Since the early 1980s, the World Bank, backed by aid donor countries, has been involved in a determined effort to stimulate capitalist growth in Africa by prescribing a set of orthodox, neoliberal economic policies. Even in the relative success stories, such as in Ghana, there has been a notable failure to achieve the East Asian-style economic takeoff that some World Bank officials still optimistically envisioned in the early 1990s. Using Ghana as a case study, this book considers why this is the case, and what the implications are for the adequacy of orthodox, neoliberal policies.
"The Politics of Government-Business Relations in Ghana, 1982-2008 is a fascinating review of the response by the Ghanaian private business sector to neo-liberal economic reforms. Opoku draws on both liberal and 'governed market' approaches to account for the failure of neo-liberal reforms to galvanize the Ghanaian private sector industrial and manufacturing activity. The author is an astute, measured observer of Ghanaian political economy and his account is grounded in an impressive number of interviews with Ghanaian businesspeople. The result is an empirically rich and convincing narrative. While Opoku obviously knows Ghana very well, he is also able to stand back sufficiently from the minutiae, the often fierce partisanship and the many contradictory versions of events to provide a coherent account. In a field where good fieldwork and carefully observed empirics are far rarer than they ought to be, this is to be commended. This book contains much valuable material that will augment a substantial literature, of interest to a large number of scholars, on the Ghanaian political economy." - Antoinette Handley, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
"This book is a welcome contribution to the emerging scholarship on business-state relations in Africa. It should be high on the reading list of anyone with an interest in business and politics in Ghana and the region." - Scott D. Taylor, Associate Professor and Director, African Studies Program, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University