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Bridging the Digital Divide through Korea Cooperation

The Case of Ghana-Korea Information Access Centre ( IAC )

Augustine Blay Arko, Barfi-Adomako Owusu and Gladys Kwadzo

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is review the objectives and functions for which the Ghana-Korea Information Access Center (IAC) was set-up at the University of Ghana, Legon in 2012. This type of facility is one of the very few established in Ghana to bridge the digital divide through Ghana-Korea co-operation. Sharing information on its status and development will throw important light on a key Ghana-Korea Project in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, provide critical guidance for the development of future centres and lay the the basis for exploring possibilities for co-operation in ICT between the the two countries. The paper draws its data from interviews (involving users of the IAC) and documented information on the project. The paper traces the developmental processes (physical, institutional and administrative) for the setting up of the IAC and points up the lessons learnt.

Jasper Abembia Ayelazunoa and Lord Mawuko-Yevugahb

Abstract

In the 1960s, the economic development of African countries such as Ghana was on par with Asian countries like South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. Fast forward to the 2000s and a totally different picture emerges: Ghana lagged far behind its Asian counterparts in most development indicators, something that exemplifies the broader case of postcolonial African states unpropitious of development. Paradoxically, a new intellectual fad has emerged in the 2000s claiming ‘Africa is rising’, potentially, to replicate the development model of the Asian tigers. This discourse is based mostly on spurts of economic growth of African countries rich in natural resources like oil and gold, a growth driven by a spike in world market prices of these commodities in the second decade of the 21st century. When the world prices of these commodities plummeted precipitously a few years later, countries like Ghana, cited as signal examples of the ‘Africa rising’ mantra, went into deep economic crises. The IMF had to bail them out. Meanwhile, despite the global economic downturn, Ghana’s Asian counterparts managed to muddle through, still far ahead of it in most indicators of development. In contrast to the Africa Rising discourses, this paper draws on the insights of critical international political economy to leverage our understanding of the contrasting development paths African states and their Asian counterparts have taken in the immediate postcolonial period; and more recently, the period following immediately after the global economic downtown. Despite its weaknesses, indeed, despite the refutation of its cruder claims, we argue that dependency theory is still rich with useful analytical insights that can unravel the African development paradox in the 21st century vis-à-vis the development miracle of the Asian tigers.

Lloyd G. Adu Amoah and Kwasi Asante

Abstract

Over the last sixty years the economic and industrial fortunes of Ghana and Korea have proved worryingly divergent. Though Ghana and South Korea had comparatively similar GDP per capita in the 1960s, South Korea in 20171 ($29,742.839) has been able to attain a GDP per capita that is about ten times that of Ghana ($1,641.487). This work critically examines the economic relationship between Ghana and South Korea in the last forty years. It focuses on the economic miracle of South Korea and the lessons for developing countries like Ghana. The article utilizes economic, historical and policy data drawn from primary and secondary sources in an attempt to examine the economic relations between the two countries thus far and prescribe ways in which Ghana can benefit far more than ever before from her economic co-operation with Korea. The paper argues that for Ghana to benefit from its economic relations with South Korea the ideational example of this East Asian state in constructing a developmental state (DS) is critical. Flowing from this, it is recommended that this West African nation becomes more diligent and innovative in her economic relations with Korea as a matter of strategic necessity in pursuit of Ghana’s long held industrialization dream.

Joseph R. A. Ayee

Abstract

Even though scholars have written on Ghana-Korea relations over the past forty years, there is a lacuna in the literature because there is no “one-stop shop” from which one could easily access the literature. The problem is that scholarly works on Ghana-Korea relations are scattered in books and journals which has made undertaking research on the relations between the two countries a bit Herculean. The purpose of this article is therefore to fill the lacuna and provide a state-of-the-art on some key themes in Ghana-Korea relations which have emerged and yet scattered in scholarly works. They include culture and society; governance and leadership; economy; bilateral relations (including political, economic and technical cooperation); and science and education. The methodology employed is desktop research through the consultation of government publications, books and articles.

Lloyd G. Adu Amoah and Leslie N. L. Mills

Abstract

This paper examines Korea’s answer to the rural development challenge in the 1970s, the Saemaŭl Undong movement (SMU). As one of the revolutionary polices of Park Chung-Hee, it has been highlighted as contributing greatly to the South Korean economic miracle. There is consensus that it is a shining example of a successful rural development policy and has been widely documented. Given the signal achievements of the programme, this paper attempts to establish whether the SMU could be useful for Ghana as a lasting solution to rural underdevelopment. This paper presents a critical historical background of the SMU and how it was executed highlighting in particular the factors that were crucial to the success of the initiative. The Korean explications are then set against an overview of Ghana’s attempts at rural development in an attempt to account for the reasons why Ghana has not been as successful at this task. Our conclusion is that the SMU can serve as a repository of best practices and outline lessons therefrom to guide the formulation and implementation of an integrated, home-grown rural development strategy to ensure the best possible chance of success of such a strategy.