Economic Nationalism

  • Harcourt Fuller
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


Between independence and the 1960s when the country became a republic, Ghana’s economic and social fortunes seemed promising, although socioeconomically the cocoa-growing regions of the south fared far better than the northern savanna. The country had a population of 6.2 million in 1957, with a 2.5 percent annual population growth rate, one of the highest in West Africa; life expectancy increased from 39.5 years in 1948 to 45.5 years in 1960; the size of the nation’s working class grew from 45,000 to over 304,000 between 1948 and 1960; per capita income was approximately $170 per annum, which was around twice that of Nigeria’s and one-ninth of Great Britain’s; the average yearly growth rate between 1955 and 1962 was 4.8 percent; Ghana’s largely untapped foreign exchange reserves in Britain totaled more than $470 million in 1957, an impressive amount for a newly independent “developing” country. This economic prosperity made Ghana attractive not only to foreign investors, but also to immigrants from other parts of West Africa.1


National Currency British Colonial Gold Coast Foreign Exchange Reserve Cocoa Farmer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Roger S. Gocking, The History of Ghana (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005), 115, 116, 118, 122.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Mark Figueroa, “W. Arthur Lewis’s Social Analysis and the Transformation of Tropical Economies,” in “Special Issue on Sir Arthur Lewis, Part II,” Social and Economic Studies 54, no. 4 (December 2005): 72–90; Gocking, The History of Ghana, 119, 120, 121Google Scholar
  3. Douglas Rimmer, Staying Poor: Ghana’s Political Economy 1950–1990 (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1992), 86–87.Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Igor Cusack, “African National Anthems: ‘Beat the drums, the Red Lion Has Roared.’” Journal of African Cultural Studies 17, no. 2 (December 2005b):.235–236, 240, 248, 250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 4.
    Harcourt Fuller, “From Cowries to Coins: Money and Colonialism in the Gold Coast and British West Africa in the Early 20th Century,” in Money in Africa, ed. Catherine Eagleton, Harcourt Fuller, and John Perkins (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 2009), 54–61Google Scholar
  6. John M. Carland, “The Colonial Office and the First West African Note Issue,” The International Journal of African Historical Studies 23, no. 3 (1990): 495–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Antony G Hopkins, An Economic History of West Africa (London: Longman, 1973)Google Scholar
  8. J. B. Loynes, A History of the West African Currency Board (London: The WACB, 1974)Google Scholar
  9. Loynes, The West African Currency Board, 1912–1962 (London: The WACB, 1962)Google Scholar
  10. W. T. Newlyn and D. C. Rowan, Money and Banking in British Colonial Africa: A Study of the Monetary and Banking Systems of Eight British African Territories (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954).Google Scholar
  11. 5.
    Eric Helleiner, “The Monetary Dimensions of Colonialism: Why Did Imperial Powers Create Currency Blocs?” Geopolitics 7, no. 1 (Summer 2002): 21.Google Scholar
  12. 7.
    Helleiner, “The Monetary Dimensions of Colonialism,” 23–24; Wambui Mwangi, “The Lion, the Native and the Coffee Plant: Political Imagery and the Ambiguous Art of Currency Design in Colonial Kenya,” Geopolitics 7, no. 1 (Summer 2002): 31–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 9.
    Cusack, “Tiny Transmitters of Nationalist and Colonial Ideology: The Postage Stamps of Portugal and its Empire.” Nations and Nationalism 11, no. 4 (October 2005): 591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 11.
    Edward S. Ayensu, Bank of Ghana: Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee (Accra: Bank of Ghana, 2007), 66; “Brief History of the Ghana Currency” (Accra, Ghana: BoG, July 18, 2006).Google Scholar
  15. 22.
    T. C. McCaskie, “Accumulation, Wealth and Belief in Asante History: I To the Close of the Nineteenth Century,” Africa 53, no. 1 (1983): 23–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. McCaskie, “Accumulation, Wealth and Belief in Asante History: II,” Africa 56, no. 1 (1986): 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 25.
    Neil Shafer and George S. Cuhaj, Standard Catalog of World Paper Money: Modern Issues 1961 – Date. vol. 3, 8th ed. (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2002), 485–487, 774–776, 899–903; see also Scholar
  18. 26.
    Lutz Marten and Nancy C.Kula, “Meanings of Money: National Identity and the Semantics of Currency in Zambia and Tanzania,” Journal of African Cultural Studies 20, no. 2 (2008): 187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 28.
    Keith Hart, “Heads or Tails? Two Sides of the Coin,” Man, New Series 21, no. 4 (December 1986): 637.Google Scholar
  20. 29.
    Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom (London: Heinemann, 1961), 111.Google Scholar
  21. 31.
    Kwame Nkrumah, Africa Must Unite (1963; new ed., New York: International Publishers, 1970), 110–111.Google Scholar
  22. 35.
    Michael Adas, Machines As the Measure of Men: Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990).Google Scholar
  23. 36.
    See Francis Danquah, Cocoa Diseases and Politics in Ghana, 1909–1966 (New York: Peter Lang, 1995); Gocking, The History of Ghana, 116, 118, 120, 121, 122, 134Google Scholar
  24. G.B. Kay, ed., The Political Economy of Colonialism in Ghana: A Collection of Documents and Statistics, 1900–1960 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972), 94.Google Scholar
  25. 37.
    Gocking, The History of Ghana, 118, 119, 120; T. Killick, “The Volta River Project,” in A Study of Contemporary Ghana, vol. 2, ed. Walter Birmingham, I. Neustadt, and E.N. Omaboe (London: Allen and Unwin, 1967), 393.Google Scholar
  26. 39.
    Agbenyega Adedze, “Re-presenting Africa: Commemorative Postage Stamps of the Colonial Exhibition of Paris (1931),” African Arts 37, no. 2 (2004): 58–60. See also Adedze, “Commemorating the Chief,” 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 40.
    Posnansky, “Propaganda for Millions: Images from Africa,” African Arts 37, no. 2 (2004): 54; Child, “The Politics and Semiotics of the Smallest Icons of Popular Culture,” 122–123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Harcourt Fuller 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harcourt Fuller

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations