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Opinions of Thursday, 15 July 2004

Columnist: Abdul-Rahman

Is Ghana a failed state?

A review of the failed state theory.

There was a news item sometimes last month quoting a United States conservative journalist as saying that Ghana is a "failed State".

Although several others have written on this website to refute such assertion. It is important to review the failed state doctrine and put the argument in the rigth perspective. The answer to question of whether Ghana is a failed state is simply a big "no".

Ghana does not fall within the category of failed states. Because many states in the sub-region where Ghana happens to be located have/had failed, it is possible for US conservative ideogues such as the gentleman who made that assertion to assume that all states in the sub-region have failed. Such a conclusion was nothing but a fallacy of hasty generation calculated to discredit the country and its people. Ghana may be regarded as a weak state, but not a failed state In order to prove a case for Ghana's total disqualification in the failed states category, it is important to first exiamine what is a failed state, and which country or countries could deemed as failed.

A state is deemed failed when it loses all the characteristics of statehood. Among which include, a central authority that has the legitimacy to controls boarders as in Somalia, such states are normally ravaged by war and different parts of the country is controlled by rabel groups, a typical example is Liberia during the civil war. In such states private armies are usually used by individuals. As a result of these features crime rates in such countries are very high. Economic activities in such countries are shatted, and the state can not provide for public good such as hospital, schools, and other social services. Neither can the state regulate activities in such countries. This is because the capacity of the government in such a country have been defeated by rebel groups. Live in such states in nothing less than what Thomas Hobbes describe in his book THE LIVIATHAN, as solitary, brutish and short. I pray to God Ghana does not fall that low. Hence to describe Ghana as a Failed is far below the belt. The gentleman who made that assertion is wrong both in theory and in practice. Inspite of our political instabilities, Ghana, since its independence from the British empire had been able to largely control it frontiers.

Unlike failed states there has never been any armed conflict in the country that resulted in the partitioning its in to parts. Despite our economic problems, our government functions and exert control over the country. Our people are taxed and government largely funds our education institutions ( excerpt private schools). To assumed that Ghana is a failed state is fallacious and the gentleman who made that claim should be threated with contempt.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.