Is the HIPC initiative of benefit to the people of Northern Ghana? : a theological reflection.
Owusu-Sekyere, Bernard Nyarko.
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The HIPC debt relief initiative is a controversial IMF/World Bank program. This thesis examines whether the HIPC initiative in Ghana is "pro-poor". The concept of the "poor" and what this means for pubic policy is discussed in the framework of the biblical concept of shalom, that is the promotion of human wellbeing, within the context of Northern Ghana. To enable a fair assessment of the HIPC program in Northern Ghana, a review of Ghana's debt crisis is provided alongside a brief economic history. The origin of the debt crisis is traced to the first republic. A review of HIPC is undertaken from the perspectives of both theory and its practical implication. In the implementation process, particularly in Northern Ghana, the research identifies a number of infrastructural projects being accomplished by the HIPC funds and evaluates their usefulness and relevance. The thesis argues that there are three strengths to HIPC in Northern Ghana, namely, political accountability, social participation and infrastructure development; and that there are six weakness, namely, dependency syndrome, cultural relevance, ethnic conflict, adult capability development, personnel provision and economic distribution. It concludes that problem of human development that has been lacking in Ghana's economic policies, and the crisis of skilled personnel could undermine the provisions of HIPC in Northern Ghana to contribute meaningfully to shalom, or some measure of real development in people's life.
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