By Kwamina Panford
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Additional info for Africa’s Natural Resources and Underdevelopment: How Ghana’s Petroleum Can Create Sustainable Economic Prosperity
Most if not all, of these health inspectors were laid off as part of World Bank–IMF-induced austerity measures. Specifically, Ghana was instructed to cut 13% out of its health budget (Boafo Arthur 2000). See also Time magazine (2000) for similar trends responsible for the deterioration in health care and other social infrastructure in Zambia and Tanzania. African health workers and families used plastic bags (shopping bags the British call “carrier bags”) for protection in lieu of rubber gloves and boots during the 2014–2015 Ebola epidemic in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
Since one of my objectives is to depict a more complex picture of resource production and exports with an eye to laying the foundation for the development of effective public policy solutions, I reiterate important issues raised by Obeng-Odoom (2014, 2015) and others (Panford 2010, 2014; 42 K. PANFORD Obi 2009, 2010). 7 Finding answers to these questions will enable me to determine who owns what, who benefits most and the type of benefits derived from raw material extraction. Hence one of my tasks in this book is to assess whether natural resources in themselves, even if abundant, can be necessary and sufficient causes of the proverbial natural resource curse in Africa, using the experience of Ghana’s new OG sector.
The loan paid for building the port of Monrovia which was used by the US Navy and to ship latex to Firestone plants at Akron, Ohio. The people of Liberia paid an excessive rate of 17% on the $5m loan (DuBois July 1933). In 2005, a new 37-year agreement between Firestone and Liberia raised the lease rate to a mere 50 cents an acre. The manner in which both Firestone Company, a powerful US tire manufacturer, and the US Government exploited Liberia’s land and more than 5000 workers exemplifies how the confluence of US geostrategic interests (need for naval port facilities in West Africa) and commercial interests (circumventing British efforts to limit rubber supplies for tire production) led to Liberians reaping few, if any benefits, from one of their key natural resources—land, so suitable for growing rubber.