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An analysis of the MNCs in Ghana and their impact on the country’s development

Abdallah, Mohammed
Multi-national corporations (MNCs) since time immemorial have been grails and developing countries in Africa, just like their counterparts in other parts of the developing world, have enunciated diverse but competitive programmes and measures to attract them to invest in their respective countries of which Ghana is not an exception. The pertaining persistent perception among leaders and policymakers of most of these developing countries is that the presence of MNCs in their countries could help them realize their economic aspirations. The pertinacious growing predominance of MNCs in developing countries can therefore among other reasons be the results of the measures that those countries have put in place to attract FDI. Ghana, a tiny country in West Africa and a developing country has adopted policies to attract FDI. As a result, the number of MNCs invading the country Ghana keeps ascending. Also, the literature on development is fraught with numerous examples of the impacts of MNCs on the development of both developed and developing countries. As the perceived architects of development, and considering the relatively abundant human and natural resource base of Ghana coupled with its position as a bread basket in Africa, one would have thought that the MNCs present in the country would have played a commanding role in accelerating development, and helping the country in its transition from poverty to prosperity. However, despite their snowballing presence in Ghana, the country’s uphill battle to attain development remains a steeper climb. Yet still, it is impossible to discuss the development of Ghana without making reference to some of these MNCs. This study first and foremost seeks to consider the history of the MNC by way of finding out the kind of FDI policies that Ghana have adopted in the past. The study also seeks to look at the impact of the presence of FDI on the country’s development by focusing on the changes that might have occurred in the country’s development indicators such as Human Development Index (HDI), trade balance, unemployment, poverty, growth rate, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. More so, using the Peter Nunnenkamp’s (2004) theory on the heterogeneous nature of FDI, this research seeks to critically conduct an inquiry as to whether Ghana has in place the necessary conditions to benefit from FDI in the country. To be able to achieve the desired results and to permit clearer analysis, scholarly articles, journals, archives, newspapers, government white papers and policy documents are used in this study. Drawing from the fact-finding literature so far, it is palpable that Ghana over the past years have adopted neoliberal FDI policies geared towards making Ghana an attractive place for investment, and the policy focus has been on the quantity rather than the quality ofFDI. From the literature, it is also revealing that FDI, though at varied immensity might have stimulated Ghana’s development through their contribution to the country’s key development indicators such as Human Development Index (HDI), trade balance, poverty, growth rate, and GDP per capita. The literature also suggests that there is no positive correlation between FDI and unemployment. According to this study, some conditions in Ghana like education might have hindered the country from enjoying the benefits of FDI.