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Ghana's Politics of International Economic Relations under the PNDC, 1982-1992

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Abstract

Ghanaian governments since independence have had to align either with the East or the West depending on the government's ideological orientation. For Ghana, national development has been the main propelling factor to enter into the international system. The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), a military regime, succeeded in balancing external relations between the East and the West before the collapse of communism. The outcomes of external economic relations were mixed. Whereas relatioships, especially with the Bretton Woods institutions led to impressive macroeconomic indicators, the impacts on the wellbeing of majority of the people were negative. Domestic policy measures were tailored to satisfy foreign interests. In the process, the nation's debt burden escalated and the nation is yet to reap lasting and positive benefits from the regime's international economic relations.

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... For many observers, Ghana's foreign policy at independence was not only ambitious (Thompson, 1969), but also assertive in content and direction (Boafo-Arthur, 1993;Asante, 1997;Gebe, 2008). As Tieku and Odoom (2012, p. 325) have argued, 'Ghana did not possess the strategic significance of the great powers' in terms of economic and military capabilities, but the country emerged on the world stage with far-reaching foreign policy goals with critical African-focused issues of the time. ...
... While the scale of change, for example, varied in policy content and tone, the traditional elements of Ghana's foreign policy framework such as the support for liberation movements against colonialism, opposition to minority rule in South Africa, non-alignment, pursuit of good neighbourliness and the promotion of global peace and security remained unchanged for many years (Boafo-Arthur, 1993;Addo, 2008). ...
... The literature on Ghana's foreign policy is endowed with rich scholarly works such as Thompson (1969), Aluko (1975), Libby (1976) and Boafo-Arthur (1989, 1999a, 1999b, Agyeman-Dua and Daddieh (1994), Asante (1997), Bluwey (2002), and Ghana's role in the global system (especially regarding non-alignment and East-West ideological matters) were examined. Other elements of Thompson's study have been related to Nkrumah's African-focused foreign policy goals, support for liberation movements, the Congo dilemma, Ghana's difficult relations with its neighbours and Nkrumah's quest for Africa's political unity (Thompson, 1969). ...
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... The overarching objective of the ERP was to create the enabling environment for capital creation in the Ghanaian economy; and to improve Ghana's trade position in the international market while reducing debt to an appreciable level. The ERP was designed to curb inflation through stringent monetary, fiscal, and trade policies; increase Ghana's foreign exchange inflows; direct the foreign exchange inflows to prioritised sectors of the Ghanaian economy; restore incentives for production in the economy; restructure economic institutions; rehabilitate infrastructure to increase production and export; and increase supply of essential goods in the Ghanaian market (Ahiakpor, 1991;Azindow, 2005;Boafo-Arthur, 1999a;Boafo-Arthur, 1999b). ...
... Phase II of the ERP (1987 -1989) was characterised by divestiture of state assets through privatisation; introduction of more stringent foreign exchange reforms, leading to further devaluation of the Cedi; and introduction of foreign exchange bureaus in 1987 to minimise, if not eliminate, the activities of black market operators. In Phase III of the ERP (1990ERP ( -1991, Ghana witnessed reduction in private corporate tax; private sector growth; more monetary reforms; improvements in repayments of international debt; improved economic reputation in the international community; and first entry into the international market after over two decades of exit (Ahiakpor, 1991;Azindow, 2005;Boafo-Arthur, 1999a;Boafo-Arthur, 1999b). Implementation of the liberalised industrialisation (LI) strategy was dominant during this period. ...
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... In consequence, the government was unable to pay its over-staffed public-sector workers and lacked the necessary resources to finance the public-sector projects it had initiated. This economic situation forced the government for the first time in the history of Ghana to approach the IMF for financial assistance in May 1965, and the World Bank later the same year (Boafo-Arthur, 1999). ...
... J. J. Rawlings, dispatched a team of government functionaries to friendly communist countries such as the USSR, Cuba, China, and Libya in a bid to attract economic support, either in cash or in kind to help salvage the deteriorating economy. This high-profile team, as noted by Boafo-Arthur (1999), returned home empty-handed. The East, particularly the then USSR, was unable to help due to its huge capital investment in technology, aimed at matching the United States in terms of arms and ammunition. ...
... Urgency mixed with excellence became some of the core ingredients that motivated the first constitutional government to take action during that period. Two main factors influenced Nkrumah's foreign policy and diplomacy: the Cold War and the decolonisation of Africa (Boafo-Arthur 1999;Etsiah 1985;Thompson 1969;White 2003). The president made his Foreign Policies clear to the few Ghanaian diplomats assembled at the presidency before their departure to the various assigned posts abroad. ...
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The concept of public diplomacy is one of the trending approaches in modern international relations and diplomacy. Communicating and engaging effectively with the foreign public in a particular nation by a government to achieve its foreign policy objective is every government's goal. The field of public diplomacy as an academic discipline in Ghana in particular and in Africa has not received much attention compared to the Western World.
... 1 Metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies are geographical areas with a minimum population of 75,000, 95,000, and 250,000 respectively (MLGRD, 2021), and serve as the primary avenue for citizens to participate in the political process of Ghana (Ayee, 1994cited in Kwartin, 1995Ladouceur & Amonoo, 1984;Tordoff, 1994;Awortwi, 2011). The proximity of local governments to the people in Ghana and across the world has led to numerous studies examining different aspects of local governance Awortwi, 2003;Boafo-Arthur, 1999;Debrah, 2016;Kanganja, 2011;Van Gyampo & Asare, 2017) . A consensus within the existing literature on local governance and decentralization on Ghana suggest that administrative and fiscal decentralization is heavily implemented compared to political decentralization Awortwi, 2011). ...
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... Urgency mixed with excellence became some of the core ingredients that motivated the first constitutional government to take action during that period. Ghana's foreign policy during this era was shaped by two primary elements, namely the Cold War and the decolonisation of Africa (Boafo-Arthur, 1999;Etsiah, 1985;Thompson, 1969;White, 2003). The nation's president made his Foreign Policies clear to the few Ghanaian diplomats assembled at the presidency before their departure to the various assigned posts abroad. ...
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... For Ghana, the ideological battle created an ideological wedge between it and the liberal West (Gebe, 2008). Thus, albeit the rhetorics of pursing a non-aligned policy, Ghana's foreign relations following independence have had to align either with the East or the West, depending on the Government's ideological orientation (Boafo-Arthur, 1999 Africa, but that of Egypt (Durdin, 1970). 5 ...
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... For Ghana, the ideological battle created an ideological wedge between it and the liberal West (Gebe, 2008). Thus, albeit the rhetorics of pursing a non-aligned policy, Ghana's foreign relations following independence have had to align either with the East or the West, depending on the Government's ideological orientation (Boafo-Arthur, 1999 Africa, but that of Egypt (Durdin, 1970). 5 ...
Preprint
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Ghana-China relations have experienced gradual progress over the past six decades-shifting from politically oriented in the 1960s to an all-inclusive front today. The relations are, however, not without trials and setbacks. Despite the positivity, conflicts and challenges have surfaced and continue to emerge; hence the relations have not always been rosy. Recent interactions have occasionally been characterized by tensions ranging from diplomatic expressions of disapproval or warnings and implicit retaliatory actions. This chapter focuses on two contending threat sources: external and domestic, to shed light on the present and emerging issues detrimental to the relations. We argue that although the six-decade relations have been relatively successful, it has sometimes been impeded by momentous events, which inter alia ranges from political, economic to social issues. Notably, whereas the daunting challenge in the Cold War-era was ideologically induced, the present and emerging ones are non-ideological-mainly arising from sentimental issues and rhetoric. These new realities have tested and continue to present a test to the ongoing and future relations.
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