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Ghana Politics

Political System of Ghana

Crisis policy following IMF prescriptions

In order to overcome the crisis, it was necessary to implement a different economic policy and to obtain foreign aid. Rawlings was willing to implement a tough crisis policy - dictated by the IMF - and from 83 he made closer ties with this institution. The IMF considered that if its policy in Ghana was successful, it would become a model that could be transferred to other countries in the region, and it was therefore well-rounded in lending. The same was true of the World Bank. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how GH can stand for Ghana.

To increase its revenues and curb the smuggling, the currency was devalued. The currency - the cedi - fell from 2.74 cedi per share. dollars in 1982 to 183 in 1988. Taxes were increased, subsidies reduced and so did wages. The public financing of deficit private companies was suspended and the banknote was stopped. It financially produced some good results. Inflation fell from 200 to 25%. The banking system worked better and in addition the price the farmer received for his cocoa increased.

In exchange for this economic horse ride, the country received foreign loans totaling $ 500 million. One half was to be repaid in 1994 with an annual interest rate of 5%. On the other half, no repayment was payable for the first 10 years and the interest rate was only 0.5%. This, in view of the extremely favorable loans for a third world country, was conditional on intensive control of the country's finances by the IMF. However, the country's foreign debt reached $ 4 billion and repayments and interest swallowed two-thirds of export revenue.

The social costs of the program were high. Consumer prices rose 30% in the period 1983-87. 45,000 public servants were fired. At the same time, hunger, infant mortality and illiteracy increased.

At the beginning of the century, there were eight urban development centers in the country. There were 180 in the 84th. Throughout the 80s, considerable migration took place from the country towards the major cities. This created slums without running water or sewerage. In the slum town of Takoradi, there are 16 toilets for 3,250 people. With current developments, more than half of the population in 2020 will live in urban centers. To curb this development, a program was launched to send 12,000 Ghanaians back to rural areas each year, and a "Program for Reducing the Social Costs of Structural Adjustment Policy" (PAMSCAD) was initiated.

Economic developments also had ecological consequences. The rainforest covering 34% of the country was reduced to 7%. In addition, 42% of the areas officially registered as covered by «forest» are in fact trees that need to be felled, secondary or growing forest. For the rural population and most people in the cities, the forest is the source of traditional medicine. 75% of the population gets their proteins from the hunting of animals in the forests and burning is also the most important source of energy in the household. However, these activities are ignored in the official plans, which only perceive the forest as a source of timber exports. Yet the forest industry employs only 70,000 people.

There is a Forest Resources Management Project (NFAP) supported by international organizations such as the North American AID, from Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition, the United Nations Food Organization (FAO) basically supports the ongoing plans. The program perceives deforestation, desertification and land depletion as a result of the poor population clearing the forest for agricultural use. The population that is in fact the victim of the natural destruction is thus blamed for the destruction, when the cause is in reality the economic model that puts export production above all else.


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