International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 334

Full Length Research Paper

Foreign official development assistance (ODA) and Ghana’s development: The case for ‘‘bringing culture back in’’ to the analysis

Nathan Andrews
Department of Political Science, Brock University, 500 Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines ON, L2S 3A1 Canada
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 November 2009
  •  Published: 31 May 2010


Many developing countries, including Ghana, have received substantial amounts of foreign aid inflows for almost five decades. The benefits associated with such receipts have however been scarce. It is now a general knowledge that aid has not yet yielded expected ends. It has been argued that Ghana’s underdevelopment is attributable to colonialism and the integration into the world capitalist system; others also think foreign aid can help salvage the developmental problems the country faces. This paper argues that when aid is not applied a conducive political, economic and socio-cultural environment, it would hardly result in sustainable socio-economic development. Although we dealt with the political, economic and socio-cultural dimensions to Ghana’s development, we seek to emphasize a reconsideration of the culture-development argument that has been sheltered since the 1960s. With sociological institutionalism as our methodological approach, our understanding of ‘development’ is much broader than what just macro-economic indicators will show. Relevant data was gathered from the World Bank, UNDP and the Ghana Statistical Service to ascertain current levels of development, and where Ghana is headed.


Key words: Economic growth, development, foreign aid, structural adjustment programs, socio-cultural environment, poverty, good governance.