In Search of a Sustainable Economic Development Agenda in Ghana since Independence: The role of the IMF and the World Bank
Since independence, Ghana has adopted different strategies in a quest for a sustainable economic development agenda to better the lives of her citizens. The Nkrumah administration initiated the process through an Import-Substitution Industrialisation-led economic development policy agenda from 1957 to 1966. That was followed by an Economic Liberalisation development policy agenda from 1968 to 1972. Then came the „Operation Feed Yourself‟ and „Operation Feed Your Industry‟ economic development policy agenda from 1972 to 1978. Political instability between 1978 and 1980 meant that Ghana would not chart any clear cut economic development policy agenda until 1981 onwards when the country reverted to the Economic Liberalisation development policy agenda. This paper examines the role of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Ghana‟s quest for a sustainable economic development policy agenda since independence to date. The paper benefits from extensive secondary data on the subject. The paper suggests that, while Ghana has achieved some level of economic development since independence, this has not been sustainable because the economy has been prone to external shocks due to its primary commodity export dependence. To ensure that Ghana achieves a sustainable economic development, the paper suggests that the country ought to be more self-reliant while resorting to non-Bretton Woods type of condition-tied borrowing. This could be possible if Ghanaians from in all walks of life commit to a national development agenda that could surpass all interests to guide the country‟s development course.
Keywords: Sustainable Economic Development, IMF, World Bank, Import-Substitution Industrialization, Neoliberalism