At independence, Ghana was poised to achieve economic success; attain industrialisation; improve the living conditions of its people, but in just about three decades, the economy of the country was crumbling and despite recent improvements, Ghana’s economic condition is not one that can be spoken of with optimism. This course aims to assist the student to provide answers, amongst others, to the broad questions raised above. It will focus on the economic strategies of Nkrumah, and his successors; the growth of agriculture and industry; the influence of external factors in the domestic economy. It will also examine the Economic Recovery Programme and the Structural Adjustment policy as a unique regime in Ghana’s economic policy; the economic imperative for democratisation in the late 1980s; and finally, economic developments in the era of political liberalisation (that is the period after 1992) will be examined.
Throughout this course, students will learn the various internal and external factors influencing the economic development of Ghana. Besides classis topics of economic history, students will engage with socioeconomic and cultural perspectives.
Objectives: Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to understand:
- different phases of economic development
- state capitalism under Nkrumah
- neo-liberalism in Ghana
- different form of employment and economic activities
- gendered aspects of socioeconomic history
- developments in Ghana in context of African history
Week 1 Topic: Economic Development under Nkrumah
Stephan F. Miescher and Dzodzi Tsikata (2009/2010). Hydro-Power and the Promise of Modernity and Development in Ghana: Comparing the Akosombo and Bui Dam Projects. Ghana Studies, 12/13, pp. 15-53.
Frank Gerits (2015). ‘When the Bull Elephant Fight’: Kwame Nkrumah, Non-Alignment, and Pan-Africanism as an Interventionist Ideology in the Global Cold War (1957-66). The International History Review, 37.5, pp. 951-969.
R.B. Davison (1954). The Volta River Aluminum Scheme. The Political Quarterly, 25.1, pp. 55-66.
Roger S. Gocking (2005). The History of Ghana. Westport: Greenwood Press. Chapter 6 and 7.
Kwame Nkrumah (1961). The Volta River Project. A Statement by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah President of the Republic of Ghana, to the National Addembly, February 21, 1961. URL: http://www.nkrumah.net/gov-pubs/gp-a1357-61-62/gen.php?index=0
Nkrumah’s Economic Vision
Week 2 Topic: Economic Development under Nkrumah
Samuel Aniegye Ntewusu (2016). Kwame Nkrumah and the Agricultural Development of Northern Ghana. Chapter in: Bea Lundt and Christoph Marx (Eds.), Kwame Nkrumah 1909 – 1972 (pp. 109-118). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
Jeffrey S. Ahlman (2012). A New Type of Citizen: Youth, Gender, and Generation in the Ghanaian Builders Brigade. The Journal of African History, 53, pp. 87-105.
Gwendolyn Mikell (1989). Peasant Politicisation and Economic Recuperation in Ghana: Local and National Dilemmas. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 27.3, pp. 455-478.
Peter Hodge (1964). The Ghana Workers Brigade: A Project for Unemployed Youth. The British Journal of Sociology, 15.2, pp. 113-128.
Lewis Dual Sector Model
Week 3 Topic: Economic Development under Nkrumah
Jennifer Hart (2015). Ghana on the Go: African Mobility in the Age of Motor Transport. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Chapter 4: “One Man, No Chop”: Licit Wealth, Good Citizen, and the Criminalization of Drivers in Postcolonial Ghana
Robin Law (1980). Wheeled Transport in Pre-Colonial West Africa. Journal of the International African Institute, 50.3, pp. 249-262.
Ntewusu, S.A. (2011). Settling In and holding on: A socio-historical study of Northern trader and transporters in Accra’s Tudu, 1908-2008 (doctoral dissertation). University of Leiden, Africa Studies Centre, Leiden.
Transportation History in the Gold Coast and Ghana
Week 4 Topic: Local Entrepreneurism
Peter Arthur (2005). Promoting a Local Entrepreneurial Class in Ghana: The Issues and Problems. Canadian Journal of African Studies, 39.3, pp. 427-459.
Bartholomew Armah (1993). Trade Structures and Employment Growth in Ghana: A Historical Comparative Analysus: 1960-89. African Economic History, 21, pp. 21-36.
Dmitri van den Bersselaar (2011). “Doorway to Success?”: Reconstructing African Careers in European Business from Company House Magazines and Oral History Interviews. History in Africa, 38, pp. 257-294.
State Capitalism under Nkrumah
Week 5 Topic: Informal Economy
Keith Hart (1973). Informal Income Opportunities and Urban Employment in Ghana. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 11.1, pp. 61-89.
Paul Kennedy (1981). The Role and Position of Petty Producers in a West African City. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 19.4, pp. 565-594.
Richard J. Grant and Martin Oteng-Ababio (2016). The Global Transformation of Materials and the Emergence and the Emergence of Informal Urban Mining in Accra, Ghana. Africa Today, 62.4, pp. 3-20.
Informal Labour in Ghana and Africa
Week 6 Topic: Labour Migration
Carola Lentz (1989). A Working Class in Formation? Economic Crisis and Strategies of Survival among Dagara Mine Workers in Ghana. Cahiers d’Études Africaines, 29.113, pp. 69-111.
Kees van der Geest (2010). Local Perceptions of Migration from North-West Ghana. The Journal of the International African Institute, 80.4, pp. 595-619
David A. Cleveland (1991). Migration in West Africa: A Savanna Village Perspective. Journal of the International African Institute, 61.2, pp. 222-246.
Labour Migration in Ghana
Week 7 Topic: Structural Adjustment in Ghana
Kwame Boafo-Arthur (1999). Ghana: Structural Adjustment, Democratization, and the Politics of Continuity. African Studies Review, 42.2, pp. 41-72.
Justin Williams (2015). The ‘Rawlings Revolution’ and Rediscovery of the African Diaspora in Ghana (1983-2015). African Studies, 74.3, pp. 366-387.
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and Structural Adjustments in Africa
Week 8 Topic: Structural Adjustment in Ghana
Samuel N.A. Codjei and Fred M. Dzanku (2009). Long-Term Determinants of Deforestation in Ghana: The Role of Structural Adjustment Policies. African Development Review, 21.3, pp. 558-588.
Peter Arthur (2006). The State, Private Sector Development, and Ghana’s “Golden Age of Business”. African Studies Review, 49.1, pp. 31-50.
The Economy under Rawlings
Week 9 Topic: Trade Unions in Ghana
Ukandi Godwin Damachi (1971). The Role of Trade Unions in the Development Process: With a Case Study of Ghana.
Chapter 6: Inter-Period Comparison of the Four Phases
Douglas Rimmer (1961). The New Industrial Relations in Ghana. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 14.2, pp. 206-226.
Trade Unions under Colonial Rule in the Gold Coast
Week 10 Topic: Neo-Liberalism
Darko Kwabena Opoku (2010). From a ‘success’ story to a highly indebted poor country: Ghana and neoliberal reforms. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 28:2, pp. 155 – 175.
Ann M. Oberhauser and Kobena T. Hanson (2007). Negotiating Livelihoods and Scale in the Context of Neoliberal Globalization: Perspectives from Accra, Ghana. African Geographical Review, 26.1, pp. 11-36.
Jasper Ayelazuno (2011). Continuous Primitive Accumulation in Ghana: The Real-Life Stories of Dispossessed Peasants in Three Mining Communities. Review of African Political Economy, 38.130, pp. 537-550.
Neo-liberalism in Africa
Week 11 Topic: Neo-Liberalism
Antoinette Handley (2007). Business, Government, and the Privatisation of the Ashanti Goldfields Company in Ghana. Canadian Journal of African Studies, 41.1, pp. 1-37.
Kojo Appiah-Kubi (2001). State-Owned Enterprises and Privatisation in Ghana. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 39.2, pp. 197-229.
The History of Goldmining in Ashanti
Week 12 Topic: Unemployment in Ghana
Keith Hart (1976). The Politics of Unemployment in Ghana. African Affairs, 75.301, pp. 488-497.
William Baah-Boateng (2013). Determinants of Unemployment in Ghana. Determinants of Unemployment in Ghana, 25.4, pp. 385-399.
Andrew Burton (2006). Raw Youth, School-Leavers and the Emergence of Structural Unemployment in Late-Colonial Tanganyika. The Journal of African History, 47.3, pp. 363-387.
Unemployment in sub-Saharan Africa
Assignments & Grading:
- Reading assignment are compulsory
- Active participation in class will count into the continuous assessment
- Group presentations will be part of the continuous assessment
- Final exam
Message from the Instructor:
Group presentations: The presentations should give a background to the assigned literature, or give additional information. Therefore, the presentation should not be a summary of the assigned article or repeat its central argument. Presentations must be discussed with me at least one week before the respective session, but an earlier engagement with your presentation is strongly encouraged. Identify a group leader and discuss your presentation as soon as possible. The grading for the presentation will be collective.
Performance in class: This will be an active course for students, which means that oral participation during the sessions is obligatory for students.
Taking notes: Students are expected to take notes independently. There will be no dictation of content.
Recap of session: At the beginning of each session the last session will be repeated. Students’ performance during this part will be part of the ‘performance in class’ assessment for the continuous assessment.
- Continuous assessment constitutes 40% of the final mark.
- Presentation: 20%; performance in class: 20%.
- The end of the semester examination will make up the other 60%.
- Students with incomplete continuous assessment will not be allowed to take the exam.
- Students are expected to attend every class, and all students are expected to participate in all class activities.
- Excused absences require a report from a University medical officer.
- Assignments are due before the class period.
- Assignments submitted anytime after will be have a reduced score.
- Assignments are to be typed (12-point font) or neatly handwritten.
- Cover page to include: Name, index number, course title and code, department, and title of assignment
- For more information refer to the History Education Format Guide for Long Essays / Research Reports
- Required readings will be made available to students through their class rep.The additional readings will be available in the Reading Room.
- Turn cell phone off or on silence.No phone calls or texting during class.
- Plagiarism in any form will not be tolerated.
Additional General References:
Adu, Boahen. (1975). Ghana: Evolution and change in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Essex: Longman.
Agbodeka, Francis. (1992). An economic history of Ghana from the earliest times. Accra: Ghana Universities Press.
Agyeman-Duah, Ivor. (2008). An economic history of Ghana: Reflections on half a century of challenges and progress. Oxfordshire, UK: Ayebia Clark Pub.
Akonor, K. (2006). Africa and IMF conditionality: The unevenness of compliance, 1983-2000. London: Routledge.
Frimpong-Ansah, J. H. (1991). The vampire state in Africa: The political economy of decline in Ghana. London/Trenton, NJ: James Curry Publishers.
Hopkins, A. G. (1973). An economic history of West Africa. Essex: Longman.
Hutchful, Eboe. (2002). Ghana’s adjustment experience: The paradox of reform. UNRISD.
Kanbur, R. & Aryeetey, E. (2007). The economy of Ghana: Analytical perspectives on stability, growth and poverty. Oxford: James Currey Publications.
Killick, Tony. (2010). Development economics in action: A study of economic policies in Ghana. London: Routledge.
Pellow, Deborah. & Chazan, Naomi. (1986). Ghana: Coping with uncertainty. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Rimmer, D. (1992). Staying poor: Ghana’s political economy, 1950-1990. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Tettey, J. Wisdom, Puplampu, P. Korbla, & Berman, J. Bruce. (2003). Critical perspectives in politics and socio-economic change in Ghana. Boston: Brill Press.