Activities with private capital were for the most part inhibited. A repressive, verbal-socialist, economically bankrupt, dictatorial one-party system prevailed14. Kwam Nkrumah tried to close the big gap between Africa and the rest of the world. He acted very impatiently and thoughtlessly. His very positive big projects in Tema15 and at the Voltasee16, as well as the construction of transport systems, hospitals, schools, universities and health centers were part of his policy, but the population became increasingly impoverished. The discontent among the people grew. The consequence was that in 1966 by a bloodless coup in the absence of Nkrumah a military government came to power. This was anti-socialist and pro-western oriented. J.A. Ankrah, a major general, took power. Some economic factors should now be changed. The cedi has been drastically revalued, the state's investment expenditure has been reduced and state-owned enterprises have been privatized again. Ghana turned away from the Eastern Bloc. As a result of this policy, unemployment rose dramatically. In addition, the real income of the population fell. The result was another change of government in 1969 through free elections. N.A. Busai emerged as the winner of this election. Through consistent import liberalization, he wanted to build a development policy perspective that would promote economic growth. But this government also failed and was again put through by a military government. general Archeampong took power in 1972. This coup will be important for the further development of Ghana. Archeampong committed himself to non-alignment and self-reliance17. This brought Ghana political and economic isolation. Many people left the country as the leading officers enriched themselves at the expense of all social classes. The economy almost completely collapsed. 1978 became Archeompong overthrown by his own general. Akuffo came to power, which he did not hold for long due to the poor economic and social situation in the country. Especially in the course of recivilization on the part of the military government in 1979 Jerry J. Rawlings to power. His primary goal was to drive the corrupt exponents out of the state. He wanted to hold accountable all those who had enriched themselves at the expense of the people. Archeampong and Akuffo was executed. Nevertheless, a civil government came to power as planned. Hilla Limann was elected parliamentary president of a civil government in 1979 with the Peopel's National Party. But just two years later there was a coup Rawlings back in power and this time he stayed. He even enjoyed great sympathy among the youth and the rural population, as he wanted to continue fighting corruption. However, also had Rawlings Problems with the bad economy. He managed to give the country some stability again. The inflation rate was around 125% and brought Rawlings to the decision, the Cedi18 strongly devalue. In 1986 the inflation rate fell to 30% as a result. market economy principles were rebuilt. Foreign trade was liberalized and price fixing was lifted. The economy recovered and Ghana has had a steady upswing since that time. Decided in the early 90s Rawlingsto restore democracy across the country. Decentralization and decision-making power of the individual districts were carried out. In 1992 a new constitution was introduced, which is a presidential system similar to French. This is followed by the admission of parties and free elections. Stepped to these Rawlings as a civilian with his Provisional National Defense Party (PNDP) and was elected new president in 1993 with 55% of the vote.

3.2. Consequences of political and economic development

Ghana experienced eight different political systems during the period of independence. Nkrumah made Ghana socialist and annexed the land to the Eastern Bloc. The government that followed was oriented towards western and more capitalist values. The next military government wanted to be non-aligned and only looked after its own interests. No country can cope with three opposing systems of government in a row. The economy, in particular, has always suffered from political ideologies. The once excellent economic situation went downhill continuously from 1960 and reached its lowest point in 1983. Only with the takeover of government Rawlings the situation improved. Nevertheless, the country and the people are still suffering from the turmoil of the past 40 years. Ghana has had many advantages over other African countries. There was never a religious war in the country, raw materials were and still are plentiful, and a relatively secure water supply can be guaranteed through Lake Volta. Nevertheless, the country of Ghana is a developing country that needs a lot of time to achieve stability and prosperity. The once rich Ghana has today perished due to mismanagement, exploitation and corruption and suffers from many problems. These are presented in the second part of the thesis.

Part II: Fundamental and current problems in Ghana

1. Political framework

In 1993 the military regime was replaced by a parliamentary presidential democracy through free elections. Became Ghana's first president Rawlings. This created the conditions for the development of democratic structures, embedded in a policy of democratization and decentralization with the aim of increasing the participation of the population in the political process. Since the new elections in 1996, won again Rawlings, with the presence of the opposition, parliament is developing into a place of critical debate. In addition to the parliamentary opposition, the private press and radio programs are important instances of criticism and political control. It is generally believed that human rights violations have decreased significantly, but attacks are still occurring in Ghanaian prisons. The process of decentralization (democratization) brought about an improvement in the general political situation. Individual districts are responsible for areas such as transport infrastructure, water and waste disposal, basic education and the promotion of agriculture. However, the districts do not yet have the necessary understanding of roles and finances to carry out all of these tasks.

2. Economy

When Ghana gained independence in 1957, it was a rich country with foreign exchange reserves of over £ 200 million and rich sources of raw materials19. But the ambitious goals Kwam Nkkrumahs exceeded the capabilities of the country. Nevertheless, in a few decades Ghana became the most important world producer of cocoa, the export quota was over 60%, but this also caused a strong dependency on the frequently fluctuating world market prices. During this time, however, the transition from subsistence economy to a sales-oriented market economy was created. But the socialist policy of the 1960s caused the economic isolation of Ghana. The rich country used up the money reserves for complex projects in the country. Real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) fell from 5.2% to 2.5% during this period. The country never recovered from that.

2.1 Current economic situation

The country's natural potential lies in agriculture, mining (especially gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese), forestry and the hydropower potential of the Volta reservoir20.

Agriculture is the most important branch of the economy in the Republic of Ghana, albeit with a decreasing trend, with around 40% of GDP. More than two thirds of the working population are still active in agriculture. A large part of the exports in agriculture is still achieved through cocoa. The primary sector21 however lies behind the service sector. The secondary sector generates the lowest share of services with 14.3% of GDP, but with mining production, especially gold mining, has the highest share of export earnings.

2.2. Basic economic problems of Ghana

Today's economy in Ghana is of course in need of development compared to Western countries. In comparison with the other West African countries, Ghana plays an exemplary role. No other country has developed so well in the past few decades. Nevertheless, there are many fundamental developmental problems that are currently standing in the way of a further economic upswing:

2.2.1. inflation

The wave of inflation was initiated during the time of the Acheampong military government (1972-1979). Due to its policy of non-alignment and insufficient knowledge of economic policy, the country went bankrupt. When he noticed that the population had run out of money in the mid-seventies, he took this too literally and printed countless banknotes. This led to inflation of over 200% in a few months. The black market flourished and the economy continued to decline. Also in 1981, after the democratic government and the coup Rawlings, inflation was still 110%22. Sharp import restrictions and exchange controls on the part of the government at the time were the result. As a result, more than 40% of the industrial companies had to close during this time, and the remaining companies could only work with low capacity utilization, because there was a lack of foreign currency to import the raw materials necessary for further processing and the need for spare parts could not be met. Even today the inflation rate is still around 20%. This is mainly due to Ghana's export behavior: cocoa is the most widely exported good, the government buys cocoa beans from farmers at more expensive prices than they can sell on the world market. The result is rising inflation in the country. As a result, the industry continues to lack raw materials and spare parts, and economic growth is stagnating. There is no remedy in sight, because Ghana has no long-term concepts to privatize the economic system much more and to make Ghana an interesting business location. The government's latest idea is to give investors 10 years tax exemption in Ghana. According to this, taxes should not exceed 8 percent23. This means a declaration of bankruptcy by the government. No foreign investor will support the country's economy in this way, rather the company can be restructured.

2.2.2 Export - Import Ghana

After the Gold Coast became a British crown colony in 1874, brisk foreign trade soon set in, which resulted in considerable export surpluses. In addition to gold - the country's classic export good - natural rubber, wood and oil palm products were delivered to England, a little later also industrial diamonds and manganese, but shortly after the beginning of the 20th century cocoa took the top position in terms of value and has since made up 40% of total exports24. This explains the strong dependence of Ghana's foreign trade and economy on the respective price situation on the world market. The frequent and sometimes very considerable fluctuations in cocoa prices were caused not least by the fierce cultivation competition between the West African and South American countries (Ivory Coast, Nigeria), which led to overproduction and falling prices25. At that time, many farmers started subsistence farming. They tilled the fields with much-needed food to meet their own basic needs. The government then made more money available to buy cocoa from the farmers in order to make the cultivation lucrative again. The other export products such as gold, bauxite, manganese and even diamonds are largely dependent on the price formation of the world market. Only the export of timber and precious wood recorded a continuous upward trend with increasing demand, but the forest stocks in Ghana are largely exhausted, so that detailed export restrictions have been imposed in recent years. In contrast, import restrictions were imposed in the early 1980s in order to change the import surplus. The all-important machines and spare parts as well as the various kinds of end products not available in Ghana were missing. Today Ghana still has a higher import than export quota. As a result, the government is forced to take out loans, the national debt rises and the industry is not stimulated in the long term. The problem of the import - export trade is illustrated by the example of cocoa: it is exported in large quantities in return for importing chocolate made from its own beans, of course at very high prices. This shows that Ghana must finally rethink, because with the sale of raw materials, the country will always remain a plaything of world market prices. The trade balance in 1993 was US $ 677 million. This fact alone would have to force Ghana to set up new market economy-oriented concepts in order to build a competitive economy. Even if this process takes 10-20 years, it is essential for a future with a solidly competitive economy.

3. The social system

3.1. North-South conflict in the country

The population density in Ghana varies greatly from region to region. There is a large population gradient from south to north with the border line at Kumasi. The metropolitan area of ​​Ghana is Accra, the capital. Approx. 2 million people live here. There is a great social difference between the north and the south of the country. This is primarily due to the three different landscape zones. The Coastal plain is characterized by buildings from the colonial era. Ports and fortresses are evidence of the brisk trade at that time. The region is still strongly influenced by the colonial era. Poverty in Ghana is greatest in the north, north-east and north-west of the country with around 60% poor population26. In this Savannah area Agriculture is only possible to a limited extent, so that most of the villages do not trade, but only care for their own survival (subsistence economy). Very few children go to school here, so that language alone creates isolation. Because here people only live from hand to mouth. Education is not considered useful in this region. So the people have no regular income, they live from trade with one another. As a result, they pay no taxes and are not included in the country's gross national product.

3.2 Education

The first schools in Ghana were founded by missionaries who came to the Gold Coast with European traders. These were built along the coast. Philip Quarcoe (1742 - 1816) is considered an educational pioneer in Ghana. He was an English pastor who built several schools on the Gold Coast and also taught himself27. He brought the insight into the country that education is necessary. Around 1900 the Gold Coast already had a multitude of excellently trained local teachings, who in turn did everything to "emancipate" their compatriots.

After independence, compulsory schooling was introduced. Since the universities were founded in 1948, a total of 700,000 students have been enrolled. This explains why most of the skilled migrant workers in West Africa today come from Ghana. These are engineers, doctors and teachers, as well as craftsmen. ! In 986 the education system was changed.General compulsory schooling initially includes six years of elementary school, followed by three years Junior Secondary School 28, a kind of advanced school. After that, the young people have the opportunity to take up a job, or one Senior Secondary School to attend the completion of which entitles them to attend a university.

3.2.1 Problems of education

The actual situation in the education sector in the country is, however, appalling. Only 40% of children and young people actually go to secondary school29. School is an expensive pleasure for many families. Books and all school materials have to be taken care of by yourself, for which many do not invest money. On the contrary, young people are migrating to the cities in search of work. Even if 40% of young people still go through secondary school, the problem of Ghanaian education policy becomes clear using the example of universities: There are only four universities in the whole country! This means that only 1.5% of school leavers can even attend a university. This fact has an enormous impact on areas of business and politics. University graduates in Ghana also have great problems finding a job in Ghana. Therefore, over 2 million Ghanaians live abroad, including many intellectuals and scholars30. There is hardly any opportunity for intellectuals to participate in business and politics.

Another problem in the education system is inadequate control and compliance with compulsory education. There are no controls as to whether the children actually go to school. Furthermore, the schools are not equipped with the essential materials, so that it is very difficult for the teachers to teach. Classrooms consist of mud huts with benches and a few tables. There is no more material available to the teaching staff.

3.3. More social problems

Ghanaian society shows great social differences. Most of the population is poor (approx. 40%)31, there is almost no middle class and a small percentage is rich. This is partly due to the lack of industry and the rural exodus. Unemployment and housing shortages are rising rapidly in metropolitan areas. The result is a high level of crime, while corruption and nepotism are common in all areas of administration and public life. Above all, there is a lack of a pronounced hierarchical social order and a state bureaucracy, which is still often inefficient, tends to be hostile to modernization and hinder development. This becomes particularly noticeable in the slow administration. Although individual districts have been given more self-government, the men deployed to carry it out are determined by the state and not elected. As a result, these people lack the connection to the region and the awareness of the regionally different problems. The only remedy is further decentralization and greater participation of the population at the local level.

4. Tourism

As in almost all developing countries, the question arises as to whether tourism can be viewed as a dead end in terms of development policy or as a royal road32. Ghana is also faced with the decision for or against tourism. And of course the question of "How?" For a correct assessment of the forms and consequences of tourism one must therefore examine the economic and social dimensions.

4.1. Tourism and economy

Despite a lack of data on this area in Ghana, it can be stated with regard to the foreign exchange effects that only about 30 - 35% of the gross foreign exchange income goes to the holiday country33. A much larger part of the money goes directly to travel organizations and international hotel chains outside the country. To build up a tourism industry a high investment is necessary, mostly foreign investors build their "own" holiday resorts and hotels with their own workers and engineers, so that the Ghanaian construction industry does not benefit from these projects. Expenditures for advertising and foreign loans also prevent extensive use of foreign exchange earnings.

4.2 Problem areas of tourism in Ghana

The inadequate qualification and experience of local workers for managerial functions leads to recourse to external workers and thus limits the effects on employment. The ignorance of local hotel owners about marketing strategies and tourism as a whole actually leads to exploitation rather than economic success.

In contrast to this, however, longer-term tourism can lead to a significant improvement in the infrastructure. This means the expansion of electricity, ports, airports and transport routes. But with capital-intensive tourism promotion conflicts arise with the population, since investments for the local population can no longer be made.

4.3. Tourism in Ghana

Tourism in Ghana is not very well developed. Only in the big cities are there hotels with Western European standards. This is mainly due to the population's ignorance of tourism and, on the other hand, to the fact that the poor infrastructure largely prevents mass tourism.

Many private organizations offer a kind of study trip to Ghana, which certainly offers a good solution for the connection between tourism in developing countries. Tourism can, if it is "managed" or co-determined by the local population, serve to solve many, especially financial, problems. On the other hand, tourism harbors a great risk of further exploitation of an already poor country. Ignorance of the local population and the thought of quickly earning money through tourism in the short term has done more harm than good to many developing countries.34

5. Development aid

5.1. State development aid

The multilateral donors are primarily responsible for state development aid. The World Bank is one of the most important for Ghana. The most important bilateral donor is Japan with around $ 122 million annually. The Federal Republic of Germany ranks third with around $ 43 million annually (1995)35. At the same time as the bilateral agreements, further trade agreements are concluded, which mostly benefit the economy of the donor country more than that of the developing country. Germany imports goods from Ghana for approx. 233 million DM, but at the same time exports goods to Ghana for approx. 255 million DM. This clearly shows who really benefits from the economic agreements. In addition, Ghana mostly exchanges raw materials for end products. This is not conducive to real development aid, namely to the establishment of an own market economy-oriented industry. On the contrary: industrial development remains the same or deteriorates.

5.2. Forms of official development aid

The forms of official development aid are therefore counterproductive for promoting economic independence. One of these forms is the delivery of machines to developing countries. Mostly these are not suitable for the needs of the country. There are no spare parts to carry out repairs and many machines are used in other countries after the projects are completed. This has had negative effects in Ghana, as many foreign machines were briefly used in road construction. This means that hardly any repairs can be carried out on the roads because the machines are no longer in the country. Furthermore, the construction work was directed by foreign engineers, so that Ghanaian engineers were not in managerial positions. Doing road construction on your own therefore requires a complete fresh start.

This type of development aid brings about a short-term improvement in conditions, but in the long term it inhibits development considerably. This example also shows that donors benefit more from many forms of development aid than those who are already poor.

Part III: What future does Ghana have?

1. Ghanaian self-assessment

On January 6, 1996, the President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, published a program describing the future of social and economic development in Ghana36. This concept is based on an article anchored in the Basic Law37. According to this article, such a concept must be submitted by the President within two years after the Basic Law comes into force. The economy and society of Ghana should orientate themselves towards this concept.

1.2. Current situation from the government's point of view

The government recognizes the poor economic situation in the country. That a third of the population have the lowest standard of living cannot be overlooked. Still, the government points to growing industry, 7% in recent years, and an increase in agriculture. The poor education in the country with a literacy rate of around 50% is also known. The north-south divide is also a big problem, as is the inequality of women in many parts of the country. Pollution and social disorganization are other acute problems facing the country.

1.3. Development program of the Government of Ghana

Two different projects are planned. On the one hand, the development of the country is to be planned for the next 25 years, on the other hand there is a program for the next 5 years (The First Step - Long-Term Lens).

1.3.1 Long-term government projects

The main goal is to reduce poverty by raising average income and equalizing the wage range in society. This is to be done by limiting population growth to below 2%. Furthermore, the health system, the sewer system and the general standard of living are to be improved.

A state regulatory authority is supposed to control competition between domestic and foreign investors. For them, the location Ghana is to become attractive through an improvement of the state and public administration. Every Ghanaian should feel a material upswing. Economic growth should be 8% per year. This should happen through a big change in the economy: Agriculture should only contribute approx. 20% to the gross domestic product, industry 37% and the service sector approx. 45%. Furthermore, the social discrepancy between urban regions and rural areas is to be regulated. In the rural regions in particular, the infrastructure is to be considerably improved, so that urban flight is reduced again.

1.3.2. Government projects over the next 5 years

The 5 year plan Rawlings includes the following points:

- Poverty Reduction
- control of population growth
- More rights and shared responsibility for women
- Improvement of the health system
- Promote education and fight unemployment

These points are primarily intended to strengthen medium-sized businesses. The share of agriculture in GDP is to fall to 39% by the year 2000, industry is to have a share of 20%, and that of the service sector 41% in 2000. This can only be achieved by increasing investment to 26% of GDP. In financial policy terms, direct taxes should lead to more income and decentralization with financial local self-government should strengthen the economy. Achieving a positive export - import balance and price stability are further goals.

Public administration must be further improved and made more effective so that private investors present themselves.

2. Own assessment of the future of Ghana

2.1. General assessment

Ghana was and is a country of the most diverse possibilities in many ways. It is the first independent country in Africa with enormous natural resources and a rich culture. But it is also the land of failed political systems, exploitation through slavery and the theft of many natural resources. But Ghana has managed to free itself again and again from economic and political setbacks to this day. However, there must be major changes for this country to lose its "developing country" status. The visions of the Ghanaian government show that the fundamental problems were not or only insufficiently recognized. Has realistic solutions to existing problems Rawlings not to offer.

2.1.1. economy and society

The projects presented by the government and their specified numbers are, as can already be seen this year, not achievable in 2000. Industry should be strengthened in order to replace agriculture as the main branch of the economy is one of the most important goals. But this can only be achieved by first satisfying people's basic needs38 and thereby restricts subsistence farming. Furthermore, as the government demands, an export surplus must be achieved. In the long term, this is only possible through a wide range of industrial goods that are manufactured in their own country and a decline in the export of raw materials. In the short term, this is sure to pose some major problems for the country. Technical progress cannot be stopped in Ghana either, and so television and the media are influencing the population as a whole. The prosperity and wealth of the western world is also known in Ghana. More and more people are trying to achieve this. This is at the expense of long-term planned development, because the quickly earned money counts more than long-term stabilization. State development aid finances short-term projects that tend to damage the country's economy.

The concepts of government Rawlings contain major problems in Ghana, but insufficient solutions are given. No development is possible in this form.

2.2. The way to a positive future

The path to a positive future for Ghana can only be achieved through politics. Education, decentralization, democratization and participation of the people are the most important elements on the way out of the crisis.

2.2.1. Agenda 21

At the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 a concept for sustainable development adopted. The undersigned states committed themselves to the goal of sustainable - environmentally friendly development. As part of a global partnership, the aim is to reconcile business and social issues with the long-term preservation of our natural resources. The Agenda 21 So it has a social, an economic and an ecological component.39 This means the rethinking of the entire world population when it comes to global issues. The motto is here Think global - act local in the foreground. This project is called Local Agenda 21. A fundamentally new point is that for the first time the municipality is recognized and named as an important actor in shaping global development40. A Local Agenda 21 is the long-term action program of a municipality for sustainable local development.

For developing countries in particular, the Agenda 21 great importance. Environmental protection and co-determination rights at the local level are alien to many countries. The lack of environmental protection is also a major problem in Ghana. There is only limited garbage disposal and no information about how to handle and avoid garbage. Through the Local Agenda 21 people should recognize these problems through their own organization and come up with concepts to solve them. In developing countries in particular, you need adequate development aid for independence. The focus here is not on money as help, but rather on helping people to help themselves. The non-government organizations (non-government organizations NGOs) play a major role in this.

2.2.2 .. German - Ghanaian Association Project "Ningo" e.V.

I myself work in an association which, as a non-governmental organization, takes care of development aid. This is the association founded in Hanau German Ghanaian Association Project "Ningo" e.V. This association has set itself the goal of creating projects to strengthen the communal infrastructure and improve social problems in the village of New Ningo, which is about 50 km east of the capital Accra, directly on the sea. As with all NGOs, the donated funds of the association flow directly into the project, because no employees or administrative costs have to be paid.

The basic concern of the association is to strengthen people in their democratic rights, to show women new ways to more equality and to create an awareness of environmental problems and global thinking. A family center is planned in the village of New Ningo. About 3000 people live here, there is no kindergarten and only a small school. The people there do not have opportunities for lively exchange. The family center should be understood as an adult education center, a kindergarten and a meeting place. The association should provide the money for the construction, the design and the actual way of use, the people in the place should decide for themselves.

2.3. Development aid - help for independent development

The future of Ghana can only be positive if the people in the country help themselves. Through the Agenda 21 a concept was developed how it is possible to solve communal problems sensibly in all countries of the world. Decentralization and participation play a major role in this.In Ghana people wait until local problems are resolved by the government at some point. But through your own initiatives you have a much faster and more effective way of solving problems. So it cannot be the aim of development aid to just send money to the countries; It is necessary to educate the people about democracy, participation and environmental problems. These points are also elementary components of the NGO's work. Even the smallest projects of a community can lead to an overall improvement in the situation across the country. Because if only the infrastructure is improved, the quality of life of each individual will increase, more jobs will be created, industry will be strengthened, and the gross national product will increase. This of course means a process over many years to decades. The fundamental problem of long-term development processes at the local level is that people are always interested in improving their living conditions as quickly as possible. But that is mostly at the expense of long-term sustainable development.41

3. Summary

When looking at the problems of Ghana it is noticeable that there must be changes in all areas. Economic problems, social inequality and a lack of democracy and education are indicators of this. In my opinion, a major problem is primarily government policy. As long as the majority of the people do not have a good general political education, the government need not fear any opposition. You can see from the government's plans, which are almost not implemented at all, that a change in the current situation is not desired. A change in fact results in greater participation of the population in the political process; higher education of the people produces critics who bring with them a strong opposition.

Furthermore, Ghana lacks an education system, without education there is no political education of the population, which means that no representative election result can actually be achieved. Too many residents, especially in the north of the republic, have no idea of ​​political will-making and decision-making processes. Another problem is development aid from the western industrialized countries. The difference between private providers and state development aid lies in the fact that state aid includes large-scale projects that do not show social and human commitment like direct aid from local private organizations. Development aid means providing help for one's own development, but this is only possible if those affected are empowered to build their own country. This also means that large building projects and projects relating to infrastructure or ecological issues are not coordinated by foreign countries, but by the affected country itself. But since the western countries benefit financially from these projects, many projects are not left to the Ghanaians themselves.

In my opinion there is the possibility to make a big contribution to the improvement of the current situation through the work of the private associations (NGOs). The Local Agenda 21 a very big role. In this way, people learn to solve their smallest local problems on their own. From small to large and helping people to help themselves - only that can be the path of sensible development aid. The fact that many problems arise here too cannot be dismissed out of hand. Even if many want to enrich themselves with the commitment of individuals, the goal of Local Agenda 21 not to be lost sight of. I am convinced that greater participation of people in developing countries is a good way of solving many of the problems discussed in this paper in the long term.

4. Bibliography

Boateng, E.A .: Government and the People, Accra Ghana 1996,

BMZ: Journalists' Handbook Development Policy, Bonn 1998

BMZ: Country Report Ghana 1996, Bonn 1996

BMZ: Country Report Ghana 1997, Bonn 1997 Federal Environment Ministry: Handbook Local Agenda 21, Bonn 1998

Carmichael, John: Ghana - from Gold Coast to independence, London 1993

Cobbinah, Jojo: Ghana - Practical Travel Guide, Frankfurt / Main 1993

Gnielinski, from Stefan: Ghana, Darmstadt 1986

Ministry of Trade and Industry: Ghana, a good Place to do Business, Accra Ghana, 1996

Nohlen, Dieter (Ed.): Lexicon of the Third World, Hamburg 1993 Nuscheler, Franz: Learning and workbook development policy, Bonn 1996

Opitz, Peter J .: Basic Problems in Developing Countries, Munich 1993

Rawlings, Jerry John: Ghana - Vision 2020, Accra 1995

Republic of Ghana: Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, Accra 1992


1 Nohlen, D. 1996 p.231

2 Carmichael, J. 1993 page 31

3 Cobbinah 1995 p.47

4 Carmichael 1993 p.57

5 A previous name for Ghana.

6 by Gnielinski p.77

7 Cobbinah, J. 1993 page 54

8 Cobinnah, J. 1993 page 56

9 First and foremost, the warlike intentions were directed against the Fanti people, as they worked closely with the British and were under the protection of the British.

10 Carmichael, J. 1993 p.171

11 Cobbinah, J. 1993 page 57

12 Cobinnah, J. 1993 p.62

13 Nohlen, D. 1994 p.281

14 Nohlen, D. 1994 page 281 ff

15 A modern industrial city with a large port was built in Tema by 1966

16 On Lake Volta, Nkrumah built a dam for the first time (completed in 1965), which also plays a major role in today's development in Ghana (see BMZ: Country Report Ghana 1997)

17 Nohlen, D. 1994 p.281

18 Ghanaian currency

19 von Gnielinski 1986 p.133

20 BMZ: Country Report 1996, Division 122, Bonn 1996, p.10

21 Nohlen, D, 1996 p.737

22 from Gnielinski, S. 1986 p.215

23 Minestry of Trade and Industry, Accra 1997, Ghana

24 BMZ: Country Report 1996, Bonn 1996

25 from Gnielinski, S. 1996 p.218

26 BMZ: Country Report 1996, Bonn 1996, p.12

27 Cobbinah, J. 1996 p.82

28 Cobbinah, J. 1996 p.83

29 so.

30 As an example in this context, Kofi Annan to mention, who left Ghana at an early age, studied in America, and never returned to his country.

31 BMZ: Country Report 1997, Bonn 1997 Annex 1.

32 Nuscheler, F. 1996 p.303

33 Nohlen, D. 1996 p.647

34 Sex tourism in Asian countries like Thailand is a product of negative tourism in developing countries.

35 BMZ: Country Report 1997, Bonn 1997, page 3

36 Rawlings, J.J .: Ghana - Vision 2020, Accra 1996

37 Costitution of the Republic of Ghana, Accra 1992, Article 36 (5).

38 Compare: Nuschler, F., 1996, p. 184 ff.

39 Hessian Ministry for the Environment: Agenda 21, Wiesbaden 1998

40 Agenda 21, chapter 28.1

41 Agriculture serves as an example here, as an industry that promises money quickly.