From ‘Revolution’ to Monetarism: The Economics and Politics of the Adjustment Programme in Ghana

  • Eboe Hutchful
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

The Rawlings coup that overthrew the Liman government in Ghana on 31 December 1981 was in several senses unique. It gave rise to a spectacular experiment in ‘people’s power’ and a level of spontaneous mass mobilisation not seen since the early day of the independence struggle. Throughout the country ‘defence committees’ and other organs of ‘popular power’ sprang up. Students closed down schools in order to bring in the cocoa crop, artisans and machinery, working people and unemployed, supported by patriotic soldiers and police, attacked ‘kalabule’ (profiteering) and formed price-control and anti-hoarding committees. Even more important the coup gave rise to a strong but unorganised syndicalist tendency among the Workers’ Defence Committees. A number of state-owned factories were taken over, management was expelled, and ‘interimanagement committees’ of workers installed. These ‘factory revolutions’ culminated in the celebrated takeover of the Ghana Textile Printing (GTP), a joint-venture between the State and the United Africa Company, during 1982. In May that year the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) which had taken power after the coup, declared a ‘National Democratic Revolution’, the objectives of which were anti-imperialist struggle and the struggle for democracy on the basis of a broad progressive front.

Keywords

Maize Economic Crisis Income Shrinkage Petrol 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Emmanuel Hansen, ‘The Military and Revolution in Ghana’ Journal of African Marxists, 2 (1982); Victoria Brittain, ‘Ghana’s Precarious Revolution’ New Left Review (1983) 140; and Donald Ray, Ghana: Politics, Economics and Society (London: Frances Pinter, 1986). For a more pessimistic analysis, Chris Atim and Ahmed Gariba, ‘Ghana: Revolution or Counter-Revolution?’ Joural of African Marxists (1986) 10.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Speech by Flight-Lt Rawlings, Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), on 31 December 1986, West Africa (12 January 1987) p. 61.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    See, R. Genoud, Nationalism and Economic Development in Ghana (New York: Praeger, 1969).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    N. Chazan, An Anatomy of Ghanaian Politics: Managing Political Recession 1969–1982 (Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1983).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    See E. Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (London: Zed Press, 1987).Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    See for example, J.H. Mensah, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in the Busia Government, The State of the Economy and the External Debt Problem (Accra: 1970) pp. 3–4.Google Scholar
  7. 10.
    On this see M. Sutton, ‘Structuralism: the Latin American Record and the New Critique’, in Killick, T. (ed.), The IMF and Stabilisation: Developing Country Experiences (London: Heinemann, 1984).Google Scholar
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    World Bank, Ghana: Managing the Transition (2 vols) (Washington: 7 November 1984) p. 88.Google Scholar
  9. 16.
    See the instructive recent study by John Loxley, Ghana: Economic Crisis and the Long Road to Recovery (Ottawa: North-South Institute, 1988). Also Reginald H. Green, ‘Ghana: Progress, Problematics, and Limitations of the Success Story’ in Christopher Colclough and R.H. Green, ‘Stabilisation — for Growth or Decay?’, IDS Bulletin, vol. 19 (January 1988) no. 1.Google Scholar
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  11. 27.
    World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa: Progress Report on Development Prospects and Programs (Washington: 1983).Google Scholar
  12. 28.
    Loxley, John, Ghana: Economic Crisis and the Long Road to Recovery (Ottawa: North-South Institute, 1988) pp. 28–30.Google Scholar
  13. 33.
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  14. 43.
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Copyright information

© Bonnie K. Campbell and John Loxley 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eboe Hutchful

There are no affiliations available

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