RELIGION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN GHANA

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While prayers and the recognition of God are critical in the daily lives of Ghanaians, Ghanaians should know economic prosperity will not drop from the heavens and transform Ghana. Incidentally this equally applies to both developed and developing countries. Ghanaians will need to make that happen….which is… there is the need for a paradigm shift whereby all stakeholders, the formal sector, the informal sector, public and private sectors, institutions of higher education, the government and all political parties recognize to add higher value to what God had endowed on Ghana in the form of abundant natural resources before their sale on the global market. There is also an urgent need to have export diversification platforms. If these are done correctly jobs will be created from the inherent “multiplier effect” that is associated with value addition methodologies, this will strengthen the local currency the cedi as against foreign currencies, increase the “shelf lives” of processed food as against farming produce, yield more foreign exchange, improve the standard of living of Ghanaians, it will give credence to indigenous technology and open the floodgates for the award of patents to inventors and researchers in Ghana. In addition to this, it will diversify the economy of Ghana.

Diversified economies are more capable of withstanding global shocks than economies that are not diversified like Ghana’s. The reason why countries like Japan, China and Germany are rich is simple: they have added higher value to natural resources before their sale on the global market; that is shifting from low tech goods to high tech goods.

Question….why will a small country which has much less natural resources than Ghana for example LUXEMBOURG in Europe have GDP per capita standing at $80,200 (2012 established) and is ranked 5th globally while Ghana with all its natural resources is ranked in terms of GDP per capita income 173rd with GDP per capita standing at $3,300 (2012 established)? Conversely let us get closer home. How do we explain the phenomenal economic gains of Mauritius and Botswana? Since independence in 1968, Mauritius has developed from a low-income, agriculturally based economy to a middle-income diversified economy with growing industrial, financial, and tourist sectors with GDP per capita standing at $15,600 and ranked 85th globally (CIA World Fact Book 2012, established). Further, through fiscal discipline and sound management, Botswana transformed itself from one of the poorest countries in the world to a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $16,800 in 2012 and ranked 80th globally. These rich countries have done what they needed to do economically and strategically by adding higher value to natural resources/services and have successfully and consistently embarked on export diversification platforms (CIA World FactBook, 2012). Yes Ghana can do it with a paradigm shift! Of course this transformation has to take place in an atmosphere of probity, accountability, morality and integrity. Religion becomes paramount especially in macroeconomics in Ghana whenever it is allowed to give a deeper meaning to probity, accountability, integrity and morality in the transformation of the economy of Ghana by all stakeholders, government officials, researchers, NGOs, the private sector, public sector, the informal sector, the formal sector and International organizations willing to give Ghana a hand in this significant process.

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