Post-Independence Development Planning in Ghana and Tanzania: Agriculture, Women and Nation-building

Akua O. Britwum

This article analyses development planning in post-independence Ghana and Tanzania, particularly related to agriculture, in contrast with the contemporary neoliberal subsumption of African economies to market forces. The article derives lessons from both their successes and shortcomings. Ghana and Tanzania’s experiences suggest the importance of agricultural transformation for national self-sufficiency; development planning as a mechanism to link all sectors of the economy; and the key strategic potential of the state in production, distribution, and employment. Key shortcomings included the inability to fully de-link national economies from the global capitalist political economy and break dependence on earnings from cash crop exports and the political and economic marginalisation of women post-independence. The article suggests that progressive development planning that centres the pursuit of gender justice is a critical starting point for imagining and pursuing alternatives to neoliberalism.

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Akua Opokua Britwum is Associate Professor of Gender and Labour Studies at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Cape Coast. As a researcher for Post-Colonialisms Today, she focuses on post-independence development planning in Ghana and Tanzania. She previously served as Director of the Centre for Gender, Research, Advocacy, and Documentation. Her interests cover gender-based violence and gender and economic policy, as well as trade union democracy and informal sector labour force organization. 

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