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Title: Spatial development disparities in Ghana, a review of decentralisation as a remedial measure
Authors: Adu-Brenya, Isaac
Issue Date: 22-Feb-1999
Series/Report no.: 2661;
Abstract: One of the major characteristics of the Ghanaian space economy is the existence of spatial development disparities. The following types of disparities exist. (i) Disparities between the ‘North’ and the ‘South’ with the distribution of social and economic infrastructure skewed in favour of the regions in the south; (ii) There is an also wide disparity between urban and rural areas; (iii) Wide disparities also exist among the districts in all the regions. Even though the first two dimensions have received much attention from planners and policy makers, not much attention has been paid to the disparities within the regions. It is for the above reason that this study has been undertaken to find out the underlying factors for spatial development disparities in Ghana, past remedial measures for rectifying the problem and their effectiveness and to assess the extent to which the current policy - decentralisation has addressed the problem. The study attributes the causes of spatial development disparities in Ghana to among other things: (a) British colonial administrative policy which tended to concentrate investment in social and economic infrastructure in few areas; (b) Centralised system of government practised by past governments in Ghana before 1988; and (c) Ghana’s emphasis on export-led economy and import substitution that tend to concentrate socio-economic infrastructure in few urban centres. The study further revealed that in view of the problems associated with spatial disparities; past governments have adopted various policies to bvercome the problem buthave achieved little or no impact. Since 1988, decentralisation policy has been implemented in Ghana. Among its objectives is to ensure equitable distribution of the fruits of development and thus overcome spatial disparities. In line with this, the original 65 districts were split into 110 and each given the power, means and competence to develop their areas. The study revealed that after a decade of its implementation, tremendous improvement has been made towards equitable distribution of social amenities to all districts and this ha$ brought some level of gap closure. In spite of the gap closure in the distribution of physical amenities in new/rural districts, this has not been matched with quality as most of the amenities in the ne districts have poor infrastructure, lack of equipment, logistics and the adequate manpc.ver to man them. In view of this situation, it is recommended that for decentralisation to succeed in bridging the gap between old and new/rural districts, the latter districts b appreciated as depressed and be given the much needed attention to grow.
Description: A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in National Development Policy and Planning, 1999
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3061
Appears in Collections:College of Architecture and Planning

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