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For those of you familiar with the history of the African independence movements, Ghana was the third sub-Saharan country to gain its independence—in 1957, after Liberia (1847) and Sudan (1956)—following boycotts and civil disobedience driven by Kwame Nkrumah. Ghana has a distinct profile in West Africa, having been a pioneer in the Pan-Africanism movement and having helped spearhead the Tricontinental Conference, which voiced the first demands for a more equal multilateralism.
As an English-speaking country that has also been a member of the International Organisation of La Francophonie since 2006, Ghana differs from its neighbours in many ways. The country is often cited as a model for its political pluralism, democratic achievements and stability in an increasingly complex regional-security context. Its economy appears to be more liberal and oriented towards the private sector and agri-business. In terms of international development aid, the authorities are promoting a Ghana Beyond Aid policy and turning more to international loans and investment. Ghana’s high food dependency, however, makes the country vulnerable to volatility in global agricultural prices. And food insecurity is still a challenge that needs to be overcome, with undernutrition affecting 5.5% of the population.
Those differences with Ghana’s French-speaking neighbours—which Inter-réseaux’s members are more familiar with— in and of themselves justify dedicating an issue of Grain de Sel to Ghana, ten years after having dedicated an issue to Nigeria . This issue is a continuation of the network’s work on rural development, agriculture and food in Ghana, which led to the publication on 21 November 2019 of a special bulletin de veille on Ghana, available on Inter-réseaux’s website. Several articles draw comparisons between Ghana and its neighbours, starting with Ivory Coast and its geographic similarities. Since independence, however, they have had opposite political and economic development trajectories.
The objective here is to examine the similarities with a neighbouring country, and the differences in the agricultural development trajectories of a model that sometimes appears to be completely at variance with the orientations of French-speaking countries in West Africa. This is also a bilingual issue, available in French and English.
Inter-réseaux decided to kick off 2020 by giving Grain de Sel a brand-new look, and our publications committee would love to hear your feedback.
François Doligez, president Ninon Avezou, magazine manager
For those of you familiar with the history of the African independence movements, Ghana was the third sub-Saharan country to gain its independence—in 1957, after Liberia (1847) and Sudan (1956)—following boycotts and civil disobedience driven by Kwame Nkrumah. Ghana has a distinct profile in West Africa, having been a pioneer in the Pan-Africanism movement and having helped spearhead the Tricontinental Conference, which voiced the first demands for a more equal multilateralism. As an English-speaking country that has also…
The purpose of this introductory section is to provide a general understanding of Ghana’s geographical, economic, agricultural and political situation in the form of graphics. We have integrated the equivalent benchmarks of its neighbouring country, Côte d’Ivoire, whose development trajectory (economic and political) is markedly opposite. Go to the graphics : Here
Considered by many observers to be a “model” African nation, Ghana has established a peaceful and mature democracy while keeping its traditions alive. The country is using its current momentum to overcome the challenges of inclusive development, but remains burdened by inequality and food insecurity. Read the whole analysis : Here
Ghana’s Agricultural and Economic Transformation: Past Performance and Future Prospects questions the development path of Africa and opportunities for agriculture using Ghana as a case study. This note gives an insight of the key findings of the book and points out some blind spots such as climate change impact. Read the whole article review : Here
Ghana has its own national currency, the Ghanaian cedi. But borrowing US dollars on the international market has exposed the country to foreign-exchange risk. Burkinabe entrepreneur Olivier Édouard Kabré experienced this first-hand, when he sought to pursue market opportunities in Ghana—and then had to back-pedal. Read the whole testimony : Here
Internal growth and economic independence: those are the ambitious objectives of the Ghana Beyond Aid (GhBA) policy, announced in 2017 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. It’s a strong initiative that is creating a lot of hope while also raising questions as to its feasibility. Read the whole analysis : Here
With a rounded combination of thriving democracy, stable economy, good legislation and attractive investment incentives, Ghana has managed to cement its position as a driver for regional economic integration. Yet, can Ghana provide a strong enough leadership to resolve the remaining challenges? Read the whole analysis : Here
Ghana is experiencing rapid urbanisation and commercialisation of lands at the expense of agricultural development. This changing phenomenon requires appropriate land use planning that is currently associated with traditional authorities and local governments. Read the whole analysis : Here
In 2008, Ghana reintroduced its input subsidy programmes, which were designed as tools to help develop agricultural value chains. The programmes primarily aimed at enhancing small farmers access to farm inputs for food-crop production. Despite adjustments to improve the effectiveness of the subsidies, there are questions as to their impact. Read the whole analysis : Here
Ghana’s input subsidy programs are very ambitious in scale and scope, which justifies a thorough evaluation. On the ground of a IFPRI-led study, Kwaw Andam highlights here some of the questions raised such as the targeting and the long term effects of such a programme. Read the whole counterpoint : Here
Ghana’s vision for agriculture is based on the use of hybrid seeds and the application of chemical fertilisers. In order to make agriculture sustainable, the National Coordinator for the Ghana National Sesame Business Farmers Association advocates for the implementation of agroecology in the sesame value chain. Read the whole interview : Here
In 2017, Ghana was ranked first in West Africa in terms of Information Communication Technology. When it comes to the cocoa sector, ICTs appear as a solution to improve earnings to farmers, to reduce child labour and to prevent deforestation. Read the whole analysis : Here
From “Nnoboa”, a traditional form of cooperation in Ghana to the current Peasant Organisations (PO), the paper facilitate the understanding of the history, role and importance of peasant farming in Ghana as well as the challenges it is confronted with. It is illustrated by a focus on Rice POs in the Kesena-Nakana District. Read the whole analysis : Here
In Northern Ghana, parboiling rice is one of the most common processing activities women undertake. In focus group discussions, women express themselves about their hopes and difficulties while women’s small-scale agri-food enterprises are often de-valued in the push for a “modernization-oriented development”. Read the whole testimony : Here
The cocoa sector and cocoa growers face challenges such as overproduction and falling prices on the global market. The world’s top cocoa producers, Ghana and Ivory Coast, are used to competing with one another. But now they are teaming up to address these issues. Will the alliance last ? Read the whole interview : Here
In Ghana, cocoa contributes substantially to the agricultural foreign earnings and plays a major role in providing income for millions of farmers and households. But its production has environmental impacts, like deforestation. Creating a policy environment that supports sustainable practices in agriculture to leverage the cocoa forests for biodiversity conservation is essential. Read the whole analysis : Here
While rubber is not an important sector in terms of volume in Ghana, it is a good example of private firm’s involvement in agriculture. Representative of two major players of a contractual scheme, a leader of the producers association and a staff of the agribusiness firm, explain the tripartite model set up to structure the rubber value chain. Read the whole interview : Here
Ghana is willing to increase its domestic production of rice to meet the growing demand and achieve its self-sufficiency. But the preference for imported rice and a weak ECOWAS Common External tariff hinders the development of the sector. Read the whole analysis : Here
This article presents a development model for a food-production sector in Ghana. Players in the private sector, such as Guinness Ghana, appear to be playing a big role in structuring the value chain for sorghum. What questions does this situation raise? Read the whole analysis : Here
In Ghana, cotton is referred to as the “cocoa of the north”. And yet the cotton sector’s performance has been anything but successful. By examining the recent history of the sector in Ghana and comparing it with Burkina Faso, this article review aims to provide a few keys for understanding the country’s subpar performance. This article review is based on two articles available online: “The state of Cotton Production in Northern Ghana”, by Benjamin K. Asinyo, Charles Frimpong,…
Ghana is known as a fishing nation but its marine fisheries are in steep decline with heavy consequences on food security and livelihood. Illegal fishing practices related mainly to Chinese operators worsen the situation. Steve Trent and the EJF plead for an effective enforcement of the law by the Ghanaian government. Read the whole interview : Here
For many, Ghana had succeeded in terms of developing its fish-farming industry. International capital was invested in tilapia cage farming, taking advantage of the favourable conditions of Lake Volta. But despite the authorities’ goodwill, the market has been saturated by insufficiently integrated production. Other challenges (such as disease) are also offsetting the advantages offered by this resource. Read the whole analysis : Here
Ghana is of particular importance in West Africa because of its population, economic weight and agricultural sector, which is an engine of economic growth and driven by export crops. Often set up as a democratic and liberal model, is it an exception in West Africa? Why? Read the whole interview : Here
Although Ghana, an English-speaking country in West Africa, is not a typical area of focus for Inter-réseaux, we decided to take an in-depth look at the country in this edition of the magazine. This issue was put together in close collaboration with our members, some of whom are directly active in Ghana. Agronomes et Vétérinaires Sans Frontières (AVSF) is an NGO that has been working in Ghana since 2016, particularly to carry out sub-regional projects on the sustainability…
My name is Gladys Adusah Serwaa, a Ghanaian by birth, and the eldest child among five siblings, from Techiman in the Bono Region of Ghana. I am a 61 year-old farmer who is into cassava, maize, and cashew production. I also possess a Bachelor of Education and a Master’s degree in Democratic Governance, Law and Development with 13 years of working experience as a teacher and 14 years in the development sector. Currently, I am a national women’s…