The Impact of the World Bank’s SAP and PRSP on Ghana: Neoliberal and Civil Society Participation Perspectives

Title: The Impact of the World Bank’s SAP and PRSP on Ghana: Neoliberal and Civil Society Participation Perspectives
Authors: Eduah, Gregory
Date: 2014
Abstract: Ghana’s government implemented the following World Bank programmes: SAP and PRSP. This thesis shows that SAP and PRSP have impacted Ghana in different ways. Sometimes SAP and PRSP worked. Other times both SAP and PRSP had problems and they did not work. SAP created more negative impacts or problems in Ghana than PRSP. The influence of neoliberalism on Ghana’s SAP cannot be ignored. This is because the tenets of neoliberalism include the withdrawal of government subsidies, high productivity, the cutting down of government expenditures or spending and privatization. The withdrawal of government subsidy was seen in the Education and Health sectors of Ghana. In the Education sector under SAP, the government cut down its subsidy to the Ghana Education Service. Then it introduced a programme called “Cost Sharing” in which students and their parents were asked to contribute to the payment of expenditures in providing education in Ghana. Many parents could not afford it, and this led to many school dropouts and a gap in the education of boys and girls. In the health sector, the Ghanaian government cut down its subsidy under SAP. It introduced the “Cash and Carry System,” in which Ghanaians were asked to contribute to the cost of health delivery services. This became a problem for many. Healthcare services became inaccessible for many Ghanaians as well. In the manufacturing sector, under SAP, the rate of productivity fell. Ghana’s products in the world market experienced volatility or fluctuations in prices. In the mining sector the influence of neoliberalism was on privatization. Based on this principle, the government privatized Ghana’s mining sector. It put in place policies that attracted investments into Ghana to do mining. These mining activities contributed significantly to Ghana’s economy. But these mining activities also caused the problem of dislocation of people, loss of farmlands, along with environmental and health problems. SAP had more negative impacts on Ghana. PRSP also impacted Ghana because it attempted to address the problems SAP created in many sectors, including Education, Health, mining, manufacturing sectors. I conclude by saying that although SAP made some contributions to Ghana’s economy especially in the mining sector, it created more problems in the Education, Health, Mining and Manufacturing sectors. PRSP attempted to address them. Thus it cannot be said that both SAP and PRSP impacted Ghana equally in a more positive way. But rather it can said that (1) SAP created more problems in Ghana and PRSP on the other hand attempted to address them.(2)The later developments taking place indicate that the civil society participation in PRSP is having an impact in Ghana.
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