The colonial history of neglect frames the development narrative of northern Ghana. Postcolonial critics emphasized the conscious neglect by the British imperial power and to some extent the post-colonial state. This paper seeks to deconstruct the narratives of the “blame-game,” by highlighting the economic potentials of the region, the contradictory policy positions of the colonial state and the ambivalence of post-colonial state. We argue that the “rule of colonial difference” birthed by the imperial power has guided the post- colonial state’s interventions in northern Ghana. The rule of difference allowed the British to categorize the region as backward and inferior in relation to other zones—especially the southern part of the Gold Coast colony. Consequently, the region served as a “labor reserve” to support production in the colonial economy in the south. The history of economic development in the zone was characterized by false starts, duplication and under-investment. This has left the economy of the North lagging behind the “south,” in terms of socio-economic development.


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pp. 45-67
Launched on MUSE
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