Skip to content Skip to navigation

Osei Boakye

Osei Boakye

Winter 2015 Graduate Fellowship Recipient
Stanford Center on Global Poverty and Development


Osei Boakye is interested in aid, debt, development, and political economics, as well as international financial institutions (IFIs, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group) and the role IFIs play in each of these areas. Boakye is using Ghana as his mode of investigation to showcase the dramatic effects poor decisions made by IFIs, their partner countries, and aid recipients have had in emerging states in those state's maturing phase. He is looking in particular at Ghana's political economic history from about 1946 to 1976, culminating in their default on several international loans and their unilateral declaration of a moratorium on other loans. His principal question is focused on how the "model colony," in the space of fifteen years after achieving independence, was mired in economic disasters. Boakye is interested in the historical steps that led up to those events and what structural issues were lacking, causing the instability of Ghana's post-independence economy. Additionally he is interested to see what global affairs helped influence and shape the events that occurred in Ghana. His goal is to link that history to the current state of affairs in Ghana.

Fellowship research abstract

Aid, Debt, Development, and Political Economics in Ghana from 1954-1974

In the 1960s and 70s less developed countries in Africa and elsewhere argued that global financial structures mined their natural resources for profit and resold them at exorbitant prices. The paper is focused on the last years of the Gold Coast colony from 1947 to 1952, when the colony gained self-governance. The paper examines how infighting among indigenous political parties that demanded Ghanaian independence shaped the course of development in this corner of British West Africa. The aim of the paper is to show During this period, the missteps of Africans and Europeans laid the groundwork for future problems, such as the massive debt burden that the country faced by 1972, when the military once again overthrew the civilian government. This paper will show that because development planning in the same era that anticolonial agitation became heightened, it led to haphazard results because of political compromises that had to be reached by the various parties. Additionally, the paper will look at what the various stakeholders viewed development to be and what they were aiming for when they crafted development projects. The paper relies on materials from the British National Archives, as well as materials from Ghana’s Public Records Archives Administration Department and the Hoover Institution Archives for primary documentation.