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In this sense, it is not simply a matter of theoretical approach, but also one that is accompanied by data. More precisely, for instance, in the 1960s, when, as stated previously, the afflux of the development aid had not been significant, the real GDP per capita was $1,049. Compared to the 1990s when the development aid was more consistent, the real GDP per capita fell to $1,016 and in 1991 to even $970 (Andrews, What foreign aid can and can't do in Africa, 2010). This can be interpreted as being the result of a series of development strategies that did not improve the condition of the society. Also, this period was indeed characterized by increased political distress that only contributed to the way in which development programs were constructed, managed, and implemented.
In later years, through the United Nations programs, the increased donor contributions, the GDP per capita increased substantially, having an almost double value. Yet, even so, the HDI remained more or less unchanged, oscillating in the bottom half of the tables. As well, a poor management of funds, politics, and programming can only justify this.
1.3 the explicit and implicit motives of the donor countries to launch the strategic partnership programs for Ghana in the last four decades
Donors worldwide have implicit and explicit reasons for launching strategic programs all over the world. Officially, they provide a boost for development and for improving living conditions. China however, explicitly stated its reasons in the context of the Cold War. Also, as the world is no longer isolated from one another, donor countries also expect to benefit from a developing country by transforming it into a consumer market. However, this cannot be achieved without a development of the society.
However, even so, the official goals of donor countries are always in the spirit of the United Nations Charter. Still, this type of development has had its downfalls in creating inequality and thus a lack of absorption of development results.
An important tool for measuring the inequality in the development of countries throughout the world is represented by the Gini coefficient. The Gini coefficient "the coefficient measures the percentage of area under a Lorenz curve of perfect equality that lies between it and the actual Lorenz curve of a society, with higher Gini coefficients indicating greater inequality" (UN Habitat, 2003)
According to the United Nations, the Gini coefficient has dramatically increased in the last decades, from the 1950s onwards. There are several means through which the inequality can be measured worldwide. According to UN Habitat, there is the possibility of comparing countries if the situation in which the countries are viewed as individual homogeneous items (with an even income, for instance) or by comparing several factors such as household surveys as conducted in recent decades when information and the possibility of conducting surveys is more available (UN Habitat, 2003) Still, for the second option which is commonly used because it provides more accurate and reliable information, the results clearly point out that at a global level, the "mean per capita between 1988 and 1993
increased by 5.7% in real terms. The increase -- and more- went to the top income groups. Because of distribution change, the median income fell by 3%" (UN Habitat, 2003). It clearly appears that the issue of inequality has spurred since the beginning of development. This is not necessarily a matter of Africa, but rather of the world.
The situation is Africa in terms of inequality has also been considered as a cause of the ongoing civil unrests in most African countries. In this sense, the access to development resources for only a certain number of people and groups determine a different perspective in terms of influence and political leverage. In turn, these may fuel peace or war, but in any circumstance, it provides the resource for inequality.
The issue of inequality clearly affects Ghana as part of the African continent and influences in a negative manner the results provided by the development partnerships. In this sense, there are certain connections that are made at the level of human development. More precisely, the Gini coefficient points out the degree of inequality in a country. In its turn, combined with the value of the HDI (Human Development Index), the Gini coefficient and the HDI provide a view on the "quantity" of human development that is lost through inequality. This is justified through the way in which both indexes are calculated: while the first notes the income inequality, the second presents the practical results of this inequality, quantified through the parameters that are taken into account when computing the HDI: education, life expectancy, health expenses, literacy, and others.
With particular reference to Ghana, the HDR of 2010 provides data to suggest that the inequality in the country clearly affects the resources provided by the development partnerships underway. In this sense, it is considered that "countries with less human development have more multidimensional inequality -- and thus larger losses in human development (…) for instance, among the low HDI countries, Mozambique loses more than 45% of its HDI value whereas Ghana loses 25%" (United Nations Development Program, 2010). Ghana is 130 on the HDI list, in front of Mozambique or Myanmar. However, countries such as the Congo where there is a constant hostile situation in terms of internal disputes and unrest. Ghana by comparison is viewed as a relatively viable democracy. Still, the inequality is translated in the physical reduction of the impact strategic partnerships have on Ghana, as 25% of these results are reduced by the lack of equality in terms of income distribution.
This loss is not only seen in the reports and figures. There have been clear examples of the lack of efficiency of the state run system of education for instance. In this sense, as an example, "sixth graders in Ghana had an average score of 25% on a multiple-choice test -- no different from what they would score by choosing answers randomly" (United Nations Development Program, 2010). Therefore, it can be argued that the educational programs undergone in Ghana in certain regions of the country are not efficient enough to impact the community or to increase the HDI.
Chapter 2 Analysis of the political situation in Ghana: political corruption and lack of economic transparency
2.1. Short political history of Ghana
Ghana is often considered to be a role model for the democratic breakthrough it achieved in the early 1990s after having suffered decade long struggles to fight corruption and military rule (Calvocoressi, 2008). However, in 1992, Ghana held its first free elections in decades and since then has experienced several electoral changes without any incidents to be reported to the international scene. However, despite its eventual turn to democracy with President Rawlings being elected in 1996, the international context as well as the lack of a strong viable vision for the next decades left the country to struggle deep into the rooted poverty.
There have been several points in history that defined the start of Ghana on the path of democracy and economic development. These included the status of former British colony which in a sense provided a much better situation for Ghana at the moment of independence and on the other hand the grip of the socialist communist rule in the 70s and 80s. This final aspect translated into economic chaos, which eventually led to Ghana being among the poorest countries in the world by the beginning of the 1990s.
The political scene was marked by the need and desires to regroup towards a development oriented society after gaining independence. Thus, according to Andrews (2010), "from 195 -- 1966 Nkrumah began the first phase of Ghana's post independence development. The second phase commenced after his overthrow in 1966 to 1982 -- a period of gross political and economic instability. The third phase (1983-2000) is the period of the SAPs implementation and the final phase (2001- present day) is a continuation of the second wave of SAPs, the period of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers involving Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategies I and II" (Andrews, What foreign aid can and can't do in Africa, 2010). Therefore there have been several initiatives aimed at providing a more comprehensive approach to development in Ghana. However, the international context as well as the political environment in the country denied Ghana the opportunity to build on the potential acknowledged by many analysts after the independence from the British Crown.
Overall, in terms of historical background, Ghana has been both fortunate and not fortunate. More precisely, it was unfortunate for having been a colony but fortunate for being a British colony as the British Empire had a particular system of colonialism that allowed its colonies to develop harmoniously inside the Empire.…[continue]
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