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Ghana Versus Ivory Coast


Ghana has been seen to be amongst the most stable nations in the West African region since 1992, the time of its conversion to bilateral democracy (“Democracy, human rights, and governance | Ghana | US agency for international development,” n.d.). It was earlier called Gold Coast. It became independent in 1957, after being colonized by Britain, and became the first sub-Saharan country to obtain freedom from colonization. The nation’s president is Nana Akufo-Addo, who succeeded in the 2016 general election and tapped into a body of voters tired of a faltering economy and prepared for positive transformation. Ghana is a ‘presidential representative democratic republic.’ President Nana Akufo-Addo heads the state and the government at the same time. The country’s government exercises the executive authority, while the parliament and government exercise legislative authority. The nation’s judiciary is autonomous of the legislature and executive systems. The constitution that made the Fourth Republic gave a fundamental agreement for a ‘republican democratic government.’ It asserts that Ghana is a united republic with dominance in citizens’ hands.

Ghana is separated into four diverse geographic ecoregions. Its shoreline is typically a low, sandy coast with scrubs and plains traversed by different streams and rivers. The country’s northern area is mainly filled with high plains. Its south western and south-central areas comprise a woody plateau area comprising the Kwahu Plateau and Ashanti highlands. The nation’s eastern intercontinental boundary encompasses the mountainous ranges of Akwapim-Togo. The primary industries in the country are agriculture, tourism, mining, telecommunication, and energy. Telecommunication figures show that by 2013, more than twenty-six million mobile phone lines existed nationwide. The agricultural field is among the major ones in the nation, which hired fifty percent of the nation’s labor force in 2013. Some of the crops found in Ghana are grains, timber, yams, and kola nuts. Tourism is among the significant economic fields that comprised four percent of the nation’s gross domestic product in 2009, appealing to and inviting more than five hundred thousand tourists.

On the other hand, Ivory Coast is formally known as the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire. It is a nation on West Africa’s southeastern Coast. The nation’s capital is called Yamoussoukro and is located centrally there. Ivory Coast’s southern boundary is a five hundred and fifteen-kilometer shoreline on the Gulf of Guinea. On the rest of the three sides, Ivory Coast precincts five countries for an aggregate of three thousand four hundred and fifty-eight kilometers. The countries are Liberia, Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Guinea. The country is a ‘presidential representative democratic republic. Alassane Ouattara heads the state and government simultaneously and belongs to a bilateral party system. The country’s government and president exercise executive authority. The parliament and government exercise the legislative authority. Ivory Coast became independent in August 1960 after being colonized by France. The country’s political scheme was under the power of the Democratic Party of Cote d’Ivoire for thirty years until 1990 when it was solely the legal party. Since 1990, over one hundred political parties have been founded, significantly the Ivorian Popular Front.

Ivory Coast possesses a market-based economy, greatly dependent on agricultural practices, and approximately seventy percent of its populace practices agriculture. The major industries are agriculture, mining, tourism, forestry, fishing, and agriculture. The minerals mined in the nation include cobalt, nickel, bauxite, tantalite, manganese, and copper. In the beach regions of Ivory Coast, there exists the advancement of resort lodges and different restaurants to promote tourism and enhance the nation’s economic diversification. Logging is authorized in the country’s Rural Domain (RD), which makes up approximately sixty-six percent of the whole land region of the nation. Fishing is among the prominent economic practices in Ivory Coast, which has the most extensive African tuna fishing harbor, which deals with about one hundred thousand tuna tons yearly. Agriculture is significant in Ivory Coast’s economy, the universe’s chief cocoa producer, and among the primary coffee producers and exporters.

Economic development of Ghana versus Ivory Coast

Found next to one another on the West African coastline with the same economic schemes when gaining independence, Ghana and Ivory Coast have experienced significantly dissimilar economic changes and developments. It is acknowledged that there existed a legendary feud between Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Kwame Nkrumah, the original president of Ivory Coast and prime minister of Ghana. It was about whether the nation would succeed in the long run. During his demise in 1972, Nkrumah was seen to be failing. When Houphouët-Boigny died in 1993, the situation was not the same anymore. Ivory Coast was enjoying significant, consistent economic advancement from 1960 to 1980. By 1980, real GDP per individual was twice the degrees of 1960. On the other hand, Ghana’s GDP was significantly declining from the ’70s to the ’80s, when the nation was experiencing bankruptcy. Its currency was valueless, the economy in shambles, and its third trial of obtaining a democracy-based government had concluded with a fourth military upheaval in fifteen years.

Nevertheless, since the middle 1980s, the time has witnessed an extraordinary reversal of happenings. Since 1983, Ghana has witnessed continual reclamation, while Ivory Coast has witnessed significant income declines. Ivory Coast also saw its original military upheaval in 1999 and a fall into civil warfare and tribal conflicts (“Ivory Coast political stability – data, chart |,” n.d.). From being known as among the least prosperous, Ghana has become a part of the significantly prosperous African nations. It has changed positions with Ivory Coast, which has witnessed its economy change from having fast development to unproductivity in a nation wasted by vicious civil warfare.

The two countries are all developing nations in the African continent, but Ghana is more economically developed than Ivory Coast. Ghana’s present human development index is greater than that of Ivory Coast. That for Ghana is fourteenth in Africa, meaning medium human development grouping, while Ivory Coast is thirty-fifth. This index is a summarization compound measure of a nation’s average attainments in three fundamental elements of human development, like living standard and health. Ghana’s economy is the second largest in the West African region, and it is prospering thanks to the quality exportations of oil, gold, and cocoa. The country is also among Africa’s major developed democracies, having a history of liberalized elections and alterations in government between significant parties. The introduction of crude oil making within the Jubilee oil land in 2011 and the outstanding production and sale of cocoa and gold promoted the nation’s real GDP growth. The GDP rose from fifteen percent in 2011 to seven in 2012. The nation desires that this economic bloom will continue with the aid of an ever-expanding service sector. The economy keeps attracting foreign direct investors, helped by growing gas and oil production.

The rampant economic growth has aided in lifting per capita income. Ghana has extensively tried to reduce poverty to less than thirty percent of the populace, reaching a lower-middle income level by 2023.

On the other hand, Ivory Coast is witnessing strong economic growth, though suspicions exist concerning how consistent that will be as of 2023. Increasing government expenditure and private investments aid to reestablish and enhance the nation’s infrastructure support development. Ivory Coast’s agriculture makes up twenty-five of the GDP ( and of that, cocoa production makes up fifteen percent of the GDP). Also, the agricultural sector makes up two-thirds of employment and forty percent of yearly export revenue. However, the economy seeks to diversify to enhance economic development. Ivory Coast has under-developed moneymaking reserves of iron ore, diamonds, nickel, gold, and manganese. Utilizing these mineral and natural possessions promotes a great growth possibility for the nation’s economy but also promotes the risks of the ‘ natural resource curse.’ This curse has negatively impacted various nations with the same natural resource element endowment. The curse explains a concept and situation whereby various resource-endowed countries fail to profit wholly from their natural endowments.

Notably, Ivory Coast’s per capita income continues to be low compared to Ghana’s. It keeps being surpassed by the average for nations like Ghana. The government is making efforts to attain positive human development objectives. The country’s Doing Business Indicators are seen to be weaker, too, according to the World Bank statistics. To be specific, the GDP of Ghana is seventy-seven billion USA dollars according to the World Bank (“Ghana GDP annual growth rate – 2023 data – 2024 forecast – 2000-2022 historical,” 2023.). The GDP per capita is two thousand three hundred and sixty-three US dollars. Contradictorily, the GDP of Ivory Coast is seventy billion, according to the World Bank statistics. The GDP per capita is two thousand five hundred US dollars. As can be seen, the GDP and GDP per capita of Ivory Coast are lower than that of Ghana. Ghana’s higher real GDP compared to Ivory Coast shows how the former country’s economy is performing well and growing and developing more than the latter. When GDP grows well, employment is possibly encouraged as firms employ more employees for their workstations and citizens have more disposable incomes. The positive employment and disposable income levels mean positive economic development since economic development translates to proper living standards for citizens on top of higher economic growth. So, Ghana has seen more economic growth and development recently than Ivory Coast and is the better country.

Political development of Ghana versus Ivory Coast

Furthermore, Ghana has seen more excellent political development and stability than Ivory Coast. Ghana’s recent persistent economic growth and development show a dedication to sustaining political basics. The country is widely commended for its surrounding political pluralism, reverence for citizens’ rights, liberal and honest elections, and a vocalized civil community. The Freedom House studies, among others, show how Ghana is ranked next to the top of the African continent in politics. An honest, competitive multi-party scheme has promoted a change of political parties within the office and has categorized Ghana as among the continental countries that have attained democratic consolidation. The parties’ institutionalization and value of the rule of law ensured President John Atta Mills’s demise brought no civil warfare. Ghana did not have to go through the recent political conflicts in African states like Ivory Coast and Malawi. Also, regardless of tribal separations in Ghana, these have not degraded the state’s union and togetherness, and no group has ever tried to disaffiliate.

While neighbors like Ivory Coast with the same economies suffered tribal clashes in recent decades, Ghana has continued to enjoy harmony. Ghana has done its best to maintain harmony by curbing interior clashes from becoming regional and nationwide infernos. In 2007, the country was acknowledged as the sole sub-Saharan African nation apart from South Africa to introduce a seven hundred and fifty million Eurobond. At that time, it was ‘ four times oversubscribed’ with politics-linked steadiness consistently, as pinpointed by global financiers, who saw that as a cause of the country’s success. As of 2023, the Freedom House data maintains that Ghana is politically stable, with great records of preserving civic freedoms and political rights.

Contradictorily, Ivory Coast has had to deal with stressful political conditions many times over the years, compared to Ghana. When product prices declined in the ‘80s, Ivory Coast had to deal with severe socio-economic and political issues. The set system of political regulation that rejected political involvement but warranted the social participation of elite groups promoted political issues. There was political resistance from the ruling party at that time. In 2000, the desire for political democratization was squashed due to stolen votes and the Rally of Republicans (RDR) party demonstrations. There was also political conflict during the 2010 elections due to a significant political stalemate. After Ouattara won the presidential election in 2015, he promoted economic growth and infrastructural development. However, the country’s political situation continued to be divided, and every desire for a proper democratization of Ivory Coast has been hard to achieve. Junior military individuals have consistently put on uprisings over the past decade and the introduction of another unitary armed group. However, that ended in 2018.

Additionally, citizenship rights have been withdrawn from Northern Ivorians and migrants, promoting local conflicts (“new racism,” 2023). The situation has dramatically questioned the legality of the present nation-state. Clashes among different tribal communities and migrants have also existed over the years, gaining religious implications. Consequently, violence occurred in June 2020 after Jihadists attacked a boundary battalion in the nation’s northeastern region due to tribal issues. However, more military actions have not existed after that, and the threats of growing Islamic existence and its effects were non-existent from the 2020 election campaigns. Ivory Coast has never witnessed a harmonious power turnover through elections over the years till now. The coronavirus pandemic did not impact the electoral dates, and the pushing of parliamentary elections in March 2021 was linked to political instability. It was not associated with public health matters that surrounded that time. So to say, Ghana has enjoyed political stability and development over the years compared to the Ivory Coast.


Democracy, human rights, and governance | Ghana | US agency for international development. (n.d.). US Agency for International Development.

Ghana GDP annual growth rate – 2023 data – 2024 forecast – 2000-2022 historical. (2023). TRADING ECONOMICS | 20 million INDICATORS FROM 196 COUNTRIES.

Ivory Coast political stability – data, chart | (n.d.).

The new racism. (2023, March 27). Human Rights Watch.


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