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Ghana: The Consequences of Colonial Rule and Slavery Report

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Updated: Jul 15th, 2021

Introduction

The Republic of Ghana was named after the medieval emperor Ghana, who ruled West African regions and later became famous in Europe. Previously known as the Gold Coast, the country received independence from Great Britain on March 6, 1957 (Boddy-Evans, 2017).

The following years, however, were associated with multiple challenges, as the state remained financially dependent on the West. One of the reasons for this dependency is that the country had been the foothold for the slave trade for about four centuries. Many researchers drag attention to the fact that slavery had left no room for Ghana to develop economically. The present paper will study the issue in detail while giving evidence about the adverse effect of the slave trade and providing recommendations about fighting its consequences.

The Effect of the Depopulation on the Country’s Economic Development

Even though it is already two hundred years since the British parliament voted to abolish slavery, the effect of the slave trade is still felt within the country. This occurrence lasted for an extended period, starting with the fifteenth and ending up in the nineteenth century (Ross, 2007). Despite the fact Ghana’s economy has demonstrated a considerable growth over the past decade, the situation in many rural areas is similar to that in the middle ages.

As an example, one may bring the mud-walled huts made of grass found in the villages with no electricity or running water (Ross, 2007). The external slave trade caused an outright depopulation in African regions. Due to the fact that all exported people were in their prime of life, population losses made a negative impact on birth rates. The fractured family relationships discouraged the growth of the region and soon led to an overall decline in it.

Historians emphasize that underdevelopment within the country is directly relevant to the problem of depopulation inherent in the slave trade period. As Ross (2007) admits, millions of the strongest men and women were exported during those times, which prevented the arrival of an agrarian revolution to Ghana. The provided example brightly demonstrates that without the constantly available and properly trained workforce industrialization is impossible to promote.

For the industry projects to launch, one needs to arrange stable agricultural production. Ross (2007) estimates that “without slavery the population of Africa would have been double the 25m it had reached by 1850” (para, 8). Yet, the established socio-political conditions blocked this opportunity and served as the premise for the country’s economic and cultural impairment.

Considerations About the Slave Trade

With regards to the research findings, one may conclude that slave trade was one of those historical facts that severely affected the development of the majority of African countries. It is currently known that a considerable number of slaves originated from the Gold Coast, which is the nation of Ghana at present. The industrial and cultural development of the state was undermined to an even greater extent compared to other regions of the continent.

The fact that one-third of the population lives on less than a dollar a day proves that Ghana faces numerous economic issues even nowadays (Ross, 2007). Nevertheless, many African-Americans whose ancestors were transported to the USA by force choose to visit the country in search of their roots. The echoes of slavery are still heard within the state, and it makes one fully realize the scope of the impact this occurrence has made on Africa and Ghana in particular. Considering the scale of the issue, human trafficking is the problem, which needs to be fought by the joint efforts of all governments.

Recommendations to Improve the Situation in the State

The situation in Ghana forces one to think of some effective measures to take to improve the state’s economic performance. The given task involves through planning of both short- and long-term strategies, their further discussion on all levels and adjustment to the most burning needs. It is clear that the first issue to address is poverty and its effect on the life of regular citizens. Thus, one needs to start with designing the short-term interventions.

The measures aimed at poverty reduction should include the modernization of the agricultural sphere and better management of natural resources. It is advisable that the government considers the practices of the fast developing countries and allocates funds to purchase the required technologies. Particular attention should be drawn to the exploration of minerals, oil, and gas since they are the major energy carriers.

In this regard expenditures are expected to be prioritized in favor of projects that are tightly related to developing the two mentioned branches of economy. However, the implementation of the chosen strategies is only feasible if executive agents and committees responsible for the process coordination are designated. These committees need to operate in accordance with an outlined framework, which states the policy objectives and touches upon the key financial aspects. Each of these agencies fulfills its functions within a strictly identified field and reports directly to the government.

The long-term strategies should be directed at reforming both healthcare and education. Raised attention should be paid to improving nutrition and giving proper prescriptions to patients. Again, modernizing agriculture has a direct relationship to the quality of food that people consume (Ross, 2007). By utilizing modern technology, the government can enlarge the volume of crops and thus, supply healthier products to the country’s internal market.

Also, through more effective management of medications and better planning of treatment, healthcare units can significantly reduce the current death rates and child mortality in particular (Boddy-Evans, 2017). The mentioned goal can be achieved if the proper allocation of funds and constant training of clinicians is provided.

Speaking of training, the reform of education plays one of the most relevant parts in improving the country’s economy. Close cooperation with foreign partners is the key to implementing the most efficient teaching techniques and enhancing the professional integrity of future specialists. Therefore, the focus should be made on the development of vocational competence and introducing a variety of exchange programs. In its turn, it would help to eliminate understaffing and would stimulate the growth of a private sector.

Conclusion

Ghana’s economic decline is directly relevant to the consequences of the slave trade, which tortured the country for about four centuries. The effects of this occurrence are felt even nowadays, especially in rural areas of the country. As derived from the research findings, many villages still lack such conveniences as electricity and running water. It is evident that the government needs to develop a framework capable of addressing the major issues within the state and provide effective solutions to eliminate the existing problems. The given task, however, requires thorough planning of both short- and long-term strategies and proper management of budgetary funds.

References

Boddy-Evans, A. (2017). . Web.

Ross, W. (2007). . Web.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Ghana: The Consequences of Colonial Rule and Slavery." July 15, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ghana-the-consequences-of-colonial-rule-and-slavery/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ghana: The Consequences of Colonial Rule and Slavery'. 15 July.

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