Ghana @ 50: Success or Failure?

• • In 1957 they gained independence from British Colonial rule Positives of this: o Ghana’s poverty rate has decreased: o 1991: 57.1% o 2005/6: 28.5% o They are on track to reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving poverty by 2008, the actual target is 2015, they are well ahead of this o They have improved their relationship with the USA, this has meant that thousands of people from Ghana have been educated in the USA o It is now one of the top economic performers in Sub-Saharan Africa: o Sustaining a GDP growth of 4% since the mid80s and in 2004-6 it was a 6% growth o Inflation rates have declined steadily during the past decade, as well as interest rates o It has improved education in Ghana, by the new governments introducing schemes that improve the ease of access, the quality of teaching and learning and management efficiency • Basic Education consists of:  2 years in Kindergarten  6 years in Primary Education  3 years in Junior Secondary Education o Tourism rates have increased Negatives of this: o At first they were totally reliant on external trade; they exchanged exports for imported manufactured goods from abroad o Classified as a ‘peripheral capitalist economy’ o They have a labour force of 10.12 million people, but 56% of them are still in agriculture, 15% in industry and 29% in services o They had many political issues when they first started their independence

Ghana – 50 Years On Since Ghana has become independent from the British Empire, they have had many struggles but many more significant improvements. The life of the Ghanaians has got better in a variety of aspects. Although they had a difficult start with the constant changing of the government and political parties of the country, Ghana has come out fighting strong, with many achievements. Poverty was a huge issue within the country, especially when it was in the British Empire. However, since they have had a stable government, the poverty rate has decreased dramatically. In 1991, the rate was 57.1%, by 2005/6 this had decreased to 28.5%. This means that they are on track to reach the Millennium Development Goal by 2008; this goal aims to reduce poverty by 50% by 2015, Ghana is well ahead of this target. Another factor that has improved is education. The new government has enhanced the education system by introducing different schemes. These aim to improve the ease of access, quality of teaching and learning and the management styles used. They have brought in a compulsory basic education programme that consists of Kindergarten, Primary Education and Junior Secondary Education, pupils then have the choice to further their studies in Senior Secondary Education and University. The USA has helped with initiating these schemes by allowing Ghanaians to be educated in the USA; this is because Ghana has developed their relationship with America. As well as social issues, Ghana has tackled some economic ones too. Their economy has advanced a little too, with their GDP growing by 4% since the mid80s and by 2004-6 it was a 6% growth. Ghana will still face many issues in the future. The main concern is the economy of the country and industrial sector it is working in. At the moment it is mainly in the primary sector, with 56% of the labour force of 10.12 million people working in agriculture. There is a larger percentage in services than in industry; this is mainly because TNCs are employing more people in cheaper areas in Africa to provide the services they offer, such as call centres. Overall, life in Ghana has improved quite a lot since the gaining of independence. However, there is still a lot to do in terms of developing, especially their economy. Their new education system should help to bring this forward and improve their prospects of a brighter future. The government is on the right tracks with the issue over poverty and this should also help their development as a whole nation.