Center for Global Affairs

Ghana: a Case Study in Development

Development in the world's poor countries is one of the great policy debates and moral imperatives of our day. In Ghana, more than a third of the people live in poverty, despite a decade of democratic rule and nearly a quarter-century since economic reform began. In this course, we will examine multiple dimensions of development¿economic, political, environmental, social, cultural and regional¿through the example of Ghana. As the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain independence from colonial rule, Ghana played a major role in the transformation of the continent. Despite its early promise, the country has endured political upheaval, military rule and economic collapse, as have many in the region. Today, its market liberalization, democratic transition and political leadership put it in the forefront of what many hope will be an African renaissance. These are among the reasons that a case study of Ghana will fortify a broader look at development in Africa. The course will be organized in two segments: three sessions in New York before departure for Accra, and 10 days of talks and field visits in Ghana. Pre-departure sessions will provide students with an overview of development issues, a review of African history and political evolution, and an introduction to Ghana's history, politics, economy and culture. The sessions will include talks by scholars and practitioners. In Ghana, sessions will go into depth on major dimensions of the country's development, including political, social and environmental as well as economic. We will learn from talks by political and business leaders, scholars, and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. We will also visit development projects and other sites in the field.
Course Number
Associated Degrees