Roots of Recovery
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The 1983 Economic Recovery Program (ERP) is seen as a turning point in Ghanaian economic history. After decades of decline, this program led to newfound economic growth, with the help of the IMF and the World Bank. The program is both praised for its success in starting growth and criticized for its focus on macroeconomic factors and keeping the Ghanaian economy reliant on cocoa exports. This thesis seeks to add to this literature by including a colonial perspective and analyzing the influence of colonial cocoa policies on the ERP. In order to do so, the institutional theory developed by Masahiko Aoki is used to research the mechanisms determining the success of policy changes in the cocoa industry. Applying this framework to the policies from colonial reports on the Gold Coast, as well as the ERP have revealed both similarities and differences. The ERP aimed to change back to a liberalized cocoa industry, which shared similarities with the early colonial period. The ERP did incorporate elements of the later colonial institutions and postcolonial institutions, although their function changed with the mandates being abolished. Also, more specific types of policies from the colonial era are featured in the ERP in some way. These are specifically institutions related to providing farmers with knowledge on farming methods and infrastructure. The ERP thus shares some striking similarities with both early and late colonial institutions, showing the strong links over time in the process of economic recovery.