This article explores the events surrounding Ghana’s successful transition to the right side of the road in order to shed light on one of the longest periods of military dictatorship in Ghanaian history. In particular, this paper traces the ways in which drivers, as mobile workers, coordinated with and supported state officials to achieve major technological and infrastructural transformation. These large-scale projects challenge an image of postcolonial dictatorships as ineffective, authoritarian, and isolationist regimes. Instead, the success of what the government called “Operation Keep Right” highlighted the close relationship between the Acheampong state and Ghana’s large class of mobile workers in achieving visions of technopolitical progress, national development, and regional integration. Even in the context of increasing economic crisis in the 1960s and 1970s, projects like “Operation Keep Right” complicate a narrative of seemingly inevitable postcolonial decline and push scholars to revisit the politics of postcolonial dictatorship through the experiences of citizens.


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pp. 181-201
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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