Reflections on Poverty and Wealth Creation in Ghana
Ghana is richly endowed with tangible and intangible wealth and the country’s so-called poverty seems a travesty. Indeed, many developed countries have less endowment and would envy Ghana’s capital assets. Why then the Ghanaian paradox of possessing the requisite resources for wealth creation and yet being poor? Why has prosperity been so elusive? The paper seeks to stimulate the community of scholars to ponder Ghana’s development paradox. Considering the limiting and psychological import, the term “poverty” in Africa’s development discourse ought to be questioned. Development is both individual and collective effort, but primary responsibility for the process lies with government that controls the state and has the power, within the law, to regulate the environment, provide the policy framework, and ensure the appropriate utilization of national resources for the collective good. A key question of critical interest, therefore, should be how the government, using the power of the state, manages and utilizes available resources in advancing development. Because no nation has developed on the charity of others, less faith should be placed in international aid and partnerships and more on harnessing and building local resources and capacities. Finally, examining poverty on three levels – material, knowledge and governance – it is argued that capable and visionary leadership, progressive policy and regulatory framework for natural capital management, and good governance would create wealth in countries such as Ghana.