0 Replies Latest reply: Jun 29, 2017 4:39 PM by msheriff@worldbank.org RSS

    My question is: which trade-off proved better - Ghana's or Ivory Coast's?

    msheriff@worldbank.org C4D Explorer
    Visibility: Open to anyone
      Ghana gained independence from Britain on March 6 1957 under Kwame Nkrumah’s Afrocentric ideology.
      Ivory Coast gained independence from France on August 7 1960 under Felix Houphouet-Boigny’s Eurocentric ideology.

      Both Ghana and Ivory Coast started off as world class growers and exporters of cocoa, the crop from which chocolate is derived and other products.

      But based on their ideological difference, Felix Houphouet-Boigny permitted FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) by France in Ivory Coast’s Cocoa sector while Kwame Nkrumah refused Britain’s Foreign Direct Investment in Ghana’s Cocoa sector.

      The result for Ivory Coast was that the country adopted large scale mechanized cocoa production and export which boosted foreign driven local economic growth and unskilled employment. But the Ivorian approach also promoted French colonial dominance, land grabs and environmental degradation.
      On the other hand, the result for Ghana was that the country adopted small holder cocoa production and commercialization through farmers' cooperatives which boosted citizen-led local economic growth and unskilled employment on a lower scale. But the Ghanaian approach also promoted country ownership, local farmers' ownership of farm lands, farmers' empowerment, land security and better climate adaptive agriculture.

      The "chocolate" histories of Ghana and Ivory Coast are histories of economic and political tradeoffs.

      • At independence, the "Chocolate" Policy of Kwame Nkrumah was to sacrifice Ghana's prospect for immediate accelerated economic growth in favor of greater political independence. "Seek ye first the political kingdom and everything shall be added onto it" was a popular saying of Nkrumah.
      • At independence, the "Chocolate" Policy of Felix Houphouet-Boigny was to  sacrifice Ivory Coast's long-term political independence in favor of its prospect for immediate accelerated economic growth that came with jobs and the simmering glance of skyscraper urban infrastructure.

      The net result for both countries as of today is that Ghana has more country ownership and citizens' control of the cocoa value chain than Ivory Coast; whereas Ivory Coast receives more money for cocoa than Ghana, but with little political independence and high costs of safeguards.

      My question is: which trade-off proved better? Ghana's or Ivory Coast's?