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The new middle class and urban transformation in Africa : a case study of Accra, Ghana Tetteh, Komiete 2016

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THE NEW MIDDLE CLASS AND URBAN TRANSFORMATION IN AFRICA: A CASE STUDY OF ACCRA, GHANA   by Komiete Tetteh  BSc., Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, 2006  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF SCIENCE IN PLANNING  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  April, 2016 © Komiete Tetteh, 2016 ii  Abstract   The ascendance of the so-called global middle class—characterized as young, ambitious, highly-credentialed, well-paid, urban-based, professionals in the so-called emerging economies of the Global South—as a new socio-economic force has captured much international attention in the scholarly, business and media circles. For the most part, however, the discourse on this nascent social group has geographically focused on emerging Asia and thematically centered on their lifestyle characteristics and their related political and economic ramifications, locally and globally. In Africa, where the growth of the middle class has been paralleled by widespread socio-economic and urban transformation, little, if any, scholarly and policy effort have been made to understand the  nature and ramifications of the nexus between the middle class expansion and the reconfigurations taking place in the urban form and space economies of cities. Seeking to tell the African version or story of the rise of the new middle class and their role in the on-going remaking of urban Africa, this thesis examines patterns of new economic activity and occupations, secondary service centres, housing, education and conspicuous consumption, including their broader spatial attributes and internal configurations, in one transitional African city, Accra, the capital of Ghana, as a case study. Drawing on a range of methods that include analyses of media coverage, policy briefs, scholarly works, plans and census data, the study unravels deep connections between the forces of globalization, structural change, class (re)production and new industrial and spatial formations in metropolitan Accra. The case study also highlights the different place-making strategies and tactics—covert and overt, direct and indirect, practical and ideological—employed by the new middle classes to reshape, territorialize and control urban space through the production and consumption of ―privileged‖ landscapes that fits their vision and ideals of contemporary urban structure and social life. In addition to analyzing the impact and implications of these emergent middle-class landscapes for Accra‘s spatial harmony and social cohesion, the research underscores the need for African urban governments to adopt innovative land use and social engineering approaches that encourage the mixing of diverse social groups in planned new residential communities, protect urban green space, and minimize the gentrifying effects of middle-class place-making.  iii  Table of Contents  Abstract................................................................................................................................ ii List of Tables ...................................................................................................................... vi List of Figures.................................................................................................................... vii Acknowledgement ............................................................................................................ viii 1 Introduction .................................................................................................................. 1 1.1   Economic Renaissance, Class Production and Urban Remaking in Africa ......... 2 1.2   Perspectives on the Causes, Characteristics, and Developmental Implications of Africa‘s New Middle Class Growth ..................................................................... 5 1.3   Introduction to the Case: The Emergent Middle Class Urbanism in Accra ....... 11 1.4   Problem Statement ............................................................................................. 13 1.5   Methodology and Data Sources ......................................................................... 13 1.6   Overview of Chapters ........................................................................................ 14 1.7   Scope and Limitations ....................................................................................... 15 2 Development, Urbanization and New Class Formation in Africa: A Closer Look at the Story of African Renaissance ............................................................................ 16 2.1    From Glory to Doom and Hope: Retelling the Story of Africa‘s Rise and Fall and New Rise ..................................................................................................... 19 2.2   Notable Aspects of Africa‘s New Rise ............................................................... 36 2.4   The Making of the New African Middle Class and the New African City ........ 52 2.5   Summary and Discussion .................................................................................. 58 3 Socio-Economic and Urban Transformation in Ghana: An African Success Story? ............................................................................................................................. 62 3.1    Regime Change, Policy Shifts and Development Outcomes in Post-Colonial Ghana: A Brief Political-Economic History ....................................................... 63 3.2   Analysis and Conclusions .................................................................................. 78 3.2.1   Growth Record .............................................................................................. 78 3.2.2   Welfare: Employment, Poverty and Inequality Trends ................................. 82 3.2.3   Structural Transformation? ........................................................................... 85 3.2.4   New Trends in Urbanization ......................................................................... 89 3.3   Class Reformation and the Arrival of the New Ghanaian Middle Class ........... 95 3.3.1   Timing, Size and Growth Factors ................................................................. 96 3.4   Summary and Discussion ................................................................................ 102  iv  4 Case Study of Accra: Outline of Past and Recent Developments ........................ 104 4.1   Pre-reform Accra: Growth History and Trajectory of Urban Development .... 104 4.2   Post-Reform Accra: Outline of Recent Development Features ....................... 114 4.2.1   Weakening Demographic Growth ............................................................... 114 4.2.2   Strong Suburban Growth ............................................................................ 115 4.2.3   An Emerging New City Skyline ................................................................. 117 4.2.4   Construction Boom and New Spatial Formations ...................................... 119 4.2.3   An Emerging New Urban Economy ........................................................... 121 4.2.4   Growth and Shifting Patterns of FDI .......................................................... 123 4.3   The Rise of the New Middle Class in Post-Reform Accra .............................. 124 4.3.1   Growth Drivers ........................................................................................... 124 4.3.2   Some Empirical Measures of New Class Formation in Metropolitan Accra 126 4.4   The New Middle Class in the Restructured Metropolitan Economy ............... 131 4.5   Discussion and Summary................................................................................. 142 5. The New Middle Class in Place .............................................................................. 146 5.1    Population Distribution by Class, Income, Occupation and Industry: Mapping the Residential and Economic Geography of Accra‘s New Middle Class ....... 149 5.2   New Middle Class Spatialities in the Rapidly-Transforming City .................. 160 5.2.1   New Secondary Centres .............................................................................. 160 5.2.2   Patterns of New Housing Development...................................................... 171 5.2.3   New Conspicuous Consumption Spaces .................................................... 188 5.2.4   Multi-Use, Mega Urban Projects ................................................................ 202 5.2.5   Links to New Education ............................................................................. 208 5.4   Summary and Discussion ................................................................................ 228 6 For Good or For Bad? Interrogating the Socio-Spatial and Environmental Impact of New Class Place-making in Accra ............................................................ 230 6.1    Where they are: Mapping the Geography of Accra‘s New Middle Class Spaces and Development Trajectory ............................................................................ 232 6.2   The Spatial Impact of Accra‘s New Middle Class Spaces .............................. 234 6.3   Cohesion or Segregation? Counting the Social Cost of Accra‘s New Middle Class Urbanism ................................................................................................ 238 6.4   Weighing in the Natural Environment ............................................................. 246 6.5   Discussion: Perspectives on the New Middle Urbanism in Accra .................. 249  v  7 Conclusion: Summary of Findings, Implications and Suggestions for Future Studies .......................................................................................................................... 251 7.1   Salient Generic Facts about Africa‘s Middle Class Growth ............................ 253 7.2   The New Middle Class and Urban Remaking in 21st Century Africa ............ 262 7.3   The Accra Experience:  Commonality and Distinctiveness ............................ 266 7.4   Implications for National and Urban Development Policy ............................. 270 7.4.1   Implications for Public Policy .................................................................... 271 7.4.2   Implications for Urban Policy..................................................................... 273 7.5   Conclusion and Suggestions for Future Studies .............................................. 278 Bibliography .................................................................................................................... 282 Appendix .......................................................................................................................... 302                   vi  List of Tables…………………………………………………………………………… Table 2.1   Number and Sectoral Composition of Intra-African Investment                    Projects, 1990-2011…………………………………………………………..46  Table 3.1   Top Ten Investment Countries in Ghana by Value and Number                    of Registered Projects……………………  ………………………………….81  Table 3.2   Shifting Patterns of FDI in Ghana……………………………..……………..82 Table 3.3   Employed Population as a Proportion of the Labour Force in                    Ghana by Gender, 1960-2010……..………………………………………….83 Table 3.4   Sectoral Contribution to GDP and Employment, 1960-2010………………...86  Table 3.5   Industrial Structure of Employment in Ghana, 1960-2000…………………..87 Table 3.6   Occupational Structure of the Ghanaian Economy, 1960-2000……..……….89 Table 3.7   Urbanization Trends in Ghana, 1960-2010………………………..…………91 Table 3.8    Growth and Change Trajectories among Ghana‘s                     Power Metropolises…………………….……………………………………93 Table 3.9    Decomposition of Poverty Incidence in Ghana, 1990-2013…….…………..95  Table 3.10  Foreign Banks in Ghana as of 2014 and their Basic Characteristics……….101 Table 4.1    Population Trends in Accra, 1960-2010.…………………………………...115 Table 4.2    Population (6 years and older) with Post-Secondary Educational                     Attainment in Accra, Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema……………….127 Table 4.3    Population in Managerial and Professional Employment in Accra                    Compared to Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema…….………...129  Table 4.4    Ownership of Cell Phones, Personal Computers and Internet                    Usage among the Population 12 years and above in Accra, Kumasi,                     Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tema, 2010………………………………..130 Table 4.5    Domestic Air Passenger Fleet in Ghana, 2010-2013……….………………130   Table 4.6    Industrial Structure of Employment in Accra, 2000 and 2010……….….…134   Table 4.7   Occupational Structure of Accra and Ghana, 2010………………..………..141 Table 5.1    Neighbourhood Classes in Accra……….………………….……………….152 Table 5.2    New Shopping Malls in Accra……………….……………………………..194              vii  List of Figures………………….………………………………………………………..vii Figure 2.1: Growth in intra-African trade, 1995-2011………………………….………...42  Figure 2.2:  Inward and Outward FDI in Africa, 2000-2014………………….………….43 Figure 2.3:  Size of the Middle Classes in the Various African Countries……………….55 Figure 3.1:  GDP and Per Capita GDP Growth in Ghana, 1960-2014….……….……….79 Figure 3.2:  Annual FDI Flow in Ghana, 2000-2011……………………………………..80 Figure 3.3:  Poverty Incidence in Ghana, 1991/2—2012/13…………………………......84 Figure 3.4:  Comparison of GDP and Employment Shares for Agriculture,                      Industry and Service in Ghana, 1960-2010………….………………………87 Figure 3.5   Population, Urban and GDP Growth Rate in Ghana, 1970-2010.………..….90 Figure 3.6   Share of Urban Population for Ghana‘s Major and Minor Cities…..………..91   Figure 3.7   Annual Growth Rate for Ghana‘s Power Metropolises…………...………….94  Figure 3.8   University Enrolment in Ghana, 2005-2010……………….………………...97 Figure 4.1   Present-Day Jamestown, showing the Lighthouse Close to James Fort…....106 Figure 4.2   Map of Accra in 1922 Showing Victoriaborg.……………….……………..108 Figure 4.3   Expansion of Accra, 1900-1969………….……………………..…………..113 Figure 4. 4  Crystalline Landscapes of 21st Century Accra………………....…………..118 Figure 4.5   Signs of Property Boom in Accra…………..………………………………119 Figure 4.6   Regional Distribution of FDI in Ghana, 2007-2011…………..……………124 Figure 4.7  Changing Industrial Structure of Accra, 2000 and 2010…………………....133 Figure 5.1  Neighbourhood Classification in Accra Based on Social Class……….…....155 Figure 5.2  Comparison of Housing Densities in a Selected 1st and 3rd Class                    Neighbourhood in Accra from Google Earth……………………………….156  Figure 5.3  Types of Secondary Centres in Accra……………………………………….157 Figure 5.4 ‗Wall Street‘, Accra‘s New Financial District, West Ridge….……………...163 Figure 5.5 Selected Images of West Ridge ……………………………………………..164  Figure 5.6 Selected Images from Oxford Street, Osu…………………………………...168 Figure 5.7 Emerging Technology Spaces and Entrepreneurs in Osu, Accra……………170 Figure 5.8 Types of New Apartment Housing Targeting Accra‘s New Middle Class….174 Figure 5.9 Some Gated Communities and Town Homes in Accra………….…………..175 Figure 5.10 Geography of New Middle Class Housing in Accra……………...………..177  viii  Figure 5.11 Views of Villiaggio Vista…………………………………………………..179 Figure 5.12 Panoramic Views of Trassacco Valley……………………………………..183 Figure 5.13 Selected New Luxury Recreational Spaces (Mostly Hotels) in Accra….….191  Figure 5.14 Other New Up-scale Recreational and Commercial Spaces                      Frequented by the New Middle Classes in Accra………………………….192      Figure 5.15 Selected Images from the Accra Mall………………………………………201 Figure 5.16 Map of Airport City from Google…………………………………………..204 Figure 5:17 Airport City………………..………………………………………………..206 Figure 5.18 Some Landmark Developments at Airport City..…………………………..207  Figure 5.19 Selected Images of Ashesi University…………………….………………..222   Figure 6.1 Geography of New Middle Class Housing in Accra………………………...233 Figure 6.2 The Interior of Santoku Restaurant, Villagio Vista, Where                   Flip-flops are not Allowed…………………………………………………..240 Figure 6.3 Symptoms of a Polarizing City……………………………………….……..241 Figure 6.4 The Extent of Urban Sprawl in Accra…….…………………………………247               ix  Acknowledgement Embarking on an ambitious academic project such as this thesis is by no means a small feat. What usually begins as an exciting endeavor often metamorphoses into a long, seemingly unending journey, fraught with disappointments, loneliness and anxieties, interspersed with moments of excitement, optimism and fulfillment. And my story has not been any different. But through it all, I have learned to trust God the more, to whom I also dedicate this thesis, and to better appreciate the help of people, some of whom I will mention below.  Dr. Thomas Hutton, my research supervisor who has been very supportive throughout this journey, is the first person I would like to acknowledge. Without your persistent expression of faith in my academic potential, your constant reminder of the saliency of my research; your patience, compassion and understanding during my difficult times; your stimulating intellectual engagements and suggestions; and your support in providing materials and other forms of assistance needed, I would have abandoned this project a long time ago, Tom. The second is my second reader, Dr. Michael Leaf, whose contribution led to a directional shift in my work, to focus on the emergent middle class as the dominant players in the on-going urban and economic transformation in Ghana and continental Africa. Michael, you have no idea how much I have learned from this study. Thank you. The third is my third reader, Dr. Nora Angeles, who had to replace Dr. Leaf who was away from Vancouver during the final stages of this work. Nora, thank you for accepting to be on my committee. I am grateful.     Members of my church here in Vancouver—Liberty House of Worship (LHOW)—are the next group of people I would to pay tribute to. From the very first day I landed in Vancouver through to the completion of this thesis, they have shown me a great deal of love and care, the depth and breadth of which I cannot explain. And albeit limited space prevents me from acknowledging each member of this precious community who have, in known and unknown ways, touched my life, I need to make room to recognize these individuals whose love, encouragement and support to me has been nothing but extraordinary: Pastor Emmanuel Ayedzi and his wonderful wife Grace Ayedzi; Mr. and Mrs. Sedzome, Mr. Rodney Lawson; Mrs. Olive Tetteh-Hervie; Dr. and Mrs. Smith-Esseh; Mr. Patrick Ansah; Mr. Shalom Danso; Ms. Dee Milward; and Ms. Velma Larkai. May God reward you and the entire LHOW family!  Finally, to my biological family—the Tettehs—especially, Mr. Albert Tetteh and Ms. Maria Yankah—my parents—and my siblings, uncles, aunties, cousins as well as friends, I could not have accomplished this program without your contributions, prayers and support. I am grateful.   1  1 Introduction  The rise in the past decade of the global middle class, broadly defined as young, highly-educated, very aspirational, above-average income earners domiciled in the large cities of the developing world,  has been described as ‗one of the most important features of today‘s global economic landscape‘ (the Brookings Institute, 2011, p. 1). This world-wide expansion of the middle class, currently estimated at some 1.8 billion people and expected to swell to 3.2 billion by the end of the decade (ibid), has been accompanied by two other historic shifts. The first is the massive reduction in global poverty, resulting for the first time in history more people living above the international poverty threshold than those beneath it (UNDP, 2013). The second shifts is what has been described as the changing balance of economic and political power from the global North to the global South1 (see Hadar, 2008; OECD, 2009; Fidelity International, 2010).   In the so-called emerging economies of the Global South, where the bulk of current and future middle class growth is located, the middle class boom has been accompanied by massive urbanization, industrialization and increased consumer spending (Wonacott, 2011; KPMG, 2012; Drablle et. al, 2015). Many observers, including the Brookings Institute (2011), have welcomed these developments as key to the economic prosperity of developing nations and their cities, whilst shoring up global demand for goods and services caused by the middle class squeeze in developed nations, which is considered vital for the recovery of the sluggish world economy. Given the huge spending and space-shaping powers of this new social cohort and its related spill-over effects on the rest of society, particularly the poor, it is perhaps not surprising that the lifestyle and developmental implications of the middle class ascent in emerging markets have become the dominant themes of the budding new middle class dedicated scholarship. By contrast,                                                           1 There is debate as to whether power, economic and political, is actually shifting from the North to the South of the hemisphere, given recent slowdown in the Chinese, Indian and Brazilian and other developing world economies as well as the US‘s proven ability to demonstrate military superiority anywhere in the world. Perhaps, a more accurate description of the current situation would be a diffusion or increased spread of economic growth and development from the core to the peripheries, or even the emergence or trend towards a multi-polar world.   2  however, African urban scholarship has yet to give adequate treatment to the transformative impact of the middle class emergence in their cities.   This thesis tells the story of Africa‘s economic and urban renaissance and the role being played by the rising new middle class in that transformation. Focusing on one transitional African city, Accra, it sheds light on how the external forces of economic globalization, structural change and new international labour division have interacted with internal political and social change to spur class (re)formation and urban change. The findings and conclusions of this research are expected to be of value to urban scholars and policymakers seeking to understand and respond to the underlying dynamics and restructuring effects of the middle class upsurge in urban Africa.  1.1 Economic Renaissance, Class Production and Urban Remaking in Africa  Over the past few years, the field of international development has witnessed the sudden birth of a new narrative which is increasingly being used by some pundits and observers to describe the nature and scale of change taking place in one of the world‘s most impoverished regions: continental Africa. This is the story of ―Africa Rising‖. It is a story that is being told with a certain amount of optimism, not only to capture the remarkable socio-economic feats Africa has achieved in the past few decades relative to the past, but also re-brand the continent in the 21st century and at the same time give meaning and hope to the dream of Africa‘s renaissance2, envisioned over half a century ago by its forefathers.  Of course, as with the parallel story of developing Asia‘s rise, not all experts concur with the assertion that Africa is rising, something I will discuss in the next chapter, when I                                                           2 The African Renaissance, inasmuch as it represents the dream of Africa‘s total liberation from all of its myriad ills, including poverty, conflicts and intermittent starvation, is more than a mere desire for the economic and political transformation of Africa, it should be noted. As conceived by its proponents (including the likes of Senegalese historian and scientist Cheikh Anta Diop and Ghana‘s first president Kwame Nkrumah) and championed by present-day adherents, the African Renaissance is also a philosophical project, an ideology of some sort that, at its core, seeks the socio-cultural oneness of the people and nations of Africa, advocates African-made solutions to Africa‘s problems, and promotes African values. Institutionalized in 1999 with headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana, and commemorated in 2010 with a 49-meter tall bronze statute near Dakar, Senegal, the African Renaissance, whose derivatives include the African Union, is very much a living project today, as it was many years ago, whether or not its attainment is viable.   3  interrogate the empirical realities of Africa‘s rise. But suffice to say here, an objective scrutiny of some key development indicators show that, since the last quarter century, continental Africa has chalked some impressive socio-economic and political successes, which signify that the region is at a leading edge of change. Notable among the assorted signs of Africa‘s ascent include unprecedented and sustained decade-long, region-wide, across-sector economic growth (of about 6 per cent), effectively tripling the size of the region‘s economy and elevating 13 additional countries on the continent into the ranks of middle income nations. It also includes marked improvement in living conditions, as corroborated by, for example, the 13 percentage points dip in extreme poverty incidence between 1990 and 2012 (World Bank, 2015); rising average incomes and soaring consumption levels (McKinsey and Company, 2012: Standard Bank, 2014); improvement in literacy, accessibility to basic services; and a steady decline in morbidity and mortality (The Economist, March 2, 2013). Meanwhile, on the political front, aside the drastic decline in the incidence of conflicts on the continent, democracy, institutional accountability and respect for human rights are now being entrenched in Africa (see Chapter Two).  These developments—or more aptly the story of Africa‘s rise—has been reflected in notable transformations in both the social and built environments, connoting some important shifts that are redefining the fundamental socio-economic structures and spatial organization which have long characterized African societies and their cities. In the social milieu, the most significant development has been the rise of the middle class, which, according to a 2011 African Development Bank (AfDB) brief, is expanding at a rate (3.1%) faster than population growth (2.6%) (AfDB, 2011). Specifically, the number of middle class individuals, the Bank notes, has dramatically mushroomed over the years to now encompass some 326.6 million Africans, representing a third of the continent‘s estimated 1 billion population, up from 115 million or 26 per cent in 1980 (ibid). This middle class boom, they add, has fuelled new consumer spending which now accounts for about a quarter of Africa‘s GDP (ibid), with the market for technology-based consumer products and services such as cell phones, personal computers, the internet, household gadgets and automobiles being the fastest growing in the continent, followed by financial  4  services, entertainment, and real estate (African Business, March 20, 2012). Africa‘s burgeoning middle classes are also said to be the main driving force behind the growth of the private sector, which has replaced the state as the new engine of economic growth in many African nations (AfDB, 2011). They have also been implicated in the rise of a vocal civil society as well as the deepening of democracy and government accountability on the continent (Fletcher, 2013). In short, the middle class expansion in Africa, as Harvard University professor Calestous Juma asserts, is a reality that is widening by the day—a trend he notes is marked by lifestyle changes, more spending power, extra recreational activity, cultural self-confidence, the harnessing of technology, and a new political assertiveness (Juma 2011). Juma‘s observation is indicative of the rather distinctive character of the new emerging African middle class, who are the subject of this enquiry, from the older middle class. Apart from being older, mostly male-dominated, conservative and trained in traditional fields, the older African middle class are essentially a product of bureaucratic expansion in the post-colonial, nationalist African state.    At the same time as the economies of African nations record stronger growth and the number of people upwardly moving into middle class status escalate, the cities of Africa, particularly the large ones, continue to experience rapid growth and sweeping changes that are reconfiguring both the structural characteristics and the quality of life in urban Africa. In relation to the spatial form, the most salient changes have included the emergence of a new city skyline, typified by the rise of skyscrapers and condominiums; the growth of multinationals in the central business district (CBD); the birth of secondary centres; the formation of edge cities; new housing patterns; and the rise of multi-functional, mega urban projects, amid a construction boom. In terms of growth, the dominant feature has been the incidence of sprawl, resulting in the underbounding of major African cities. In the economic domain, there has been visible industrial restructuring and occupational change, characterized by the tertiarization of the urban space economy, as evinced by the ascendance of producer services and the emergence of the knowledge and cultural sectors. These new sectors include education, research, consulting, software development, graphic design, fashion and media production, and their related professional classes. And in the social environment, the expanding presence of expatriates and international migrants in  5  the urban core, alongside new conspicuous consumption patterns—the most common being massive automobile and cell phone usage, mall shopping, outdoor recreation, cosmetic spending and tourism—have been noteworthy (Pezizini, M., 2012; Borg and Nurse, 2015).   Considering the fact that the majority of Africa‘s flourishing middle classes are congregated in the large and growing cities on the continent where most of the observed shifts are taking place, it is impossible to dissociate the emerging middle classes from the on-going urban remaking in Africa. This thesis seeks to uncover and map out the middle class-led transformations taking place in the built environment and space economy of African cities, including divulging the processes through which the middle classes are influencing those changes.   1.2   Perspectives on the Causes, Characteristics, and Developmental Implications of Africa’s New Middle Class Growth   Since coming into the limelight, the story of Africa‘s middle class proliferation, as do the bigger story of Africa‘s renaissance, has generated stimulating yet intense discussions and debates in both academic and popular discourse. These conversations, though widespread, include issues surrounding the ‗why‘, the ‗how‘, the ‗who‘, and the ‗and so what‘ of Africa‘s middle class proliferation. And, as expected, varied conceptual and practical viewpoints have been advanced to explain the causes, characteristics, impact and consequences of the middle class surge in Africa.   Concerning the factors and processes underlying the growth of the African middle class, some attribute it to external forces or influences such as globalization and neoliberalism, international labour division, regionalism and aid relief, pointing in particular to increased trade and foreign direct investments (FDI) in Africa, both of which have soared dramatically over the past two decades, as evidence (see chapter 2). Apart from creating millions of high-profile jobs locally, opening up access to international goods, markets and technology, whilst deepening Africa‘s exposure and connection to global culture with the resultant middle class expansion in the continent, proponents of the ‗international factors‘  6  thesis argue strongly that the penetration of global capitalism into Africa has re-oriented the pre-capitalist modes of production that existed before toward capitalist production systems. This is in turn transforming traditional African communitarian social structures toward capitalist forms, with class increasingly becoming an important form of social division and organization, besides gender, ethnicity, lineage and clan.     The opposite view is that internal factors have played a more decisive role in turning around the fortunes of African nations and their citizenry, leading to higher inter and intra-generational mobility—a position now incidentally held by some of Africa‘s skeptics, including editors of The Economist magazine. Adherents of this ‗domestic‘ proposition cite better economic governance, democratic entrenchment and institutional reforms. They also point to increased government spending on education, healthcare, physical infrastructure and welfare as well as other economic empowerment programs (such as the Black Empowerment Program in South Africa) as some of the government-led initiatives in Africa in the past few decades that have combined with a new spirit of entrepreneurship to engender upward mobility among the populace (AfDB, 2011; Juma, 2011; The Economist, 2013).    A third, rather unsuspecting, narrative being advanced by other entities, including international news outlets such as the UK Guardian, to explain the middle class upsurge in Africa is the exodus of Africans in the diaspora back to their homelands, either to take up employment in multinational companies operating locally or set up their own businesses, while practicing or displaying their acquired ‗western‘ taste, social status and wealth (see The Guardian, January 29, 2013). This claim is incidentally buttressed by the rather unprecedented increase in the rate of return migration by Africans domiciled abroad, including African Americans, to take advantage of the job and investment opportunities offered by the economic resurgence or in the case of the latter connect to their ancestral homeland (Hirsch, 2012; Butty, 2013; Haidara, 2013).    The second element of the discourse on the emergent African middle class is centred on the question of who qualifies to be part of the middle class and what major attribute(s) define this new social class cohort emerging in Africa. As expected, there is little  7  agreement on the first issue—that is, the real size of the middle class and the parameters for delineating the boundaries of the middle class in Africa—as does the second: what constitutes the defining characteristic of the new middle class in Africa? However, the latter seems to be taking the center stage among these two contending issues in the debate on the identity of the emerging African middle class. In the popular media as well as special reports released by influential international organizations and market think tanks such as the World Bank, Deloitte and McKinsey, the dominant image of Africa‘s new middle class is that of new affluent consumers, rather than producers, with hard cash ready to spend on the latest consumer products and other quality of life enhancing goods such as private education and health care (see Deloitte, 2012; McKinsey, 2012; World Bank, 2013). This view is reinforced by most analytical studies on the African middle class such as the African Development Bank and the Standard Bank reports, which define the middle class in monetary terms, based on per capita and household daily consumption thresholds of $2-$20 and $15-$115 respectively.     This populist, materialistic view of Africa‘s emerging middle class has led some observers (e.g, Simmons, 2013) to conclude that Africa‘s emerging middle classes lack the cultural traits (such as advanced education, white collar occupation, sophisticated thinking and aspirational values) that are considered important middle class signifiers in western context. However, a 2011 study by Grail Research found that majority of the new African middle classes are working professionals with higher education, specialized knowledge and stable income (Grail Research, 2011). This finding by Grail Research connotes the emergence of a professional-managerial cohort, originally coined by Barabara and John Ehrenreich (1977), among Africa‘s emerging middle classes. This later observation also reinforces Jamrozik, Boland and Urqhart‘s assertion that the superior knowledge or cultural-power of the new middle class has become more influential than the finance-power of the old middle and upper classes (Jamrozik, et al, 1995). More recently, concepts such as Florida‘s ‗creative class‘ and the ‗entrepreneurial class‘ are being used by some to describe the emergent middle class in Africa or segments of them (see for example Rosenberg, 2013).    8  The third and perhaps the most salient issue of public interest in the debate on the rising African middle class is whether the middle class can bring about the needed socio-economic and political transformation that will propel Africa to a better future, so-called ‗the African miracle‘, in the 21st century. And just like the above issue, opinion is divided on this matter. On one side of the debate are the hopefuls. These, including the AfDB (2011), Smith and Lamble (2011), Juma, (2011) and Fukuyama (2013), relying on the historical experience of western nations as well as emerging trends in Africa, make the case that Africa‘s bourgeoning middle class hold the key to the continent‘s future prosperity and transformation. The famous story of how the middle class—thought to have emerged in medieval Europe, provided the impetus for the industrial revolution, spearheaded the development of capitalism and international trade, provided a stable demand for goods and services, and consolidated democratic rule which undergirded the rise of the West—is invoked by Afro-optimists such as those mentioned above as an indisputable historical analogy that foretells the positive changes to come to Africa from the rise of its middle classes. Some of the ground events in Africa that are pointed to by these optimists include the growth in private consumption (McKinsey, 2012), the rise of the spirit of entrepreneurialism, increased productivity (Block, 2010; Leke, et. al, 2010), and Africa‘s young demographic advantage (Smith and Lamble, 2011), which continues to act as a draw for global companies that are increasingly eying the continent‘s growing cheap skilled labour as an alternative to dealing with rising labour costs and unionization in Asia.   On the political front, reference is often made to the rise of a middle class-dominated vocal civil society that is increasingly becoming critical of government and focused on issues considered as obstacles to Africa‘s development: graft, poverty, human right abuses, public service inefficiencies and environmental degradation. The struggle against autocratic rule in places like Egypt and the rest of North Africa from the late 2000s by discontented middle classes, which was labeled as the Arab Spring, is also cited (Fukuyama, 2013). All of these developments in Africa today, linked directly or indirectly to the growing presence of the middle classes, have served as a source of inspiration to those optimistic about the ability of Africa‘s teeming middle class to act as agents of real  9  and lasting transformation on the continent. Perhaps none other than Sudanese business tycoon and avid campaigner of good governance in Africa, Mo Ibrahim, echoes this belief more convincingly. This is what he had to say about the development potential of Africa‘s new middle class in a 2011 interview with the UK Guardian:     I think they‘re going to play a crucial role, because it does tend to be the educated young sector of the population, and those guys are better educated than our generation and much much better informed. They‘re growing up in a society which has lots of media around them – satellites, TV- they watch everything that goes on around the world. You have so many newspapers, you have the internet, you have mobile phones, you have all these things. In our time we had only one newspaper published by the government, one TV channel run by the government.  (Source:   The views of these African middle class hopefuls are supported by some scholarship. These include Doekpe and Zilibotti (2007), Banerjee and Duflo (2008) and Solimano (2008) which assert that the growth of the middle class is positively correlated with income per capita, consumption per capita, income equality, per capita savings, employment rate, share of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in employment and output data, and democracy.   However, those on the other side of the debate such as Thandika Mkandawaire, former director of the UN‘s Research Institute for Social Development and current professor of international development at the London School of Economics and Political Science London School of Economics, are not too convinced about the prospects of any major breakthrough from the middle class growth in Africa. Like their opponents, they, too, base their argument on contemporary experience elsewhere, ground events in Africa as well as  10  studies that refute the existence of any connections between middle class expansion and development. They frame their argument this way. First, they assert that Africa‘s growing middle class is only a consuming, rather than a producing, class. By contrast, any real hopes for Africa‘s economic miracle can only be premised on a massive expansion in production as is being witnessed in India and China today, rather than mere consumption, which is both unsustainable and of little economic value to the continent, particularly given the fact that most of the goods consumed by the middle classes are imported, as argued by Mkandawaire when giving his reaction on the AfDB report to CNN in 2011:   When we talk about China, we don‘t talk about China as a consumer society as much as we talk about it as a producing society3. If Wal-Mart goes to China to buy goods, it goes to Africa to sell goods, and that‘s a problem. The more important thing countries should look at is investment and employment rather than consumption.              (Source:   The second political argument is that if the experience of China and other non-democratic Asian societies witnessing a middle class boom is anything to go by, then not much can be expected from their African counterparts by way of significantly transforming the political landscape. This is because, despite the massive growth of the middle classes in those countries and the related unprecedented access to smarter tools for social mobilization, they have failed to deliver the democratic change that many had hoped for or anticipated would occur. The failure of the middle classes to spur the growth of democracy in several Asian countries, including China (Chen and Lu, 2011), Singapore (Lam, 1999) and Indonesia (Bell, 1998), is often attributed to the very key ‗political‘ behavior of the middle class: preference for stability, rather than revolution, driven by selfish economic interest. In those sub-Saharan African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana where the                                                           3Although the Chinese government is encouraging domestic consumption to offset revenue losses attributed to the volatility of the international demand curve, of which their middle class is key,  China‘s economy  is still overwhelmingly a producing (rather than consuming) one.      11  growth of the middle classes has been strongest, there has been a wave of criticisms against them for not doing enough to demand better and responsive government. And elsewhere in North Africa, where the so-called Arab Springs recently unfolded with its unsettling outcome, some observers (e.g., Cambanis, 2015), attribute the revolution itself to the poor and working classes rather than being the handiwork of the middle classes, albeit others (e.g., Fukuyama, 2013) disagree.   At the urban realm, a similar divided opinion has shaped the discourse on the ramifications of African‘s middle class for its cities. Some commentators, including Calestous Juma (2011), view the rise of the African middle class as key to unlocking the prosperity of urban Africa, providing the critical skill base for innovation, scale economies, higher productivity and the attraction of FDI, citing the myriad transformations already taking place in African cities highlighted above as examples. But critics such as South African urban scholar Vanessa Watson argue that, among other things, the new urban formations associated with the new middle classes only serves to sharpen already existing urban inequalities, deepening spatial fragmentation and social polarization in African cities (Watson, 2014). These pessimists cite instances of the displacement of poor communities through gentrification as well as the dislocation and erosion of vital land uses, including green spaces and historic sites, due to mega redevelopment schemes that favour middle class housing and office development. They also cite loss of agricultural land on the fringes of African cities owing to middle class-driven suburbanization as well as increased congestion and pollution, with its attendant health and climate change impact, linked to the proliferation of cars on the streets of urban Africa to buttress their claim. My case study will help provide a balanced perspective on the validity or otherwise of the claims being made by the two contending sides.     1.3 Introduction to the Case: The Emergent Middle Class Urbanism in Accra The city of Accra, Ghana‘s capital and primate city, has grown and transformed rapidly since 2000, witnessing substantial changes in its morphology, economy, demography, social structure (Grant, 2008). These changes, which set in following the liberalization of the Ghanaian economy in the mid-1980s, include, among others, a racial diversification of  12  the metropolitan population; a respatialization of the CBD alongside the birth of new urban commercial centres; and new industrial formations, including a resurging cultural and knowledge economy. They also include the transformation of the property market; an aviation industry and construction boom; massive sub-urbanization; and the emergence of new luxury residential and consumption landscapes. These changes have helped put Accra on the global spotlight, having been designated in 2010 by the UK-based Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a Gamma-minus tier global city, due to its growing role and embeddedness in the global urban system.   These changes have taken place against the backdrop of an expansive growth of the Ghanaian middle class, which is now considered the fastest growing in Africa (Mahama, 2015), the majority of whom reside in Accra, the national capital. Accra‘s booming middle class population, considered the vanguard of its rapid growth and transformation, has been fuelled by record economic growth in Ghana, particularly during the past two decades. This has helped reduce poverty considerably (see Chapter 3), while raising income and wealth levels. In 2015, the Mauritius-based Afrsia Bank in its New World Wealth Report named Accra the fastest growing millionaire city in Africa, with the number of millionaires in the city expected to almost double in size from 2300 in 2015 to 4,100 by 2020.   However, a 2014 report by Tax Justice Network Africa and Christian Aid shows that, despite falling poverty and stronger growth, inequality in Ghana is on the rise (Tax Justice Network Africa and Christian Aid, 2014). And nowhere is this rising inequality in Ghana more pronounced than in Accra. Meanwhile, Accra‘s middle class-propelled growth has been accompanied by patterns of socio-spatial fragmentation, polarization and segregation, amid growing concerns about traffic congestion, skyrocketing land values, affordable housing shortage, burdened infrastructure, and encroachment into ecologically sensitive areas. These issues have raised important questions about the sustainability of the city‘s growth trajectory and in particular whether the middle class expansion is good or bad for social cohesion and spatial harmony. Accra‘s rapid and interesting, yet  13  problematic, development experience makes it as an instructive case for understanding the opportunities and constraints presented by Africa‘s nascent middle class urbanism.   1.4 Problem Statement The purpose of this research is to investigate the role of the new middle class in the on-going urban remaking in Africa, using the city of Accra as the site of analysis. Specifically, its objective is to analyze the processes and spatial outcomes of economic change and class (re)formation in Accra. In an attempt to contribute to the emerging scholarship and on-going discourse on the causes, attributes and impact of the middle class expansion in urban Africa, this thesis seeks to address the following pertinent questions provoked by the nature of the engagement on the subject: 1. What are the key signifiers and distinguishing marks of Accra‘s new middle class?  2. What role does the rising new middle class play in the process of urban remaking in Accra?  3. What opportunities and challenges does the incipient middle class urbanism in Accra pose for public policy and urban planning?   1.5 Methodology and Data Sources This thesis draws extensively on secondary information sources, comprised of literature review and documentary analysis, to explore the nexus between economic change, class production and urban restructuring in Accra. Scholarly essays reviewed include works on globalization, structural change and the international division of labour, as well as urbanization, class reformation and urban economic change, and their applicability to the African context. Notable scholars whose works were consulted include international development expert Celestous Juma of Harvard University and Froker Frobil, Jurgen Heinrichs and Otto Kyrere‘s seminal 1982 work on the new international division of labour. Other documents analyzed include special reports, policy briefs, surveys, and articles on the ‗new Africa‘ and its middle class boom. These are complemented by relevant national and metropolitan level information on economic growth and urban  14  development in Accra, including census reports, policy plans, scholarly articles and news stories. Images and maps obtained through online publications, social media and internet sources, including Google Maps, were used to offer insight into specific imprints of the new middle class in Accra. Finally, useful knowledge gained through informal interaction with some middle class Ghanaians and experts are incorporated to enrich the discussion.   1.6 Overview of Chapters  Following this introduction, chapter two provides a tightly focused discussion of Africa‘s renaissance, delving into the incipient political, economic, socio-cultural and urban transformations taking place in post-colonial Africa and the factors driving these changes. Chapter three provides a more trenchant analysis of Ghana‘s development experience, looking at patterns of economic growth and restructuring, poverty and inequality, class reproduction and urbanization, including the positionality of Accra, and the opportunities and challenges posed by it. In chapter four, Accra‘s development trajectory is chronicled, outlining past and recent features of urban growth and change, including the rise of the new middle class as an important marker of urban change in Accra. In addition to discussing the factors driving the growth of the new middle classes, the chapter also uses empirical data to access the growth of the middle class and examines their role in the process of Accra‘s economic transformation. Chapter five then interrogates the spatial outcomes of economic change and class formation in Accra, focusing specifically on five typologies of new middle class-dominated spaces in Accra: new/secondary service centres; exclusive new housing formations; conspicuous consumption spaces; mix-use mega urban projects; and new educational landscapes. Using case studies, it examines the characteristics of these spaces and the role played by the new middle classes in the production and consumption of these privileged landscapes. How the emergence of these elite new middle class landscapes examined in chapter five is affecting Accra‘s land use structure, built form, social cohesion and environmental wellbeing is the subject matter of chapter six. In the concluding chapter, seven, the key findings from my study are stated, alongside the implications for development policy and urban planning as well as suggested directions for future research.    15  1.7 Scope and Limitations As with any other African city with a bourgeoning middle class, the impacts of Accra‘s middle class boom are multi-faceted and expansive. This makes comprehensive coverage and analysis of all the middle-class related transformations occurring in the city, impossible, though desirable, for a master‘s thesis. Therefore, this thesis focuses only on the spatial expressions of economic change and class production in Accra, its intent being to produce a limited, but informed, analysis for further studies on the topic of middle class and urban remaking in Africa. Also, as with all case study research, the generalizability of the findings from Accra‘s experience of middle class urbanism to other African cities is necessarily limited.                    16  2      Development, Urbanization and New Class Formation in Africa: A Closer Look at the Story of African Renaissance     As hinted in the introductory chapter of this thesis, the evolving story of Africa rising has been greeted with mixed reaction the world over, provoking a sea of commentary from both believers and skeptics alike, each seeking to either affirm or disprove the new tale being told about the continent. For believers of the new mantra being chant about Africa, who have been tagged ‗Afro optimists‘, the signals of Africa‘s renaissance all are too glaring—too visible and tangible—to be ignored by anyone reading the statistics. These statistics, they claim, include: the downsizing of the number of poor people on the continent by 13 percentage point between 1990 and 2012 (World Bank, 2015); and a 10% increase in life expectancy (The Economist, 2013). They also include, as previously mentioned, record increase (57%) in primary enrolment (Sulaiman, 2015; UNESCO, 2015); massive growth in consumer spending reaching some $800 billion in 2015 (African Wise, 2015); and the much-talked about decade-long 6% GDP growth from 2000, raising per capita income up by over 70% since 2000 (Standard Bank, 2014), which have all happened since the onset of the 21st century. In the minds of these Afro optimists, failure to recognize that continental Africa, as borne out by these milestone achievements, is rapidly changing for the better represents nothing more than a mere mischief deeply rooted in negative stereotypical views about Africa, an unfortunate reality that still persists in the minds of many outsiders today, in spite of the numerous changes taking place on the continent, thanks in part to western media bias, they contend.     But to ‗Afro skeptics‘ such as Smith (2013) and Rowden (2013), who are obviously less convinced by the enchantments being made by Africa‘s praise singers today, the much celebrated story of Africa rising is simply an overhyped contortion or interpretation of data, a romanticization of facts that bears little semblance to ground realities. For these ‗doubting Thomases‘, the incessant images of malnourished children, famine, disease and wars, along with persistent appeals by western charities and celebrities for a dollar or two from their publics to help ease the plight of the ‗suffering masses‘ in Africa—compounded by negative events such as the 2014 mass abduction of female students in Nigeria by the radical terrorist group Boko Haram and others that still dominate the international  17  headlines on Africa—make the much touted progress the world is being made to believe Africa is making not credible. For these non-believers, the gulf between the story and reality of Africa‘s rise is simply large enough to render the former suspect, if not a myth (Smith, 2013; Oyo, 2015).    Considering the manner in which both the defenders and debunkers of the Africa rising narrative are constructing their case, it appears, first of all, that much of the debate surrounding the story of Africa‘s rise has been about numbers and observations, statistical facts being pitched against empirical reality. Therefore, the believers of Africa‘s rise accuse the unbelievers of ignoring the facts in their attempt to paint a bleak picture about the continent; their opponents in turn accuse them of overlooking ground events in their quest to create the impression that present-day Africa is an unfolding paradise. What seems clear, though, is that, secondly, in their attempt to solidify their entrenched positions on the matter, each side has been engaging in the game of cherry-picking statistical facts and scenes that favour their respective views about Africa today. Mainstream and particularly western media, including some influential international organizations, covertly or overtly aware of their enormous power in shaping international opinion on Africa, seem particularly obsessed with showing everything wrong in and about Africa, often consciously choosing to overlook many positive developments on the continent. The unavoidable outcome of this conventional posturing is that the big picture is often skipped in international media reportage and expert analysis on Africa. Similarly, in their attempt to tell the big picture as buttressed by recent statistics on Africa, the Afro optimists seem to pay little attention to the finer details of how the much touted socio-economic and political progress is transpiring in the everyday lives of ordinary Africans.    Not surprisingly, this selective, one-sided approach to telling or debating the story of Africa rising has created some confusion in the minds of many independent inquisitors who are not sure of who and what to believe about what is happening in contemporary Africa. What is urgently needed, therefore, is a dispassionate analysis of emergent trends in Africa‘s development based on honest data and observations, situated within its own recent (post-colonial) history. This is what Mo Ibrahim (2013) calls ‗Afro realism‘.   18  This chapter represents a timely response to Mo Ibrahim‘s admonition by undertaking a deeper introspection into the story of Africa‘s renaissance, telling—as accurately as possible—the new directions that are (re)defining post-colonial Africa‘s development trajectory4. Rather than focus on one or two areas of change, I instead consider the broader transformations that have and are occurring in the economic, political, socio-cultural and urban landscape of Africa. More importantly, however, I go beyond mere statistical analysis, unpacking and interrogating the forces that are propelling the changes taking place on the continent in a bid to address some of the pertinent questions that are being asked about Africa‘s rise. These often-asked questions have included the following: Is Africa‘s renaissance inwardly-driven or externally-influenced? How pervasive is the story of growth and transformation in Africa? Is the recent high GDP growth rate in Africa being fuelled by a commodity boom as is being presented, as opposed to a broad-based transformative growth? What, in particular, is the role of emerging economies, especially China, in Africa‘s recent economic development? How is Africa‘s recent growth and change being mirrored in the lives of ordinary Africans? Who are the rising new middle classes on the continent? What are their causalities and distinguishing marks? And what traction does the (western) meaning of middle class have in Africa? Finally, what position and role do African cities occupy or play in Africa‘s on-going economic resurgence?   Addressing these germane questions will provide the bigger picture for answering my primary research questions outlined in the previous chapter. In doing so, I first provide a brief account of Africa‘s political-economic and urban development trajectory from independence to the present day, noting how the continent‘s socio-economic development has been shaped by varying ideologies, and has, for the most part, been characterized by episodic growth and declines attributed to instabilities in the political and economic environment, while its urban history is dominated by the growth of few large cities to the detriment of other centres. Second, I focus on recent advances in economic growth, poverty reduction, social transformation and urban development in Africa, to discover                                                           4 While I seek to provide a balanced assessment of contemporary developments in Africa, it is important to stress here that my focus is on new happenings in Africa, what are their causative factors and distinctive features, rather than an equal descriptive treatment of the development successes and failures of Africa. Materials on the latter abound elsewhere for readers interested in these.  19  what distinguishes these  trends from previous development experiences as well as uncover the forces, both internal and external, driving these changes. I acknowledge the enormous contributions made by such powerful outside forces as globalization, neoliberalism, foreign direct investments and trade, donor aid, debt relief and economic guidance from the two Washington-based, Bretton Woods institutions in the growth of democracy, peace, security and the economic resurgence in Africa today. At the same time, however, I also argue that changing internal dynamics in Africa, chief among them the rise of a new generation of political leaders, better economic governance, institutional reforms, greater investment in human capital development, a better educated citizenry, an active civil society, and a growing and dynamic private sector, have played a pivotal role in turning the tide in Africa today. Third, I look at the state of re-distribution in Africa today, noting that while enormous progress has been made in the area of shared development or poverty reduction through a range of institutional reforms and increased public spending on social policy, the gap between the ‗haves‘ and the have-nots‘ keeps rising in Africa, leading to what I call the paradox of Africa‘s renaissance: rising inequality amid poverty-reducing growth. Fourth, I search for the meaning and faces of the ascendant new middle class in Africa, examining their causalities and how their defining attributes conform to or depart from Western notions of middle class. Lastly, I examine the new African city in the 21st century and how emergent trends have reimaged urban Africa to look differently from its 20th century character.   2.1    From Glory to Doom and Hope: Retelling the Story of Africa’s Rise and Fall and New Rise When the long struggle against the near one century-old brutish European colonialism—which culminated in the birth of some 52 new nation states in the continent—ended, Africans brimmed with hope for a new future devoid of the untold hardships they had endured under the twin evils of slavery and colonialism, which dominated much of their prior history. For many Africans, however, the dawn of independence, which for majority of the continent occurred in the second half of the 20th century, not only heralded a new beginning free from oppression and foreign domination, but also, and perhaps even most importantly, enabled them to regain control of their own destiny.  20  In a bid to realize this dream, most of Africa‘s new leaders, who, having now succeeded the departing colonial governments and replacing the pre-colonial indigenous chieftaincy institution as the modern custodians of political power and decision-making in the new state, prescribed a socialist path to development. Only a handful of nations, including Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Botswana, adopted a semi-capitalist, democratic system of economic and political development, at least from the start. But the socialist development model, subscribed to by an overwhelming majority of Africa‘s early independence governments, was a path in which the newly created state apparatus was to lead the way to a modernized, industrial and egalitarian society (Friedland and Roseburg, 1964; Mbaka, 1996)—a sort of socialist paradise free from the evils of capitalism. For these leaders, the likes of which included Ghana‘s Kwame Nkrumah, Kenya‘s Jumo Kenyatta, Tanzania‘s Joseph Nyerere, Ethiopia‘s Haile Selassie, Senegal‘s Leopold Senghor, and Zaire‘s Patrick Lumumba, who also pioneered the vision of a united Africa, the exploitative effects of western imperial capitalism on the continent left much to be desired. Besides, capitalism, with its ‗craze‘ for unbridled individualism and the pursuit of wealth at the expense of the greater social good was, in the view of these Africanists, an ideology that was in itself unAfrican and anemic to the course of human welfare (Brockway, 1963). Similarly, the democracy that was being nurtured by the departing colonial masters on the continent offered too much liberty that could prove disastrous for the social stability of African societies, they believed.    Pre-colonial African societies, maintained these leaders, were, after all, communitarian, humanist, and classless, though hierarchical, in nature (Mohan, 1966). They also possessed such values as cooperatism, respect for authority and the subordination of individual interest or will to collective social order (Thompson, 2010). These attributes, in the thinking of these leaders, made traditional African culture and economic system superior to western liberal, capitalism. Therefore, as the new economic, political and moral guardians of the new African state, whose responsibility included protecting and preserving the rich cultural heritage of their people, Africa‘s early post-colonial leaders embraced the socialist worldview of development, which was already gaining traction in many ex-colonies around the world in the post war era (Lewellen, 1995). They argued that  21  socialism was the only development paradigm compatible with the structure, culture, beliefs and aspirations of the African people, although, as we will shortly see, it was ―Africanized‖ and infused with two other notable ideologies—nationalism and pan-Africanism—as well as the personal philosophies of those African leaders who imbibed it.   Friedland and Rosberg (1992) identify three key principles of African socialism, to wit: 1. prohibition of private ownership of land; 2. prohibition of social classes; and 3. prohibition against shirk. While retaining these central tenets of Marxism, Friedland and Roseburg (1964) and Mohan (1966) have noted that African socialism differed from classical socialism, or communism, in its rejection of the validity of the theory of class struggle and consciousness, as its proponent African leaders unequivocally refuted the existence of the notion (or reality) of class struggle in (a classless) Africa, proposing instead a solidarity based on nationalism, as will be explained later. But as it turned out to be, there was no single interpretation of what socialism meant in the African context. Instead, each African leader offered their own blueprint of what an ideal socialist African state should look like, based on their own personal philosophy, education and national circumstances, which were blended with elements of Marxist-Leninism, anti-imperialism, traditional African culture, religions and family system, as well as nationalism and pan-Africanism (Friedland and Roseburg, 1964; Mohan, 1966). As Mohan (1996) notes, this made African socialism necessarily idiosyncratic and collectively incoherent in theory and practice, often assuming the name of the leader-theorist. For instance, while Kwame Nkrumah, considered father of African nationalism, permitted some amount of private ownership of property in his development philosophy known as Nkrumaism, Ethiopia‘s Mengistu Mariam outlawed all forms of private property (see Smith, 2014).   Contrary to popular perception, however, Africa‘s socialist leaders did not harbour an anti-materialistic view of modern science and technology, otherwise known as ‗utopian socialism‘. Rather, as Thompson (2010:39) aptly explicates, they hoped that by ―combining traditional African values of cooperatism and humanism with new technology and strong state institutions, Africa could stage-skip the Marxist stage of dictatorship of the proletariat‖, in order to catch up with the rest of the ‗developed world‘. This  22  perspective made mathematics and applied science, rather than humanities, the benchmark of post-colonial educational policy in Africa.    Nationalism and pan-Africanism, as pointed out above, constitute the two other potent ideologies that strongly shaped the development policies of Africa‘s first post-colonial rulers. Given the multi-ethnic composition of African societies, with a long history of tribal antagonism and warfare, nationalism naturally became the unifying idea invoked by Africa‘s early independence leaders to foster a sense of unity and equality among the constituent tribes in the new nation state, while instilling in them a sense of pride and loyalty toward the new nation states (Science Encyclopedia, n.d; Pamir, 1997). Prior to political independence, nationalism was synonymous or associated with the quest for de-colonization and nationhood—an insistent desire that was pressed home—and eventually attained—by nationalist movements that sprung up all across African colonies in the post-War era (Keller, 1995). After independence, however, nationalism became the symbol of identity, purpose and social cohesion within the nation state, as these new states created, among others, national anthems, flags and colours, while erecting many ‗national‘ and celebratory structures such as monuments and theatres to signal a departure from their colonial past, inspire patriotism and glorify the new nation state, thus giving nationalism a cultural dimension (Pamir, 1997). Most importantly, however, nationalism in independent Africa served as the guiding framework for political and economic governance, one which implied placing national interest above and beyond any other interests, being commonly associated with the rejection of non-unitary forms of statehood; a national approach to development planning; and the nationalization of economic production, including state takeover of previously European-owned companies and plantations (see below).   However, sensing nationalism‘s potential and imminent danger to the grand vision of a united Africa, Africa‘s new independence leaders quickly revived and preached the doctrine of Pan-Africanism—the oneness of all African people (Harris, 2004; Dagnini, 2008; Science Encyclopedia, n.d ). This was a philosophy propounded by academics, such as W.E.B Du Bois, who saw it as necessarily constituting the ultimate aspiration of all development efforts on the continent. As Joseph Nyerere remarked: ―African nationalism is meaningless, dangerous, anachronistic, if it is not, at the same time, pan-Africanism‖  23  (Nyerere, 1967, p. 194). Like nationalism, pan-Africanism evolved as an anti-colonial/anti-slavery project into a full-scale Afrocentric development ideology and epistemology (Asante, 2009). At its core is the solidarity of all black people everywhere, both within and outside continental Africa, for their collective social, economic and political progress (Harris, 2004; Dagnini, 2008). As Makalani (2011) puts it, pan-Africanism was a belief that was anchored not only on ―the shared history of all black people‖ but also faith in ―their common destiny‖. Thus, where African nationalism sought to ensure internal cohesion within the nation states, pan-Africanism‘s goal was to engender continental or interstate harmony. The Organization of African Unity (now African Union), founded in 1963, and its subset regional economic communities are the most practical manifestations of pan-Africanism (African Union, n.d).      Armed with these three intersecting radical ideologies, Africa‘s charismatic leaders embarked on a program of national development, often outlined in ambitious national development plans, characterized by the following events and outcomes. First, in terms of process, there was a high level of centralization in the planning and execution of development, including political governance (Rakodi, 1997). Second, in terms of content, many of these plans were infrastructure-laden, as Africa‘s new governments sought to lay the critical foundation needed for the development of a modern state. No wonder that the ensuing decade into independence would thus go down in history as one of the most development intensive epochs in Africa, with massive infrastructure, inclusive of education, healthcare, transportation and energy, many which have survived to become signature projects, being built as part of the ‗modernization‘ drive. But besides raising the quality of life of their citizenry, the raison d‘être for the huge infrastructural investment made by Africa‘s early post-colonial governments was to facilitate the execution of what became the most significant economic legacy of Africa‘s first independence governments, socialists and capitalists alike: import substitution industrialization (ISI), seen as key to attaining economic independence. This is because the nature of the colonial African economy, centered on the export of extractive resources in exchange for manufactured goods, was externally oriented and heavily tilted to benefit their European metropoles, in what had been the dominant 19th century international economic development theory:   24  international division of labour based on comparative advantage (Herman, 1975). In the post-war era, however, this economic theory lost its steam in the developing world as the unequal trade terms between rich and poor countries, worsened by declining real prices of primary commodities and rising real prices of manufactures in industrialized nations, led to its abandonment in favour of important substitution industrialization (ISI), which had already gained momentum in Latin America following the Great Depression of the 1930s, with relative proven success. Given the several backward and forward linkages with the domestic economy and the perceived numerous associated benefits of employment, higher incomes, increased government revenue and improved balance of trade, the new African governments saw domestic industrialization as the only viable means of escaping underdevelopment and transforming the commodity-based structure of the colonial economy into a secondary, manufacturing economy capable of sufficiently meeting domestic needs. Furthermore, the ISI was considered the most potent means of breaking away from the extant asymmetric core-periphery relationship with Western economies and the perpetual cycle of dependency it forged.    The execution of this policy resulted in the nationalization of the economic assets (e.g., plantations, mines, etc) left over by the Europeans, or, as seen in the case of capitalist states such as Kenya, redistribution to locals, mostly cronies of the new ruling elites (Jannikasi, 2012). In addition, several new state-owned manufacturing and trading companies (SOEs), ranging from large-scale industrial establishments employing several hundreds of people to small and medium-sized firms hiring only dozens of people, were set up to process and distribute the bulk of Africa‘s resources for local consumption. As well, a climate of protectionism, effected through a raft of regulatory regimes, including import quotas, exchange rate controls, foreign direct investment restrictions and direct state subsidy to local firms, was imposed by African governments to shelve their infant industrialization program from external competition. This close door policy in the 1950s-70s effectively disengaged post-colonial Africa from the prevailing postwar international economic order, considered the second wave of globalization (Johnson, 2008). Politically and economically, however, individual African countries, depending on ideological posturing, maintained strong ties with selected Western nations, including ex-colonizers,  25  or those in the Eastern communist bloc, making Africa not immune from the ensuing Cold War and its ramifications.   Hart (2002) and Ogujuiba et. al (2011) have noted that Africa‘s domestic industrialization program had three distinctive phases or objectives. Phase one entailed the production of consumer goods; phase two the production of intermediate goods; and phase three the production of capital goods, by which time the economies of African nations would be highly industrialized. But the reality was that, many African nations (with the exception of South Africa, which has a very distinct political-economic history) could not advance past stage two of the industrialization program (that is, to reach high tech manufacturing) (Hart, 2002; Ogujuiba et. al, 2011). Manufacturing was confined mostly to non-durable consumer goods such as foods, clothing and pharmaceuticals, followed by intermediate goods such as sawn wood and building materials, with vehicle assembly being the most advanced product. Thus, the early African leaders‘ dream of transforming the continent into a modern, high-tech manufacturing powerhouse was never attained, as industrialization only made modest contributions to the economic growth of African countries, both in terms of GDP and employment, during its peak in the 1960-70 decade, with Zimbabwe achieving the highest manufacturing in GDP share of 20% (Mendes et al, 2014).    Fourth, the creation and large-scale expansion of state bureaucracy, far bigger than what existed during the colonial days, accompanied national development in early post-colonial Africa (Mbaka, 1996; USAID, 1999, Stambuli, 2002). This bureaucratic enlargement, justified to oversee the execution of the grand national development vision, though used in reality as a tool for fuelling patronage politics, facilitated the ascension of a new (state-made) middle class in post-colonial African societies. These middle classes comprised civil servants and managers of the several thousand state-owned enterprises (SOEs), who also became the occupants of the former European-built residential areas as well as the luxury components of the new housing estates put up by the new governments. This ascendant state-created middle class displaced the wealthy merchants and the independent educated elites who occupied the apex of the nascent indigenous colonial class structures  26  to become the dominant occupational and social cohort in post-colonial Africa, often serving as political agents in the emergent clientele-based political system in post-colonial Africa. In the view of the renowned political theorist Walter Rodney (1975), the rise of the indigenous ‗political-middle class‘, represents the most significant observed social change in early post-colonial Africa. Specifically, it set in motion class and ethnic politics and struggle in independent Africa, including simmering racial tensions in settler colonies such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa, where the policy of Africanization of public service and productive capital, especially land, led to the forceful dispossession of the many propertied White farmers, administrators and wealthy Asian business owners and migrants, who hitherto constituted the upper and middle classes in those societies (Rodney, 1975).     Finally, in common with socialism, the creation of a strong welfare state attended national development in early post-colonial Africa (Olukoshi, 1998; Blundo and Meur, 2009). Thus, it was common in many African countries during this period for citizens to enjoy education, healthcare, transportation and housing provided by the state at zero or subsidized rate. The latter sector, housing, it must be stressed, received greater attention, because, as argued by Arku (2009) in the case of Ghana and others elsewhere, not only did the new African governments see the need for massive state investment in public housing to address both the critical qualitative and quantitative shortfall in housing delivery caused by the discriminatory policies of the colonial administration, but also as a tool for improving public health, and, even more importantly, secure labour and improve productivity, considered vital to the success of the nascent industrialization program.      African cities and their larger urban systems underwent significant modifications during the nationalist epoch as the post-colonial national development planning ethos left vivid imprints on the nature of urbanism as well as the image and structural configuration of towns and cities inherited from the colonial days. First, in an attempt to ensure national cohesion, the new administrations quickly moved to de-Europeanize African cities by removing the strict racial segregatory policies of the past, which limited the movement of indigenes into the cities, especially those inhabited by the Europeans and also regulated  27  their movement within those cities through zoning, land use planning and building codes enforcement (Grant, 2002; Owuor and Mbatia, 2008). Second, they also embarked on the mission of nationalizing their urban spaces, especially their capital cities and CBDs, by erecting several landmark buildings and public monuments, including administrative quarters, judicial complexes, national theatres, parliament buildings, sport stadiums, cultural centres, fountains, squares and gardens in strategic areas of the city. They also named or renamed several streets and public buildings after iconic national and continent-wide heroes who were instrumental in the liberation struggle, either home or the entire African continent, or even after memorable events or causes. Ghana‘s Independence Square Avenue in Accra and the Nyerere Road in Nairobi are few examples of such symbolic structures and features that emerged in early post-colonial urban Africa, giving spatial expression to the prevailing ideologies of nationalism and pan-Africanism (Grant, 2002; Owuor and Mbatia, 2008).    As several urban scholars have confirmed in their independent studies of the historical development of major African cities, the central business districts (CBDs) of capital cities witnessed the most dramatic transformation during the national times as the new African governments were keen to re-spatialize their business centres to reflect the new economic landscape they had created or sought to create. In their analysis of Accra, Lagos and Nairobi, Grant (2002), Abiodun (1997) and Owuor and Mbatia (2008), for example, observed that the CBDs of these cities were intensively corporatized through the sitting of headquarter offices of many of the SOEs that were established as part of the ISI development strategy. Also, the gridiron street pattern which defined the colonial CBD was relaxed and later overlooked, thereby re-imaging and altering the built form of the colonial CBD from that of a low-form into a middle-rise urban form. Lastly, these interventions aided in transforming the function of the colonial CBD from that of commerce into a command and control centre of the nascent manufacturing-oriented post-colonial economy.    However, the broader urban system changes that occurred in many African nations during the nationalist period came from the nationalist vision of egalitarian development  28  espoused by Africa‘s first post-independence governments. This sought to correct the uneven patterns of geographic development created by colonial settlement policies. These colonial policies concentrated development through building administrative and port cities, including some economic and social infrastructure, along the coastal regions of their colonies, connected mainly by rail systems to their resource-rich hinterlands for staples and minerals exploitation and shipment to distant European markets. As a result, the interior regions of the colonies were left impoverished. Underpinned by the domestic industrialization program, the new African governments, however, sought to diffuse development more evenly—and rapidly—by creating new growth poles based on processing, major transportation routes, administration and key social infrastructure such as higher education and major health centres in selected parts of their countries, either singularly or combined. This was to stem the tide of population flows into the older bustling cities. Many of these new post-independence African cities, including new national capitals such as Linongwe, Malawi; Abuja, Nigeria; and Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast; as well as industrial townships, such as Tema, Ghana, were modern and well-planned, housing mostly civil servants, other state employees and factory workers (Adarkwa, 2012).   As Adarkwa (2012) and other scholars have noted, the (attempted) socialist model of development pursued by Africa‘s early independent governments disengaged and reconfigured their national urban systems from the exploitative transnational core-periphery functional relationship they were embedded in during the colonial days, where the colonial city functioned as the centre of wealth accumulation for their European capitals into a national core-periphery urban system where primary resource producing centres will feed secondary metropolitan cities. However, the overconcentration of production and other key economic, social and political functions in one or two primate cities, often the colonial capitals, due in part to pre-existing advantages of skilled labour, transportation facilities such as sea and airports, and agglomeration economies, combined with the highly centralized nature of planning and administration, led to the dominance of a few large cities in the newly created post-colonial urban system.       29  This unequal spatial arrangement, or problem of primacy, that emerged in post-independence Africa (UN-Habitat, 1991; Abou-Korin, 2010), essentially a local replica of the prior asymmetric core-periphery meta-geographic structure colonial African cities were embedded in, set the stage for unprecedented urbanization on the continent. This led to the rapid and disproportionate growth of ex-colonial African cities, both physical and demographic, to the detriment of smaller urban centres which successive governments have grappled to reverse. For instance, the population of Lagos, Nigeria; and Dakar, Senegal, which at independence stood at 665,000 and 374,700 respectively, had after just a decade of self-rule ballooned to 1.4 million and 600,000, about double their previous levels. On a continent-wide scale, the level of urbanization rose from 14.6 per cent at mid-century or the eve of independence to 20.7 per cent by 1965, representing a nearly 50 per cent spike in the urban share of the population (see World Urbanization Prospects, 1996 Revision), presenting a number of growth management challenges to the new governments in power.    Nonetheless, for about a decade and in some cases even more, the statist approach to socio-economic and spatial development in Africa seemed to yield some impressive results and the much vaunted socialist paradise that Africa‘s visionary leaders promised their followers somehow seemed no longer a future promise, but an unfolding reality. With all the basic necessities of life—education, health care, housing, transportation, employment and sometimes food—virtually provided by the state for free, many Africans could not imagine any better life that existed elsewhere other than what they experienced. Of course, propaganda played an equally important role in perpetuating this belief. That said, however, many of these ex-colonies that were written off by their colonial masters for departing from the liberal political-economic doctrine they thought they had imbibed in their leaders, would soon make international headlines, to the discomfort of the West, including former colonial powers. Between 1960 and 1965, Ghana, for instance, boasted of an income per capita of about $250, higher than many of their counterpart Asian nations, including Malaysia, Korea and Singapore, alongside the provision of free healthcare, education and subsidized housing. As a matter of fact, some of the Asian tigers, which later overtook Africa, began looking to African nations such as Ghana for  30  cues on state-driven industrialization and development. And during that period, it seemed, not least from the African development experience, that liberal capitalism was not superior to socialism and other competing development ideologies.  However, the glory that the state-led development model brought to Africa was short-lived. An economic crisis, set in motion by years of state production and the provision of state-subsidized goods and services, artificially shielding domestic firms and the citizenry from the realities of market forces, would culminate in the eventual grinding of the ISI project and the entire economy in the face of diminishing national income, managerial incompetency, ballooning national debt, cheaper imports from other new industrializing countries, shortage of critical imported inputs and the impact of the 1970s global oil crisis, among others. Soon, many of the social and economic achievements chalked during the expansionist period in African development would be eroded, and the relative economic boom experienced in early post-colonial Africa bust, despite failed attempts to revamp it. In a matter of years, many of the heroic national figures, such as Ghana‘s Kwame Nkrumah, would be ousted from power, although several others managed to cling on to power, either by means of the gun and or by exploiting deep sentiments often in combination with shambolic elections that guaranteed their continued stay in power.     The failure of the African nationalist-socialist project as well as the domestic industrialization program it was anchored is a matter of interest within the development community. Some blame the failure on outside interference or Western sabotage in varied forms, including CIA-orchestrated coups of those African leaders, including Ghana‘s Kwame Nkrumah and Zaire‘s Patrick Lumumba, perceived to be aligned to the communist bloc (Lewellen, 1995). Others, such as Ayittey (1990), Okuku (2008) and Page (2010), cite internal challenges and personality failures of African nationalist leaders, including poor economic management, corruption and an anti-democratic style of rule. Another variable is the problem of indebtedness, caused by deficit spending to finance infrastructure development, social services and to address the balance of payment imbalances. What is clear, though, is that Africa‘s high welfare state and the inward-looking ISI model in the early post-colonial period were unsustainable without corresponding productivity improvements, agricultural investments, institutional and land reforms, and, as seen in the  31  successful South East Asian model, a deliberate focus on export-based manufacturing (Ogujiuba, et. al, 2011).    The period between the departure of Africa‘s first generation post-independence leaders and the later onset of neoliberal economic reforms in the 1980s, including the arrival of the second democratic wave on the continent in the 1990s, is often described as the dark years in post-colonial African history. This is because, this destabilizing, transitional epoch, the exact duration of which differs from one country to another, was marked by a series of repressive military dictatorships, abbreviated in some nations by brief experiments with democracy and market-oriented economic reforms, which were either too limited in scope or truncated by coups even before their outcomes could be seen.  Many African economies stagnated and later declined during the 1970s (Donge, 2012). Others, such as Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which were marred in protracted conflicts and civil wars, had their economies completely collapse. Overall, African income per capita dropped and the poverty situation worsened (ibid). And the oil crisis that set in during the 1970s made an already bad situation worse.   Meanwhile, on the urban front, African cities continued to experience swelling populations, aided by the urban-biased policies of succeeding governments and a vast income gap between villages and cities. This untamed rural-urban population drift increased the level of urbanization to nearly a third of the continent‘s population by 1980, and it took place in the presence of serious urban governance deficiencies and economic hardships. By the mid-1980s, many illegal migrant settlements that sprung up on the fringes of major African cities, such as Nima, Accra; Kibera, Nairobi; and Makoko, Lagos, including older inner city neighbourhoods, had developed into full-scale slums (Abiodun, 1997; Owuor and Mbatia, 2008). In short, many African cities were in a state of blight.   Saddled with mounting domestic and international indebtedness, high unemployment, skyrocketing inflation, food shortages, collapsing industries, and their attendant widespread social unrests and dipping regime popularity, amid a declining Soviet aid to pro-communist regimes and heightened Western economic sanctions, many cash-strapped African governments, military and civilian alike, capitalist and socialists, sought financial  32  bailout from the West in the early 1980s. This offered Western powers the opportunity to re-school African leaders about the inherent structural failings of command economies and the superior advantages of liberal, market-driven economic development, which had then evolved into what become known as neoliberalism (see Sparr, 1994; Simmon, 1995).  Led by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as many as 40 African nations, beginning with Ghana in 1983, adopted widespread market reforms, known as structural adjustment programs (SAP). The centerpiece of the SAP included trade deregulation, privatization of SOEs, loosening of currency controls and elimination of barriers to foreign direct investments, which were combined with fiscal austerity, cutbacks in health, education and welfare spending (Cleary, 1989; Adedeji, 1999; Briggs and Yeboah, 2000). While the original scope of the reform agenda was trade liberalization, virtually all sectors of the domestic economy were eventually opened up to outside investments and participation. Later, other political and institutional reforms, chief among them administrative decentralization, were added, as these changes were posited as necessary for the full scale actualization of the benefits that a market-driven economic policy was supposed to bring. Soon, many African leaders bought into the logic of the neoliberal agenda and initiated additional reforms in other spheres of the society, including education, housing and health care delivery. By the early 1990s, a number of African nations, yielding to both domestic agitation and sustained international pressure, had either returned to, or were in the process of returning to, constitutional rule and multiparty democracy—a phenomenon that was considered part of Huntington‘s (1991) third democratic wave.   The impact of the SAPs on the economies and societies of African nations is a matter of active debate in both academic and public spheres in Africa. One school of thought, supported by the renowned development economists Farhad Noorbaksh and Alberto Paloni (2000), posits that the SAPs in Africa led to de-industrialization, widespread unemployment and the worsening of poverty on the continent. This claim is largely corroborated by almost all country-level studies of the impact of the restructuring (see for example Rono, 2002; Kingston et. al, 2011). But another school of thought, backed by  33  economists such as Shantayanan Theverajan (2013), insists that it was a necessary step to bringing Africa out of its economic doldrums and providing the right fundamentals that has spawned the economic dynamism being witnessed in Africa today. Moreover, it positioned the continent to weather the recent global financial crisis, and spared it from the current debt crisis that has gripped many advanced economies.   What is undeniable, however, is that it was a painful restructuring process that has had profound and far-reaching consequences on the socio-economic, political and urban landscape of Africa, which we can catalogue as follows. Economically, first, the adoption of the neoliberal reform agenda in Africa, which coincided with the so-called third wave globalization, facilitated the re-integration of African economies into the global economy, albeit in much deeper or complex ways than previous episodes of connection. This is because apart from the unparalleled growth in the volume and diversity of transnational trade between Africa and outside world since the economic reforms, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa have hit a record new high in recent years, averaging 52 billion USD per annum in value and reaching 5.7% in terms of global share (AfDB/OECD/UNDP, 2015). This shows dramatic improvement in investor confidence in the continent, currently considered the second most attractive region for doing business (Ernst and Young, 2014). However, besides the surge in FDI, foreign capital is now permeating other (non-extractive) sectors of the economy such as banking, tourism and producer services—sectors which have traditionally not been of interest to foreign capital on the continent (ibid), revealing a much wider and deeper level of fusion into the international economy.   Second, it has helped in the on-going sectoral restructuring of the national and urban economies of many African nations and cities, which have been of two major types. The first has been the rise and growth of a dynamic private sector, as the scaling back of the public sector and the government‘s role in the economy has indirectly helped unleash a new wave of entrepreneurship in Africa, some of whose products are penetrating the international market. The second transformation, of an industrial nature, has been the on-going tertiarization of the national and urban space economies of many African countries and cities linked to the concomitant rise of the service sector and the attrition of the  34  agricultural and industrial sectors in proportional terms. This transformation is corroborated by recent statistics which show that services have overtaken agriculture as the largest contributor to GDP growth in as many as 27 African nations (The World Factbook, 2015), more than double the situation two decades ago, even though agriculture still remains the largest employer in Africa, accommodating about 60 per cent of the African labour force. But the ascendance of the service sector, which include significant informal activity such as petty trading, has attracted serious criticism from some pundits like Rick Rowen, whose much debated 2013 article, The Myth of Africa’s Rise, argues that the on-going transition from agriculture to services without industrialization cannot amount to a ―rise‖ as the conventional story of development elsewhere has been. But this assertion has been rebuffed by others such as Renaissance Capital chief economist Charles Robertson, who in a co-authored rejoinder, “Sorry but Africa’s Rise is Real”, insists that industrialization is not the only, and necessary, path to escaping poverty and achieving economic advancement (Robertson and Moran, 2013). Robertson and Moran‘s thesis is corroborated by the experience of countries such as Singapore which was able to leapfrog into advanced nation status by capitalizing on the growth of services, high-tech and knowledge-based sectors without a undergoing a typical industrialization phase.  In the political sphere, the liberalization drive served as a precursor for important institutional and governance reforms in Africa. Two of these are paramount. Administrative decentralization, the first, was seen as necessary for the full scale actualization of the benefits that the market-driven economic policy was supposed to bring. It was argued that growth was more efficient and its benefits (or development) is more evenly distributed spatially when central government responsibilities (including service delivery) and powers were reduced and ―off-loaded‖ to smaller, sub-national government levels as well as private entities (Brosio, 2000; Smoke, 2003; Caldera, 2012). The acceptance by African leaders of the supposed inescapable links between decentralization, efficiency and stronger economic growth led to the devolution of political, administrative, financial and development management functions, including planning, from the centre to the local level, with the creation of semi-autonomous local government bureaucracies representing the most significant change in political governance  35  or public administration in post-colonial Africa. The second major indirect political outcome of the liberalization policy was the return of democracy or pluralistic politics in many parts of Africa, which began in the early 1990s when a number of Africa‘s military governments—yielding to both domestic agitation and sustained international pressure— initiated moves to restore constitutional rule and multiparty democracy, which had largely been suppressed in many parts of the continent following independence (Conteh-Morgan, 1997; Oxhorn, 2004; Lync, 2011).    In the socio-cultural domain, Africa‘s greater open door policy since the 1980s and its restructuring effects and later growth have interacted with social forces and cultural change to spur class re-formation, with declining poverty and the rise of a new middle class being the most significant.  The reduction in poverty incidence in Africa, which range from as high as 27.3 percentage points between 1991/92 and 2012/13 in Ghana (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014) to as low as 8 percentage points in 2005-2012 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (IMF, 2015), has been coupled with rising household incomes (Standard Bank, 2014). This has facilitated upward social mobility for a significant component of the African population, resulting in the growth of the middle class. This emergent class, markedly different in composition, values and behaviour from previous groups of the middle class, has helped re-shape the image of Africa internationally and is playing a significant role in engendering political change and government accountability, however slow it may be.    Lastly, at the urban scale, the new flood of foreign investments and related activities, mostly concentrated in large cities, spurred on by the market reforms, have increased the level of interaction between African cities and other international cities. As a result, the position of many African cities, which previously sat at the periphery of the global urban system, have been elevated into more significant statuses. The 2012 classification of sub-Saharan African cities, such as Lagos and Nairobi, as well as Accra and Da er Salaam, as globally-significant cities by the UK-based GaWC in their Beta-minus and Gamma-minus categories5 is an attestation of the growing international importance of African cities,                                                           5 According to the GaWC classification system, Beta-level global cities are those that ink moderate economic regions into the global economy, while Gamma-level cities are those that connect smaller  36  particularly those south of the Sahara6. This, of course, excludes South African cities, such Johannesburg, which have long received international recognition for their relatively strong integration into the global economy. Also, as pointed out above, the economic reforms have helped grow and diversify the economies of major African cities, with knowledge-based producer services, such as banking and ICT, becoming an important, if not the leading growth, sectors. Meanwhile, the overall structure and form of most cities have been transformed, amid rapid population growth, with the birth of secondary centres, suburbanization and the upward elevation of the skyline of urban Africa being the most visible changes.   While economic recovery in the post-adjustment period in Africa, that is, between 1985 and 2000, was slow, the arrival of the 21st century seemed to have marked a turning point in the African economic growth and transformation story. With an average 6% GDP growth from 2000, Africa has steadily overtaken other regional economies to become the world‘s fastest growing region since 2013 (The Economist, 2013; AfDB, 2013) This new, sustained growth spurt, accompanied by major advances in technology innovation, economic empowerment, human rights improvement and urban resurgence, is what has become the story of Africa‘s renaissance in the 21st century, the elements of which I next examine.  2.2 Notable Aspects of Africa’s New Rise    Having provided a narrative of Africa‘s post-colonial development, it is perhaps important to highlight certain pertinent attributes about the current revitalization in Africa that sets it apart from previous episodes of growth and transformation.   More than Just Economic Growth  The first key feature about Africa‘s current rise is the fact that it is more than just a story of rapid economic growth (Leke, 2010; The Economist, 2013). As shown above, the current renaissance taking place in Africa, far from being just new spurts in economic                                                                                                                                                                               economic regions into the global economy. See 6 See also the 2014 A.T. Kearney‘s Global Cities Index which also includes Dhaka, Addis Ababa  and Kinshasa in their top 84 global cities. See  37  growth as is often portrayed, is equally—and to a certain extent even more importantly—about improvement in the quality of political governance, including growing and entrenching democracies, strengthening of institutions, and an overall improvement in human development and human security. To put this in perspective, according to Alence (2009), there were only three functioning democracies in Africa at the end of the cold war, based on the assessment of the Washington-based Freedom House: Rwanda, Botswana and Mauritius. Today, however, almost all African nations, with exceptions to Eretria and Swaziland, have embraced democracy, not least electoral democracy, even if elections are not always perfect. Also, tolerance for divergent opinions and other civil liberties, although varying in degree from one country to another, has been growing, and political pluralism is increasingly gaining traction in Africa (The Economist, 2013). Similarly, peace and human security, or stability, previously confined to a dozen countries on the continent, now appear to be spreading, although pockets of instability still exist. This situation is the outcome of two factors: the decline in the incidence of inter and intra-state conflicts (Economist, 2013). Already considered a model of peace and democracy in Africa, Ghana‘s human security and democratic credentials include the absence of civil war since attaining independence, a free media landscape that was ranked 1st in Africa in 2010 by Reporter Without Borders, and a transparent, free and fair electoral system that has witnessed four successive elections and two changes in government since the onset of constitutional rule in 1992.  Apart from the growth of democracy and peace or stability, the overall quality of political leadership and governance, including economic management, has also improved dramatically in Africa. African leaders are investing more in the well-being of their citizenry: building good roads, providing quality and more accessible education, expanding social services and introducing some social safety nets—a stark recognition by the current generation of African leaders that improving the lot of their citizens is required to win the confidence of the electorate and renew their mandate, rather than pilfering and stashing their country‘s wealth in financial havens outside the continent, as has been the custom in the past. More importantly, they are investing in the kind of infrastructure such as ICT, industrial parks and scientific research necessary to drive economic growth faster  38  and encourage innovative-based growth—a marked departure from the statist approach of the past. These investments have resulted in considerable development gains: poverty is down, incomes are up, more children are in school and less are dying before age five; people are living longer and better. Rwanda—much remembered for the 1993-4 horrendous genocide that resulted in the demise of more than one million Rwandese in a period of just six weeks, leaving the entire world in total dismay—is an example of the kind of new leadership emerging in Africa as well as the new development path they are championing or embarking on. Led by Paul Kegame, the country‘s post-conflict rebuilding effort has been so impressive that Rwanda is now being paraded as an African success story, a model of economic progress courting admiration from both within and outside the continent (Davis, 2014; Hua, 2014; Coates, 2015). Adopting a business philosophy or approach to economic management and development, the country has focused on building one of the most competitive economies in the world by ensuring macro-economic stability, eliminating institutional corruption, and embarking on the most audacious pro-business, pro-investment reform programs on a scale never seen in the history of Africa before (World Bank, 2010; Langfitt, 2012; UN Dispatch, 2015). These reforms have also been accompanied by investments in poverty reduction, human capital development, infrastructure provision, services and tourism. Not surprisingly, the World Bank ranked the country as the 46th best place of doing business globally and 3rd in Africa on its 2015 ―Ease of Doing Business‖ rankings, up from 139 in 2009, making Rwanda a hotbed of foreign of investment in East Africa. With above 8 percent growth record in the last decade projected to hit double digits in the next decade, Rwanda—with a strong, ambitious developmentalist regime—is predicted to become the ―Singapore of Africa‖ (Hua, 2014). Rwanda‘s remarkable story of post-genocide recovery is particularly instructive, because it provides a good example of how good leadership, combined with the right kind of policies, can help a conflict-ridden, poverty-stricken, resource-deficient, landlocked country overcome its dark past, forge ahead, and transform itself into a shining star.  Rwanda‘s respectable accomplishments, perhaps an extreme case, nevertheless mirror the broader transformations taking place in 21st century Africa. In the absence of reliable  39  country-level data, Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese business tycoon who was quoted as one of the ardent believers in the transformative potential of the emerging African middle classes in chapter one, set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2006, to encourage transformative leadership and governance in Africa through four initiatives, one of which is the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG)7. The IIAG annually scores African countries on a range of governance-related indicators, ranging from infrastructure provision to freedom of expression and sanitation to property rights, measured across four thematic areas: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development. From its 12 years assessment, the overall conclusion is that governance has improved in all but six countries on the continent, accounting for 94% of the population, with the highest performance occurring in the area of human development, mostly centred on education and healthcare—yet another evidence of how keen African leaders are determined to better the lives of their citizens though education and healthcare8. Apart from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, other international organizations such as the Aga Khan Development Network have played an important role in promoting good governance, poverty reduction and economic development in Africa.  Not Just a Commodity Boom The second notable attribute about Africa‘s rise today concerns the very nature of the economic growth currently taking place on the continent. For many years, the story of economic growth in Africa has been the story of commodity boom, driven by spikes in demand and prices of Africa‘s major resource exports: oil, minerals and forestry products, and their plummeting only served to expose the fragility of African economies, a viscous cycle or trap the continent has not been able to break free from. Today, however, the story is changing. Seeing the risks posed by the over reliance on commodity exports, African leaders are taking steps to diversify their economies away from agriculture and raw                                                           7The other three initiatives are: the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, a 5million dollar cash award given the a former Africa head of state who has demonstrated exceptional leadership while in office; the Ibrahim Forum, an annual high-level forum that brings together leaders in government, business and civil society from across Africa and beyond to discuss solutions to the pertinent challenges affecting the continent; and the Ibrahim Fellowship and Scholarship Program, which provides mentoring and scholarship opportunities to prospective African leaders.    8 For the comprehensive report, including the methodology and standing of various countries on each and all the four thematic areas, please visit  40  materials export to one comprised of many high-paying sectors. Thus, not only are African exports being diversified, both in terms of composition and destination—with manufactured goods gaining an increasing share of African exports, the receiving countries of which are now expansive—but whole new or previously insignificant sectors such as producer services, construction, transportation, telecommunication and the cultural economy are becoming an important part of the African growth story today (Leke, et. al, 2010). In addition, there have been signs of growing domestic consumption, which, as mentioned before, now accounts for a 3rd of Africa‘s GDP, according to the AfDB (2011), albeit most of this opportunity is currently being harnessed by global companies. Nevertheless, these developments have helped to both diversify and stabilize African economies, reducing their volatility to global economic shocks—the reason several analysts believe that Africa was better able to weather off the late 2000s global downtown (see IMF, 2009; Nova Capital Partners, 2011; Political Economy Research Institute, 2014). But the subsequent dip in crude oil and other commodity prices, including gold, which have slowed growth and weakened government revenue in many African countries, and  revealed how exposed African economies are to external shocks. This latest trend reveals is that the commodities sector is and will continue to play a significant role in economic growth in Africa in the foreseeable future; however, its relative contribution to GDP, now standing at 24%, is expected to decline further in the future.  Not Just A Few Countries  The third salient feature about the story of Africa‘s rise, somewhat alluded to above, is its ubiquitous nature (Sala-i-Martin and Pinkovskiy, 2010; Sy, 2014). Up until the late 1990s, all the positive news of accelerated economic growth, poverty reduction, declining corruption and or successful elections in Africa, particularly in the south, were confined to only a select few countries on the continent: the likes of South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius, which have been stable democracies for decades now; and in the case of high economic growth, resource-wealthy countries, such as Nigeria. The remaining countries always seemed to be buried in poverty and or conflict, while in the North democracy was sacrificed on the altar of growth and stability. The picture is different today, however. While North Africa seems to be grappling with the post-Arab Spring  41  political and economic crisis, Sub-Saharan Africa appears to be enjoying relative stability and growth. Yet, what is even more striking about the resurgence happening down south is that it is not being exclusively led by the traditional economic and democratic giants on the continent, but by economic laggards and erstwhile unstable nations such as Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Angola and the much-talked about Rwanda. These countries, which are pulling surprises in the areas of economic growth (of no less than 6%), poverty reduction and massive infrastructural development, are challenging the likes of Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya to be at the forefront of the 21st century African growth and transformation story. But the most intriguing part of the story of the rise of these new African ‗lions‘ is this: excluding oil-rich Angola, all the other countries mentioned above are considered resource-poor nations by African standards, which is to say, their growth is underpinned by sound macroeconomic policies and political stability. It is this new growth momentum and wind of change that appears to be galvanising the entire Sub-Saharan Africa, placing 15 more African countries in the World Bank‘s middle income category in two decades (prior to 2000, only Cape Verde, Seychelles, Namibia, Botswana, Mauritius and South Africa were middle-income African nations), while trebling Africa‘s GDP to $2.39 trillion under the same period. Predictions are that all but only a minority of (13 fragile) African nations will become middle income by 2025, if current trends continue (World Bank, 2012).  A New Regionalism on the Scene Another noteworthy observation about Africa‘s recent growth and transformation story is the fact that it is being accompanied by increasing regional integration. Prior to the 1990s, African nations barely traded among themselves following the collapse of the first round of regionalism championed by early pan-African leaders, such as Kwame Nkrumah owing to mistrust, widespread political instabilities and xenophobia, which led to expulsions, counter-expulsions and the freezing of ties between some countries. Since then, commitment to the long-desired vision of a united Africa remained rhetorical, with cooperation often limited to small movement of people and goods across national boundaries. However, with greater awareness of the benefits of regional cooperation in parallel with globalization, African governments have, since the 1990s, undertaken many   42   Figure 2.1 Growth in intra-African trade, 1995-2011  (Source: UNCTAD, 2013)   significant and concrete steps to strengthen regional blocs and foster greater intra-African trade and investments, with the coming into force of the 1991 Abuja treaty. Included among these initiatives have been the easing of red-tape to goods and population movement; the development of regional transportation infrastructure, the most significant being the 53,683 km long trans-African highway linking all the nations across the continent by road; and the setting up of bilateral trade agreements and investment initiatives.   Already, these efforts seem to be yielding significant economic dividends. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) organization, Africa-to-Africa trade and investments has risen by over 55% up to 2011 since the 1970s, both in volume and in value (UNCTAD, 2013), with regional trade reaching $131billion in 2011 (Figure 2.1) while that of investment flows stood at $6billion in 2007 (African Investor, 2012). As can be seen from Figure 2.2 FDI inflow to Africa from other African countries has been climbing up steadily over the years, especially from 2000 (see footnote below Figure 2.2), although, intra-regional FDI accounts for about 5% and 12% of total FDI value and projects in Africa, respectively (African Investor, 2012), suggesting that    43    * Data on intra-African investments are hard to come by; however, FDI outflows from the continent can be used as a proxy for Africa-to-Africa investments since bulk of investment outflows from Africa go to other African nations Figure 2.2 Inward and Outward FDI in Africa, 2000-2014 (Source: UNCTAD Statistics, retrieved in January 2016)  external FDI, which took a new upturn in 2000, still dominates Africa‘s investment landscape, making the continent a new frontier for foreign investors seeking to capitalize on its growth and middle class expansion. But apart from the exponential surge in intra-African trade and investments, there have been fascinating new trends about the new wave of regionalism in Africa. First, intra-African investments and partnerships have permeated new greenfield sectors such as banking, real estate, housing, manufacturing and telecommunications, areas that were not previously covered in regional economic relations. Thus, non-primary sector investments—principally, manufacturing and services—now account for the bulk (97%) of intra-African investments, compared to 74% for external FDI, according to the 2014 World Investment Report. This is a remarkable feat that shows that African investors recognize both the importance and potential of investing in other African countries, especially in the non-traditional sectors of the economy, which is helping to modernize and diversify African economies. Second, unlike before, South Africa is not the only source of significant regional investment in Africa; countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Kenya and Egypt have become important sources of -100000100002000030000400005000060000700002000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014$ millions External FDI Outward FDI* 44  African investments. Although South Africa remains the largest source of regional FDI in Africa, the country has now become a receiving country of African investments, too. Thirdly, although efforts have been by African governments to encourage broad-based economic exchanges, there seems to be a certain level of specialization emerging in intra-African investments. For instance, South African outward FDI is concentrated in communication, mining and retail, while Nigeria has emerged as the most important source of regional FDI in building materials and financial services. Meanwhile, other countries, such as Ghana—a traditional destination rather than a source of FDI, both external and regional—appears to have succeeded in becoming an educational hub within the sub-region, with its schools hugely patronized by Africans from within and across the sub-region.   Boȧs (2001) has argued that Africa‘s new regionalism propensity is the product of what he calls ―globalization of regionalisation‖, that is to say, the solidifying of regional trading blocs as a counterforce to (overcome the marginalizing effect of) economic globalization on Africa, rather than by pure ideological reasons, as seen in the past. Thus, judging from Boȧs‘ argument, we can posit that although the current democratic crop of African leaders have emerged as the champions of the new or intensified regional integration, the relative success or growth of regional economic cooperation in Africa appear to be impelled first by the stark reality that Africa could be left behind other regions in the new, unprecedented wave of globalization sweeping across the globe; and second, by the awareness of the fact that greater trade and investments among Africans serve to benefit Africans themselves in mutual ways. To the extent that majority of the intra-African investments involve private capital, then globalization and Africa‘s new regionalism drive can be said to be complementary. That said, however, the unprecedented growth in the scale and intensity of Africa‘s regional economic cooperation is a healthy development that is providing a strong internal or alternative driving force for economic growth and innovation, with huge benefits, including the creation of local supply chains that have greater multiplier effects compared to external FDI, the returns from which tend to be mostly funneled out of the continent.   45  The Rise of African Multinationals One other salient feature characterizing Africa‘s recent rise has been the emergence of African multinational corporations. They include regional transnational corporations, such as the Nigeria-based, United Bank for Africa which has presence in several other African nations, and a host of other transnational corporations that have emerged in Africa through acquisitions and mergers. But apart from these, there are emergent new African multinational corporations, many of which were started post-2000, often through individual initiatives, that are establishing presence in other parts of the world. Examples include the Ghanaian-based, RLG Group of Companies, a telecommunications conglomerate that has subsidiaries in China and the United Arab Emirates, including several other African countries. The other is Bourbon Coffee, a coffee chain that began in Rwanda in 2007 and has now succeeded in permeating the US market, with cafes in Washington; Manhattan; and Cambridge, Massachusetts. The emergence of African transnational (ATNCs) and multinational corporations (AMNCc) marks a new turn in Africa‘s development story. As with their foreign counterparts, African TNCs have contributed to the growth of high-salaried, professional occupations that have in turn contributed to the growth of the new middle classes in Africa. Furthermore, they have played (and continue to play) an important role in the growth, expansion, diversification, modernization of African economies. As can be seen from Table 2.1, the majority (i.e., 65.8%) of the 840 major investment projects or transnational corporations that were formed in Africa between l990 and 2011, either through mergers and acquisitions or greenfield projects, were concentrated in the services sector, followed by industry (25.8%), with the smallest proportion (8.4%) going into primary production (i.e., agriculture, mining and petroleum production). Furthermore, in the service domain, bulk of the ATNCs are concentrated in higher-order services, especially finance, which by far has the largest number of TNCs—365, or 41.6% of all projects, higher than the total number of ATNCs operating in the industrial and primary sectors. Similarly, in the industrial sector, manufacturing TNCs dominate, with 213 projects which accounts for 24.3% of all projects. However, over 70% of these manufacturing ATNCs are engaged in low-to-medium technology manufactures, including food, textile, leather, chemical and mineral products, with only about (if not less than) 30% engaged in high-tech   46  Table 2.1: Number and Sectoral Composition of Intra-African Investment                    Projects, 1990-2011  Broad sectors Detailed sectors  Total Number of  Projects Project Type  Mergers and Acquisitions Africa  (1990-2011) Greenfield Projects  (2003-2011) Number  % Number   % Number   % Primary Sector   Agriculture, hunting, forestry & Fishing     3 0.3 3 100 0 0 Mining, Quarrying & Petroleum   34 3.9 9 26.4 25 73.5 Primary sector total  37 8.4 12 16.2 25 83.8 Secondary Sector  Manufacturing  213 24.3 25 11.7 188 88.3 Food, beverages and tobacco   50 5.7 0 0 50 100 Textile, clothing and leather   15 1.7 3 20 12 80 Wood and wood products  5 0.6 4 80 1 20 Rubber and plastic products  1 0.1 0 0 `1 100 Coke, petroleum products and nuclear fuel    11 1.4 2 18.2 9 81.8 Chemical and chemical products  25 2.9 6 24 19 76 Metals and metal products  14 1.6 2 28.6 12 71.4 Non-metallic and mineral products  32 3.7 0 0 32 100 Precision instruments  3 0.3 3 100 0 0 Electrical and electronic products  30 3.4 3 10 27 90 Machinery and equipment  5 0.6 0 0 5 100 Motor vehicles and other transport equipment  9 1 1 11.1 8 88.9 Publishing and Printing  3 0.3 2 66.7 1 33.3 Other manufacturing  9 1 0 0 9 100 Non-manufacturing industries  13 1.5 4 30.8 9 69.2 Electricity, Gas & Water   8 0.9 2 25 6 75 Construction  5 0.6 2 66.7 3 33.3 Industry sector total  226 25.8 29 12.8 197 87.2 Tertiary sector  Trade  33 3.8 22 66.7 11 33.3 Hotels and restaurants  21 2.4 7  14  Transport, storage & communication   68 7.8 31 45.6 37 54.4 Finance  365 41.6 45 12.3 320 87.7 Business services  83 9.5 20 24.1 63 75.9 Education  2 0.2 0 0 2 100 Health and social services  1 0.1 0 0 1 100 Community, social and personal services   2 0.2 1 50 1 50 Other services  2 0.2 1 50 1 50 Service sector total 577 65.8 127 22 450 78 Total 840 100 168 19.2 672 60.8 Source: Computed from UNCTAD, 2013       47  manufactures such as machinery, electronic products, motor vehicles and precision instruments. The above data implies that the contribution of ATNCs towards the industrialization of the continent is somewhat limited, albeit the relatively high concentration of ATNCs in manufacturing has aided in revamping the sector following the mid 1980s economic reforms that led to significant deindustrialization and retrenchment. In addition, it also connotes a growing interest or confidence by African investors in the (future) prospects of industrialization on the continent Africa. That said, however, the two dominant sectors of operation of ATNCs, financial and manufacturing, have, as previously indicated above, played a no meager role in the creation of high-skilled, high-income professional jobs that have contributed to the expansion of the new middle classes, as will be more evident in the Ghanaian context.      A New Generation of Entrepreneurs and Innovators   The rise of African transnational and multi-national corporations is a pointer of yet another important trend characterizing Africa‘s 21st century renaissance: the rise of a new generation of entrepreneurs and innovators. Whereas the heroes of 20th century Africa comprised of politicians such as Kwame Nkrumah, Joseph Nyerere and Nelson Mandela, who wrestled against the dark forces of colonialism to bring emancipation and dignity to their people, the heroes of 21st century Africa are its new generation of young business entrepreneurs and innovators are who are braving the odds to bring hope and dignity to the lives of Africans by solving some of the most important development challenges facing the continent and beyond. They include 33-year old Ghanaian Bright Simmons, the brain behind mPidegree, a mobile-based technology application widely used across the globe for detecting counterfeit drug products, saving millions of lives and lost company profits; Kenya‘s 30 year old Jamila Abass, founder of M-Farm, a mobile-based app that provides vital market information to rural Kenyan famers; and 29-year-old Nigerian physician Ola Orekunrin, founder of Flying Doctors, West Africa‘s only charity-based, air ambulance service. Others include 40-year old Zambian Monica Mosunda, who founded Java Foods, a food processing company that produces affordable nutrition from local products for the southern African market; 35-year old Bethlehem Tilahun of Ethiopia whose company, Sole Rebels, employs local artisans to manufacture internationally- 48  patronized shoes from old rubber from vehicle tires; South Africa‘s 26-year old Siya Zuya, known for inventing a homemade rocket fuel; Verengai Mabika, a 35-year old Zimbabwean environmental activist whose organization, Development Reality Institute, has created a virtual climate change school that recruits, trains and equips climate change activists across Africa to fight climate change through local actions and activism; and a host of other unsung heroes who are helping to change the story of Africa in both big and small ways9. Many of these change-makers, who belong to Africa‘s emergent new middle class generation—some of whose contributions to socio-economic and urban transformation will be unveiled in the Accra case study—hold the promise of Africa‘s development revolution.    A New and Increasingly Role for China The final, and undoubtedly the most controversial aspect of Africa‘s 21st century rise, has been the role of China. What began or appeared to be a search for new raw material sources, particularly oil, by a resource-hungry nation, China‘s economic relations with Africa has deepened and transformed over the past decade in ways that is now beginning to be a source of concern both within and outside the continent. With Sino-African trade now valued at some $160 billion, China has now surpassed the West to become Africa‘s biggest trading partner. But beyond trade, China has over a million of its nationals across Africa, selling Chinese-made goods, building all kinds of infrastructure (e.g., hospitals, roads, schools, power dams, stadia, refineries, and so on), directly mining and drilling for minerals and oil, and setting up other businesses (e.g., restaurants, casinos, and so on), following what Brautigam (2010) has called China‘s two pronged, three-pillar approach. This approach encompass resource-backed, development loans and aid, whereby the Chinese government provides low-interest loans and aid for infrastructure development in Africa, in return for oil and mineral concessions; and the creation of special trade and economic cooperation zones. Thus, trade, aid, investment have become central pillars of China‘s new dealings with Africa (ibid)                                                             9 The full list of Africa‘s 30 renowned innovators here:  49  Beyond the bourgeoning economic ties between China and Africa, the manner in which China pursues its interests in or with Africa is controversial, however. Unlike Western loans and aid that come with so-called conditionalities such as transparency, good (or rather democratic) governance and privatization, the Chinese development financing model typically has no strings attached (ibdi). This potentially facilities Western-maligned African governments and leaders, such as Zimbabwe‘s Robert Mugabe, who has been under sustained sanctions, to obtain alternative funding source, to the discomfort of Washington and London. But apart from Western powers, many locals, through vocal civil societies, have expressed disapproval over how Beijing seals lucrative deals with their governments, with details that are virtually shrouded in secrecy, leaving no room for public accountability or scrutiny. They also accuse Beijing of allocating the bulk of Chinese-funded projects to Chinese companies, with little or no local involvement which some consider as indirect industrialization. But China dismisses such criticisms as the West‘s attempt to soil their ‗good‘ relations with Africa.   A second disquieting aspect of China‘s style of engagement with Africa is about the disregard for environmental protection, local staff wellbeing and insensitivity to important cultural norms, often generating local backlash to Chinese activities (ibid). Thirdly, China‘s dumping of cheap goods in African markets, including direct participation in the retail business, often leading to the loss of jobs and income, is an ongoing issue of discontent.   These unsettling issues in the Sino-African relations have led many (mostly Western) observers to label the China‘s presence in Africa as a new form of colonialism, a conquest of some sort that seeks to make Africa China‘s new colony (Goodal, cited in Caulderwood, 2014; Tiffen, 2014). Obviously, the unease and suspicious between Western powers and the government in Beijing emanates from the former‘s fear of losing its influence or hegemony in a territory it seems more interested in dictating to rather than cooperating with to develop; and, of course, their polarized worldviews of what an ideal Africa should be and their resulting differences in development practice. As Brautigam (2010) aptly describes, the two powers share differing perspectives on Africa. While the West, led by the United States, wants better government and democracy for Africa, China  50  is interested in building infrastructure like roads and dams that Africa badly needs to propel its economic growth and development; while Western governments advocate trade liberalization and open markets in Africa, the Chinese are establishing special economic zones that facilitate investments and technology transfer to Africa; whereas the West is providing micro-credit schemes to support the poor in Africa, China is setting up multi-billion dollar equity funds to support massive investment projects.   However, for many African governments, already weary of the West‘s pretentious love for Africa, the Chinese model—the so-called Beijing consensus, even with its imperfections—at least offers a better promise or more concrete development outcomes than what the Washington consensus offers. The new Sino-African ties have created new economic opportunities through trade, investments and other exchanges that have helped create jobs, wealth and other advantages that in one breadth bode well for the middle classes on the continent. In another breadth, however, the new Sino-African relations has led to the demise of several high-income jobs especially in the manufacturing sector in Africa due to the dumping of cheap Chinese goods, implying that Africa‘s engagement with its new-found partner, China, has both positive and downsides for the middle classes.     2.3 On the Question of Distribution Today How the spoils from Africa‘s new growth impetus are being spread to benefit the masses, not the ruling elite, has become an issue of concern to some outside the continent. For some observers, the continued existence of poverty in Africa, some in extreme forms, raises important questions about how the purported wealth and investments flooding into Africa is trickling down to the poor, if not casting doubt about the authenticity of the Africa rising narrative itself. Having adequately dealt with the second claim in chapter one, I focus my attention here on addressing the second, more important, question: that is, the state of poverty and inequality in Africa today. First, it is important to underscore the fact that the validity of poverty data on African produced by international organizations, such as the World Bank and the UN, which had previously painted a picture of worsening poverty situation in Africa despite the recent impressive economic growth, has been  51  challenged by new independent researchers. One of these is Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Maxim Pinkovskiy, a former World Bank economist and a respected former MIT economics student, respectively. In a seminal 2010 paper titled ―African Poverty is Falling....Much Faster Than You Think‖, which meticulously computed income distributions, poverty rates and welfare between 1970 and 2005 using the same datasets relied upon by the afore-mentioned institutions—Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Maxim Pinkovskiyo—found that not only is African poverty falling as conventional doctrine contrarily suggests, but that it was declining much faster than expected (see Sala-i-Martin and Pinkovskiy, 2011). Sala-i-Martin and Maxim Pinkovskiy‘s claim is corroborated by other studies, including, incidentally, recent reports by the World Bank and the UN, all which now show that poverty has and is indeed falling in Arica.   Second, by even taking our attention off the numbers game, there abound several proxy signs that suggest that African poverty is on a downward trend. One of these is the boom in consumption of both essential basic and non-basic (luxury) goods such as household goods, personal automobiles and cell phones, which have trebled since 2000 (Mckinsey and Company, 2012). Second, there are today several government-funded, social intervention schemes, including health insurance, income welfare and other subsidized programs all across Africa that are aimed at cushioning those unable to benefit from the current economic boom. Perhaps, the expansive growth of the middle class in Africa constitutes the most enduring proof of falling poverty, rising incomes and better wealth distribution in Africa.    But at the same time as poverty levels dip in Africa, and as more and more Africans move up the social ladder, the income and wealth gap amongst the population, it seems, keeps growing (Frimpong, 2014; Blas, 2014). This new dynamic of falling poverty amid rising new inequality is what I refer to as the paradox of Africa‘s 21st century rise. How is this so? The underlying reasons are vast, but what is clear is that even though the general welfare of the populace is improving, some are benefitting more from the current economic growth than others, and this is different from the rhetoric that says that the poor keeps getting poorer while the rich is getting richer.    52  2.4   The Making of the New African Middle Class and the New African City As with the bigger story of Africa rising, the related growth of the African middle class and the on-going transformation of African cities have invited some pertinent questions that need answers. Among these, the most vital have been: who are the new middle classes in Africa? What are the key causalities of the rise of the African middle class? And how do they compare with mainstream western notions of middle class?  Whilst my study of the Ghanaian middle class and their role in Accra‘s rapid transformation will help uncover some answers to these vital questions, certain important traits about the emergent middle class and their connection to the re-making of African cities are quite glaring, even without any deep investigation. First, in terms of definition and size, as Juma and other have noted, it is not easy to come up with one single satisfactory definition of the new middle class in Africa, nor tell exactly how many people fall into that category (Juma, 2011:8; see also chapter 7 of this thesis where I revisit the issue to explain from a conceptual standpoint the difficulty in delimiting the boundaries of the middle class everywhere, not just Africa).   As was indicated in chapter one, the AfDB estimated the size of the African middle class to be around 336million (or 34% of the African population) in 2010, based on a daily consumption threshold of $2-$20 (AfDB, 2011).  However, this figure has been refuted by several other studies, which suggest a more modest size of the African middle class, albeit these studies use higher income or consumption brackets, which they argue reflect or afford true middle class living. These newer studies include one conducted by the US-based Pew Research Centre, which places the African middle class around 6% of the African population, based on $10-20 daily income. Another is the 2014 study done by the South African-based, Standard Bank, which used a daily income range of $15-$115, and estimated the middle class to comprise 15 million African households, located in 11 sub-Saharan African economies outside South Africa. In a recent article, The Economist also described the Africa middle class as being ‗few and far between‘ (The Economist, 2015, October 24).   53  While it is true that the AfDB threshold or definition of the middle class is agreeably quite low, the Bank acknowledged that about 20.8% of the estimated 336million people in the African middle class belongs to the ‗floating class‘—that is, those who live barely above the international poverty line of $2 per day, spending $2-$4 a day, and thus do not enjoy a full or true middle class living, as they are vulnerable to economic shocks (AfDB, 2011:5). Thus, if a $4-$20 margin is used a standard, the size of the African middle class is abount 128 million, which corresponds to 13.4% of the African population. This I consider to be a more realistic estimate of the middle class in Africa.   Recently, there have been reports of the closure of some recently-opened multinational retail chains in some parts of Africa following failed expectations on the size and spending power of the emerging African middle class (see The Economist, citation above). This has cast further doubt about the magnitude of the middle class growth on the continent. However, it is important to bear in mind that the real size and dynamics of the middle class differ from one country to another. For instance, in Ghana, which is the focus of my study, many of the international investments that have gone into the country in response to the growth of the middle class continue to thrive, despite the slowing economic growth. For instance, the 7th shopping mall in Accra opened in October, 2016, which is indicative of the fact that the purported middle class demise may not be as severe as it is in other African countries, or as one real estate developer put it out in an interview with a CNN reporter who visited Accra recently, the recent economic slowdown (and by implication the middle classes dip) is temporal. But these new trends indicate that African middle class is potentially much smaller or vulnerable than first believed.              Second, in terms of the specific causal factors underlying the rise of the middle class in Africa, it could generally be said that the phenomenon is the outcome of several interlacing factors, besides the obvious known causes of strong economic growth and poverty reduction. One of these factors has been the restructuring of the economies of many African nations from agriculture to services, which include high-skilled, high-income paying jobs. This plausible reason is corroborated by the rise of the service sector as the largest GDP contributor in 27 African economies (The World Factbook, 2015). The  54  second is the growth of the local private sector (AfDB, 2011), which is partly the outcome of the mid-1980s economic reforms, which scaled back government involvement in economic activities and transferred production to the private sector. The other factor is new expressions of globalization and the new international division of labour, resulting in the growth of high-income, professional occupations in Africa linked to new floods of investments in both traditional (but especially more recently) in non-traditional sectors, such as banking, real estate, aviation, education and telecommunications. These new manifestations of globalization and the new international labour division differ from earlier rounds which mostly created low-skilled, blue-collar jobs, often in low-tech manufacturing and resource extraction. Related to the above is the reinvigorated regional integration, which has poured in new investments in high-order services such as banking and in manufacturing, with their accompanying formation of professional and managerial occupations taken up the middle classes. Apart from these factors, there are other demand and supply-side factors, such as increased supply of, and demand for, higher education which is contributing to the growth of the middle classes in Africa, as will be seen in the Ghanaian case study. The other factor has been the increasing return of Africans in the diaspora which was mentioned in the previous chapter.   While all of these factors have contributed to the growth of the African middle classes, yet their weight differ from one country to another, just as the size and attitudes of the middle classes themselves vary from one African nation to another (see Figure 2.3). The availability of information on each of the afore-mentioned causal factors in each African country would have enabled a comparative analysis of their relative weights in terms of contributing to middle class formation within their respective countries. But as we can see from Figure 2.3, North African nations tend to have proportionally larger middle classes than Eastern, Central and Southern African countries, which have the smallest middle class populations, percentage wise. The former‘s larger middle class populations could be attributed to the relatively high economic growth and political stability enjoyed in the sub-region until the 2011 political upheavals, while the latter‘s low middle class population is likely the consequence of decades of conflict, poverty and political instability, despite recent changes. However, in absolute terms, some countries have larger   55        * The floating class include all individuals with a consumption budget of $2-$4/day; those           spending between $4 and $20 a day are the real middle class      Figure 2.3: Share of the Middle Class in the Various African Countries  Source: African Development Bank, 2011  56  Table 2.3: Some Proxy Indicators for the Differential Size of the Middle Classes Among Selected African Countries    Indicator  Country and Size of its Middle Class Population Ghana (19.8%) Nigeria (9.8%)  Tunisia  (46.5%) South Africa (19.8%) Kenya  (16.8%) Liberia (1.9%) GPD  (Current,  2014 ($b)) $38.62  568.5 48.61 350.1 60.94 2.013 GDP per capita 4,081.7 5,911.2 11,435.6 13,046.2 2,954.1 840.7 Gross tertiary enrolment ratio (2012) 12% N/A 35% 20% N/A 12 Poverty incidence  24.2(2014) 46.0 (2009) 15.5(2010) 53.8 (2010) 45.9(2009) 63.38(2011) Urban population (2014) 53.4% 46.9% 66.6% 64.3% 25.2% 49.3% Income Gini coefficient (2013) 42.8 48.8 36.1 63.1 47.7 38.8 Source: Constructed with data from World Bank Development Indicators, Various Years   middle class populations, even with smaller percentage compositions, than others. A typical example of this is Ghana and Nigeria: in percentage terms, Nigeria‘s middle class population of 9.9% is far smaller than Ghana‘s 19.8%; however, in numerical terms, Nigeria‘s middle class population is 17.45million, which dwarfs Ghana‘s 5.04 million, going by the AfDB‘s estimates. Ghana‘s proportionately larger middle class population compared to Nigeria as well as Kenya, Liberia and other countries in Figure 2.3 is reflective, among others, of its higher education participation rate, lower poverty incidence, lower income inequality and higher rate of urbanization, as revealed by the data in Table 2.3, as does Tunisia, which has the largest composition of the middle classes in Africa, rate better than Ghana on all class formation-related indicators (Table 2.3).   Notwithstanding these contextual elements, we can make the following generic claims about Africa‘s emerging middle class, based on available information. First, they belong to the category of people statistically found somewhere between the continent‘s small rich elite who sit at the top of the socio-economic ladder and the large poor population occupying the bottom of the same ladder, defined as those living on less than $2 a day  57  (Juma, 2011). Second, the new African middle classes are qualitatively different from the rest of the populace, including previously known middle class groups. Generally, they tend to be young and well-educated (i.e., tertiary degree holders); hold professional employment; earn stable and above-average income; are technologically more adept; are more exposed or connected to the global world; are urban-based; and have or aspire to acquire durable assets like housing, digital technology and personal automobile. The middle classes also tend to share values such as democracy, tolerance, economic and political stability, having a small family size, and supporting various kinds of activist groups or causes (AfDB, 2011). Third, despite these similarities, the new middle classes emerging on the continent are far from being a uniform group. They can be differentiated along the lines of occupation, income, wealth, education and lifestyle. Fourth, there are some elements of emerging African middle class that resemble the middle classes in developed nations in terms of wealth, education, lifestyle and spending patterns, while others are more local, less affluent and less sophisticated.  Lastly, albeit the middle classes are driving rapid urbanization in Africa, which currently stands at about 40%, their role appears to be limited to internal economic and socio-spatial transformation, rather than demographic based-expansion.   Meanwhile, the 21st century has witnessed urban Africa increasingly taking on a new image and identity. While (previous) characterizations of the 20th century African city was rife with such descriptors as ‗overpopulation‘ (e.g., Regan and Cremlin, 2000; Fourchard and Albert, 2003); ‗poverty‘ (e.g., UN-Habitat, 1999); ‗informality‘ (e.g., Macharia, 1997; Simone, 2004); and ‗chaotic‘, ‗dysfunctional‘ and ‗non-productive‘ (e.g., Locatelle and Nugent, 2009; Geiger, 2015), the 21st century African city is being (re)branded positively in some circles. Contrary to the depressing image of African cities painted by those 20th century negative labels, African cities are today being described with captions such as ‗engines of growth and innovation‘ (KPMG, 2014);  ‗dynamic centres‘ (e.g., Pricewaterhousecoopers, 2014), bastions of consumption (e.g., AfDB/OECD/UNDP, 2015), and ‗new frontiers of global investment and opportunities‘ (e.g. Southern Innovator, 2013). These new themes, which appear intended to reimage African cities and change the old narrative about African urbanization, capture or reflect new trends in urban  58  development in 21st century Africa: shiny skyscrapers, multi-billion dollar shopping centres, swanky new business districts, smart cities, luxury entertainment districts, technology incubation centres, and a spending boom, just to mention a few.   Although many of the problems that characterized African cities in the past century have not disappeared, these appear being given less emphasis than before by some international media entities and businesses with interest in the continent‘s resurgence. While this may seem refreshing in the sense of helping to balance or counteract the dominant downbeat picture of life in African cities, such limited laudatory remarks about contemporary African urbanization appear restricted to the journalistic and business realms; the scholarly world seem oblivious to many of the important shifts taking place in urban Africa.     Interestingly enough, one group that is often invoked whenever the new African city is mentioned is the new middle class. They are seen as the driving force behind many of the emergent trends in urban development in Africa. These trends, as mentioned above, include the growth of conspicuous consumption infrastructure such as western-style shopping malls and luxury recreational facilities; modern new, globally-connected business districts and smart cities; new, up-scale housing developments; the proliferation in use of high-tech products  and services, including the internet, cell phones and personal computers; and the growth or emergence of certain higher-order service activities, inclusive of banking, aviation, real estate and information-based services such as media broadcasting, film production, and education. The parallel expansion of the middle classes in Africa and the on-going remaking of African cities underscore the need for an academic inquiry to divulge the nature of the nexus between the two exciting 21st century phenomena.   2.5   Summary and Discussion  In this chapter, I have examined the story of Africa rising in greater detail, including the varied perspectives and interpretations that have been given to it by different observers. In looking at existing data, as well as recent developments on the continent, it is hard to deny the fact that change—and, for that matter, positive change—is happening in continental Africa in several areas. These positive developments, as I have examined in detail in this  59  chapter, include, among others, sustained economic growth; the lowering of poverty; rising household incomes; improved access to basic services, including health and education; increased consumption; increased life expectancy; and the growth of the middle class. Perhaps to some skeptics, these developments are quite modest or not substantial enough to warrant the kind of ‗noise‘ being made about it. These may have a point, especially when one considers the fact that not all the changes happening in Africa have been spectacular, combined with the negative stories that continue to spring out of the continent almost on an everyday basis. However, on balance, some developments, such as the rise of African translational and multinational corporations, are dramatic, yet others, such as the lowering of poverty, have been less enchanting. But like the ‗half-full/half-empty‘ glass analogy, there are others who interpret what they see in, or read about, Africa today in a positive light. For these individuals, who may be acquainted with the reality of where Africa has come from, every story of positive change, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is a drop of water that is adding to other drops to fill the cup of development in Africa. To these, every little accomplishment represent hope of a brighter future for Africa.   Moreover, it is important to reiterate the point, made elsewhere in this discussion, that the assertion or claim that Africa is rising does not amount to a declaration of Africa‘s triumph over all of its developmental challenges. Indeed, Africa is still confronted with an array of challenges that include both known problems such as poverty, inadequate infrastructure and conflict as well as new challenges like inequality and climate change. But neither does the existence of these new or old challenges invalidate the reality of the story of transformation taking place in most parts of Africa. Certainly, no one country on earth, not even the mighty United States, can claim to have eliminated poverty from its boundaries or achieved equal geographic development within its territory.        Furthermore, it is imperative to add that this is not the first time Africa is experiencing significant change or resurgence. There have been moments of glory in the past, particularly in the immediate post-independence era, as we saw in the early part of this chapter. However, when juxtaposed to the recent happenings, one discovers a number of important differences between the current wave of change and previous experience of  60  transformation. Two of these differences are at least noteworthy. One is that compared to the past, the current wave of change appears to have occurred over a shorter time period,  mostly from the middle of the opening decade of the 21st century, which roughly translates into a period of one decade. Second, and most importantly, compared to previous episodes of change, the current wave of change is quite expansive, spanning economic, political, social and physical spheres. In other words, the current story of change in African is shorter in time and wider in scope and space compared to the past.     In many ways, the issue of the middle class growth on the continent is akin to the bigger story of Africa rising. It is faced with denials and exaggerations, positive interpretations and negative interpretations. Perhaps it is too early to get a complete picture of what is happening with the growth of the middle class, let alone make accurate predictions of how   they will shape their future of their respective societies or nations.   That said, however, focusing on one African nation where the middle class is growing can help us to gain a better understanding about the group, the unique set of factors that are contributing to their growth and the kind of impact that their growth is having on the character of the place where they live. And, as indicated above, Ghana and its capital city, Accra, provide a good laboratory for conducting this investigation. The country is one of those African nations that has experienced remarkable economic growth, political stability, poverty reduction, increased foreign investments and some level of structural transformation, which have impacted on class reformation and urbanization. As well, its middle classes have been considered the fastest growing and one of the most sophisticated in Africa. Meanwhile, Accra, the city with the largest concentration of the Ghanaian middle classes, is experiencing phenomenal changes its spatial, economic and social structures, positive and negative as well, which have been linked to growth of the middle classes.  In a bid to uncover the relationship between Ghana‘s story of economic growth, class formation and urban remaking, the next four chapters of this thesis will focus on the story of change in Ghana and Accra. My interest in the story of class formation and urban change in Accra is also driven by my Ghanaian nationality and residence in Accra, a city I have lived in for over 15 years and has been fascinated by the speed of change taking place there. The approach is multi-scalar, proceeding from macro-level (i.e., at national  61  level) analysis of economic growth and change, urbanization and class reformation to the metropolitan level to the micro scale, where expressions of urban change driven by the new middle classes are investigated.                                         62  3     Socio-Economic and Urban Transformation in Ghana: An African Success Story?  The story of economic and political renaissance, class reproduction and urban transformation in Africa, as we saw in the previous chapter, is shared by majority of Africa‘s 52 nations, both in relation to the larger causative factors and outcomes. But notwithstanding these broad similarities, each country‘s story, when examined closely, reveals certain distinctive patterns or tendencies that highlight the unique impact or weight of the contributing exogenous forces, namely economic globalization, new international labour division, foreign direct investments and diaspora effects on the process of class formation and urban transformation in each African nation. Similarly, they reveal the varying degrees of local or internal factors such as policy change, culture, economic and social milieu, politics, and history in mediating the external forces and the resultant manifestations of change.   The West African nation of Ghana provides a good case for understanding the nature of the interplay between local factors and external conditions in shaping the process and outcomes of the economic change, class reformation and urban remaking in Africa. Being the first African country to attain independence, the first to undergo an IMF/World Bank supervised restructuring program and the first sub-Saharan African nation to achieve the UN millennium development goal of halving the number of poor people by 2015, the country‘s record on economic growth, poverty reduction and FDI have often been described as impressive. Touted as a shining star, its stable democracy, strong educational system, respect for human rights, social cohesion and inclusiveness have also won international admiration. It has a strong diaspora presence who are quite active in national development. Its middle classes, albeit not the largest in Africa, is quite dynamic, playing an instrumental role in the country‘s transformational story. Similarly, Ghana‘s story of urbanization has been accompanied by the significant urban system reconfigurations, a dwindling of urban primacy, strong investments and the lowering of urban poverty—a feat that was recently described in a 2014 World Bank report as an ―example of successful urbanization (World Bank, 2014:1). These exceptionalities have made the country a site of preference in sub-Saharan Africa for scholars in the field of international development and  63  urbanization, both within and outside Africa, seeking to unearth the set of factors that have underpinned Ghana‘s transformation story. However, as in many parts of Africa, Ghana‘s story of economic transformation has been accompanied by growing inequality.     This chapter‘s aim is to unravel that story of economic, social and urban transformation in Ghana, interrogating the county‘s record on economic growth, structural transformation class reproduction and urbanization, including the forces driving these shifts. The analysis divulges both patterns of consistency with or conformity to the wider Africa rising story as shared by other African countries as well as points of departure or exceptionalism from the development experience of other African nations. While Accra understandably remains the primary site of analysis for understanding the connections between the new middle class ascent and urban change, this can be better be understood when situated within the broader national and historical context of socio-economic development and urban change in Ghana. Having this in mind, section one provides a brief account of Ghana‘s political-economic history, highlighting the key events and policies that have shaped the county‘s socio-economic and urban landscape. Section two then interrogates Ghana‘s record on economic growth, sectoral restructuring, poverty reduction and urbanization (including the positionality of Accra within it) from 1960 to 2010, highlighting the major shifts that have occurred in the above trajectories and the factors underpinning those changes. Section three then looks at class reformation in Ghana, with a specific focus on the arrival of the new middle classes, including the major growth drivers and distinguishing marks. Section four contains a summary of my key conclusions about Ghana‘s story of socio-economic and urban transformation. The outcome of the above analyses is expected to provide the context for my in-depth study of the middle class-led spatial and economic transformations unfolding Accra.  3.1    Regime Change, Policy Shifts and Development Outcomes in Post-Colonial Ghana: A Brief Political-Economic History   In order to better appreciate the shifts that have occurred over the years in the trajectories of economic growth, structural transformation, class production and urban change in post-colonial Ghana, it is important to provide a brief political-economic history of Ghana. This  64  account will provide useful reference points for understanding the major turns in the country‘s development since attaining independence in 1957. In general, we can delineate the political-economic history of Ghana into four major epochs, which represent major shifts in the nature of the political and policy environment with implications for economic development, class production and urbanization. They are: 1957-66, representing the period of Nkrumah‘s rule; 1966-1981, reflecting the ‗dark‘, transitional years of predominantly military dictatorships; 1981-2000, covering the period of the economic reforms and its immediate aftermath; and 2000-2010, covering developments in the late post-reform era10  1957-1966:  The Nkrumaist Era  Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana‘s first president, could be described as the only Ghanaian leader under whose watch the most important—and radical—changes in the country‘s defining structures took place. In many aspects, Nkrumah‘s policies conformed to the broader state-dominated, socialist-guided development path adopted by majority of Africa‘s early post-independence governments, including their underlying ideologies, which he was instrumental in formulating (Grant, 2001, 2005; Adarkwa, 2012). But there were certain points of departure, too. In one breath, Nkrumah was more radical than his compatriots; in another breath, he was more moderate, making him a pragmatist.     Nkrumah‘s radical policies stemmed from his desire to decisively breakaway from the sordid colonial past by dismantling colonialism‘s important relics, including all of its incipient neo-colonial guises, and to chart a new, independent path for his country, Ghana, that would serve as a model for other Africa states, many of which, still reeling under colonialism during Nkrumah‘s early days, would replicate many of his policies on attaining independence.   Consequently, in the political arena, Nkrumah—who was initially elected prime minister in 1957—led Ghana to become a presidential republic by 1960, just three years into office.                                                           10 Again, it is important to stress the point that these periods only represent changes in the previous‘ order or policy environment, but not necessarily a change in government; neither does each epoch necessarily represent a single administration—something that will become clear as we proceed.  65  He opposed the British government‘s policy of converting all their ex-colonies into monarchistic parliamentary democracies headed by the Queen of England, as he did not consider that (neo-colonial) arrangement as a mark of true independence. He also declared Ghana a unitary state, resisting domestic calls for a federation, arguing that federalism would sharpen existing regional inequalities and serve as precursor for separatism and state collapse, although he saw the latter as a better framework for a united African government to which was actively involved.    In the socio-cultural domain, Nkrumah invested massively in human capital development and welfare by injecting a huge amount of money into developing social infrastructure, including education, health and other social services, combined with other interventionist programs that included subsidized housing, healthcare and free education. He also vigorously sought to revive and promote the suppressed pre-colonial Ghanaian culture through a range of initiatives that included the insertion of cultural studies as a vital element of post-colonial Ghana‘s educational curricular as well as the use of the media and national and community events to propagate Ghanaian culture. He also provided resources in the form of both hard and soft infrastructure, including the establishment of several cultural amenities (e.g., theaters, community centres, etc), and cultural institutions (including an African studies department at the University of Ghana) for the academic and social development of Ghanaian and African history and culture (Ghana, n.d). This is because, as intimated by the Ghanaian historian Kwame Botwe-Asamoah, Nkrumah saw cultural reawakening as essential to cultivating the right values (e.g., communalism and cooperatism) among Ghanaians to support his socialist-oriented development agenda (Botwe-Asamoah, 2005).   In the economic sphere, Nkrumah sought to fundamentally alter the economic structure of the inherited Gold Coast economy, considered too small, rudimentary and inefficient, through a three-pronged approach. The first was economic modernization, which entailed the development of modern economic infrastructure to boost economic activity and productivity. In achieving this dream, Nkrumah embarked on a massive infrastructure development program, considered one of the most ambitious of its kind in Africa, which saw the construction of vital transportation, energy and other economic infrastructure,  66  executed under his famous 7-year national reconstruction and development plan (1963/4-1969/70). These myriad infrastructures include Ghana‘s premier international airport, the Akosombo Hydroelectric Power Dam, the Tema Habour and a plethora of schools, hospitals, network of roads, rail and waterways—laying the foundation for the country‘s economic takeoff.   The second component of Nkrumah‘s economic transformation agenda—economic expansion—entailed the enlargement of the country‘s economic base by adding whole new sectors such as construction, energy and manufacturing onto the Ghanaian economy. These sectors were either small or virtually non-existent in the colonial economy, given the exploitative, rather than developmental, aspirations of the colonial regime. It also included expanding already existing sectors, such as education, public transportation, banking, housing, and, most importantly, government bureaucracy, which became a significant component of the Ghanaian economy.  The final, and perhaps the most salient economic policy objective of the Nkrumah regime, was to transform the structure of the Ghanaian economy from primary production (i.e., agriculture and resource extraction) into a semi-industrialized economy through import-substitution industrialization (ISI). This domestic industrialization program, executed under the so-called ‗big push‘ strategy,  led to the establishment of numerous state-owned manufacturing enterprises, running in their hundreds and churning out anything from food processing to vehicle assembly, which succeeded in making early independent Ghana one of Africa‘s rapidly industrializing nations.   And in order to ensure the continued survival of the country‘s nascent manufacturing sector, Nkrumah nationalized many of the extractive industries, including the mines created by the colonial administration and added new ones such as state-owned farms, to ensure constant supply of inputs for the newly established manufacturing plants. He also enacted a strong protectionist regime, including severe import restrictions, to shield the nascent industrial sector from external competition. However, despite being an avowed socialist with strong belief in state-driven economic development, Nkrumah pursued a  67  more liberal form of socialism, permitting both private property and capital ownership alongside a limited degree of foreign participation in the Ghanaian economy (Grant, 2001; Adarkwa, 2013). This stood in stark contrast to the extreme, closed-door, totalitarian Marxist versions preached and practiced by many of his contemporaries such as Tanzania‘s Joseph Nyerere, Senegal‘s Leopold Senghor and Guineas‘ Sekou Toure.   Lastly, in the area of urbanization and human settlement development and planning, Nkrumah‘s policies could be summed up in five major ways. First, he sought to alter the colonial function of extant Ghanaian towns and cities from commerce to industry by establishing some form of processing activity in many towns and cities across the country, in a bid to support his ISI program (Adarkwa, 2012). Second, in order to ensure functional interaction among the towns and cities, Nkrumah developed major (and minor) transportation and communication linkages between settlements by constructing several road, railway and water-based transportation projects, including river and sea ports and harbours.   Third, to promote the egalitarian development of all areas, Nkrumah sought to use his domestic industrialization, transportation and wider infrastructure development program to correct regional imbalance in development created by the exploitative colonial policies of the past. The colonial development policies confined economic activity, wealth, and infrastructure to the resource endowed regions of the country, mostly located in the forest and coastal belts of the south, creating what became known as the north-south divide—a challenge which subsequent post-colonial Ghanaian governments, starting from Nkrumah, have grappled to reverse, with varying degrees of success. In attempting to bridge the development gap, Nkrumah built factories, roads and schools in various parts of the country, especially the northern hinterlands, to create new growth poles, in hopes of spreading development more evenly across Ghana.   Fourth, Nkrumah‘s settlement development policies included a significant social housing component, which, as Adarkwa (2012) elucidates, was intended to address three different issues: first, to provide decent shelter to the teaming factory workers and civil servants  68  created through his economic development and domestic industrialization program; second, to address the acute housing shortage created by the influx of migrants into the new industrializing cities and towns; and third, to tackle some of the health and sanitation problems created by the lack of proper urban housing due to the neglect and segregatory policies of the erstwhile colonial government. Consequently, several state-housing schemes were planned and executed in various parts of the country, with Adarkwa (2012) noting that more than 25,000 new dwelling units were built in the three key industrial cities of Accra-Tema, Sekondi-Takoradi and Kumasi. However, many of these housing schemes also resulted in the creation of new townships, such as Tema and Akosombo, which were either necessitated by the need to resettle displaced communities caused by massive infrastructure projects such as the hydropower project at Aksosombo, and or the need to relocate workers to major industrial establishments with little or no prior settlement activity such as Tema. These new townships, which were much more organized and amenity-rich, became the first kind of planned cities in post-colonial Ghana.     Finally, Nkrumah‘s urban policy sought to re-image the character of colonial Ghanaian cities by discarding the restrictive and segregationary policies of the colonizers that restricted native population movement into important European-inhabited urban centres such as Accra and prohibited them from the European-occupied portions of the city, by de-Europeanizing them. He also decorated and nationalized urban space by mounting aesthetic features and symbolic national structures such as fountains, statues, museums and public plazas in cities.   The effect of Nkrumah‘s 9-year rule and transformative agenda on economic growth and production structure, welfare, class production and urbanization in Ghana could be summed up as follows. With respect to growth, the Ghanaian economy grew by 4% per annum on average between 1960 and 1966; consequently, the country‘s GDP expanded nearly by nearly 100% over the same period, from $1.2blillion in 1960 to $2.1billion in 1966 (World Bank Development Indicators, accessed in 2015). This represented the most significant growth statistic in more than two decades prior. While data on employment, poverty and other welfare indicators under Nkrumah‘s Ghana are impossible to come by, it  69  is historical knowledge that quality of life in Ghana during Nkrumah‘s early days was high—something that is corroborated not least by the almost 50% climb in per capita GDP capita from $180 in 1960 to $263 in 1965—higher than that of many now-advanced Asian countries such as South Korea ($106), India ($121) and China ($97) (World Bank Development Indicators, retrieved in 2015). Of course, with the availability of many freebies from the state such as free education and near-free health care and housing, combined with an industrialization program that prioritized full employment over efficiency, who would not have found life enjoyable under Ghana‘s Kwame Nkrumah?  In terms of the impact of Nkrumaist economic policies on the production structure of the Ghanaian economy, the results were more mixed, however. For instance, in terms of the sectoral composition of GDP, official records from the 1960 population and housing census indicate that industry‘s share of GDP rose to 18.2%, with manufacturing alone accounting for 10% of value added, which was quite an impressive record, considering the low base from which the Ghanaian economy under Nkrumah took off, with virtually no manufacturing activity. On the other hand, the contributions of services and agriculture stood at 30.7% and 51.1% respectively, showing that the Ghanaian economy was still dominated by agriculture, something that is additionally confirmed by the data on employment: in 1960, agriculture employed 64% of the Ghanaian workforce, while industry employed a small fraction of 12.8%, lower than services‘ 23.2% (2000 Population and Housing Census Report, 2005). The higher service employment share was attributed to the massive expansion in government bureaucracy, as evinced by the huge jump in the number of publicly-paid employees from 140,000 in 1957 to about 280,000 in 1966 (Jedwab and Osei, 2012), while the lower employment share of industry is often attributed to the rather capital intensive nature of the ISI strategy, which relied heavily on imported technology. But the domination of agriculture in both national output and employment compared to the small industrial share in same during Nkrumah‘s reign is considered by many as amounting to an unsuccessful industrialization program (Frimpong-Ansah, 1992).   Regarding the urbanization impact of Nkrumaist government settlement policies, there were at least five major discernable outcomes. The first was the massive increase in the  70  both the size and share of the urbanized populace, which rose from 15.4% in 1950 to 23.1% in 1960, in percentage terms. This was triggered by the massive influx of people into towns and cities in search for formal employment, whether in industry or public administration, and or to enjoy the generally good life in cities brought about by Nkrumah‘s development agenda. The second was the spike in the number of urban centres (localities with population 5,000 and beyond) in Ghana, linked to Nkrumah‘s industrialization, modernization and equitable development aspirations, which, as mentioned above, resulted in the birth of new set of post-independence townships and cities in Ghana. The third major impact of Nkrumah‘s settlement polices was the reconfiguration of Ghanaian‘s urban system from its previous colonial orientation, whereby Accra occupied an intermediary role in an exploitative core-periphery system, into a nationalized urbanized system, whereby Accra replaced London as the command and control centre of the new semi-industrialized space economy. Fourth, although Nkrumah sought to achieve even spatial development through his economic development program, the overconcentration (i.e., 80%) of manufacturing capacity within the three key cities/city-regions of Accra-Tema, Sekondi-Takoradi and Kumasi, due to their pre-existing locational advantages, resulted in the disproportionate growth and concentration of wealth in these three cities/city-regions, together which became known as the golden triangle (Songsore, 2010; Adarkwa, 2012), with Accra alone widening its share of the urban population to 21.8% in 1960 from 3.4% in 1950. The emergence and importance of the so-called golden triangle, which is geographically located in southern Ghana, exacerbated the extant north-south gap.   Finally, in the area of class production, seeing himself as a socialist, Nkrumah discarded all reference to social class, a concept he had previously described as alien to Africa (Takacks, 2015), positioning himself instead as the champion of equality for all and an advocate of the poor. Thus, he ignored the incipient native bourgeoisies, comprised mostly of educated elites such as lawyers, academics and wealthy businessmen, known as the intelligentsia, who were a product of the colonial educational system and trade. These, in fact, founded the first official political party in Ghana, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) People‘s Party, in 1947, which Nkrumah, who was then based in London, was  71  invited to join, to advance the struggle for self-rule. However, he later broke off with the UGCC to form a new Convention People‘s Party (CPP), accusing same of being too ‗gentlemanly‘ with the quest for self-rule. Whilst the UGCC‘s wanted ‗self-rule in the shortest possible time‘, Nkrumah wanted ‗self-rule now‘. He also identified himself as a common man and connected more with and fought for the interest of the poor and working classes unlike the intelligentsia who were elite minded.    But at same time, however, through his domestic industrialization and bureaucratic expansion programs, Nkrumah directly or indirectly created a new middle class cohort—a group mostly comprised of civil servants, heads of SOEs and the ruling political elite. These became the new face of status and power. Thus, whilst the previous middle class was capitalist, drawing their wealth and status from private capital and education, the Nkrumah-made middle class, was socialist, drawing their status and wealth from the state.      Despite Nkrumah‘s unparalleled contributions to Ghana‘s socio-economic progress following independence, the seemingly ―good life‖ enjoyed by Ghanaians under Nkrumah would be short-lived. A series of difficult economic conditions caused by plummeting cocoa prices, which provided the financial base on which his populist policies were funded, combined with rising unemployment, hyper inflation, food shortages and falling industrial output linked to economic mismanagement, compounded by his flawed Marxist prescriptions to the economic challenges, including high taxation, fuelled public discontent against his administration (Yergin and Stanislaw, 1998). This was overlain by Nkrumah‘s dictatorial style of leadership and clampdown on dissent. This eventually culminated in his deposition in a military coup on February 24, 1966, while on a state visit to Northern Vietnam. Nkrumah would remain exiled in Guinea until his death in 1972, aged 62, while on a medical trip to Bucharest, Romania.  1966-1981:  Era of Instability and Stagnation   As noted in chapter two, the period following the demise of the first independence governments in many African countries was characterized by instability, political and economic-wise, of varying degrees and length. In the case of Ghana, this lasted for about a  72  decade and half, spanning 1966 to 1981, a period described by many historians as the dark years in post-colonial Ghana‘s history11.    In total, five different administrations—two civilian governments, interspersed by three military regimes—governed Ghana during this period. All these regimes tried to fix the ailing Ghanaian economy and pursue an agenda of economic transformation, based on their own doctrines. In general, however, the juntas—the National Liberation Council (NLC), 1966-69; the National Redemption Council (NRC), 1972-78; and the Provisional National Defense Council I (PNDC) I, June-September, 1979—practiced a closed door economic policy akin to Nkrumah‘s, except with ruthless supervision, as they blamed the country‘s economic woes on managerial rather policy incompetency (Agyemang-Duah, 2008). But the two civilian administrations pursued ideologically different economic paths. The first, the Busia government (1969-72), which replaced the National Liberation Council that ousted Nkrumah, was a right-wing government that introduced liberal economic reforms, including the introduction of cost recovery in higher education and the relaxation of restrictions on import and foreign investments in the industrial sector. The second, the Limann government (1979-1981), was a centre-left regime that combined strong state involvement with limited economic liberalization.   The growth impact of the dark period in Ghana was the volatility that characterized GDP growth between 1976 and 1981, with the worst ever performance of -14% being recorded in 1975 (see Figure 2.1). Similarly, in terms of structural change, the period saw intermittent shifts in the production structure of the Ghanaian economy. For instance, available data suggests by the Brooking Institute suggest that industrial GDP rose from 19.3% in 1970 to 21% in 1975 (with manufacturing increasing its share from 12.7% to 13.9% over the same period), whilst agriculture‘s share fell from 50.7% to 47.7% against a spike in services‘ contribution from 27.4% to 31.0% (Ackah et. al, 2014) This shift suggests further economic modernization, albeit it was less deep compared to the Nkrumah-era transformation. But by 1980, all the gains had been reversed, with                                                           11 While pundits are right in describing this period which, was characterized by oppressive military regimes and the overthrow of elected civilian governments, as dark, events in Ghana at that time pale in comparison to the level of atrocities and anarchy witnessed in other African countries in past or recent times. Also, Ghana, unlike many other African states, has avoided a civil war  since becoming independent  73  agriculture taking up 50% plus share of economic output, against declining industrial and service share.   Overall, however, the welfare of Ghanaians during the dark years deteriorated, with per capita GDP dropping by 34% between 1979 and 1983, which could be attributed to the incessant changes that occurred in the political environment at that time. Similarly, the epoch had a devastating effect on class structure and reproduction for three reasons. First, many of the Nkrumah-era middle classes, who were accused by the junta of mismanaging the SOEs and accumulating personal wealth at the expense of the wellbeing of the general populace, were either arrested and or assassinated. Second, in line with their redistributive policies practiced in a way known as ‗kalabule‘ in local parlance (which means intimidation), many private business owners and other wealthy individuals including traders who engaged in the black market owing to the price control policy of the military governments had their assets confiscated by the state and given to the so-called poor. Third, the suspension of the constitution, the imposition of emergency rule and the resultant suppression of free speech and political activity that characterized military dictatorship silenced the middle classes, albeit the brave ones continued to engage in political activism for change. While the return to civilian rule twice during the period may have brought some respite to the middle classes, those periods were abbreviated by the comeback of the junta, such that any previous gains, especially in the political arena, were quickly eroded.   The unpleasant economic and political environment led to a mass exodus of middle class Ghanaian professionals, including teachers, engineers, doctors, and accountants, who fled the county to live and work abroad and to neighbouring West African countries in the late 1970s, especially Nigeria, which was experiencing an oil and construction boom, to seek better life as economic migrants. According to Brown, stated in Mberu and Pongou (2010), for example, an estimated 2miilion West African migrants, about half of whom were Ghanaians, were employed in Nigeria in the early 1980s, including oil-related industries.      74  The urban impact of this turbulent period in Ghanaian political and economic history was akin to its welfare consequences. In general, the period was characterized by slowing rate of urban growth, which declined from 4.7% per annum in 1960-70 to 3.7% per annum in 1970-84 (Figure 3.5). However, the level of urbanization increased from 23.3% of the population in 1960 to 28.9% in 1970 and further to 32% in 1984, respectively, albeit at a smaller margin of increase compared to subsequent decades. Within cities and towns, however, the period was marked by urban decline, high unemployment and poverty, especially in large cities like Accra and Kumasi (Adarkwa, 2012). The challenge was exacerbated by the mass expulsion of over one million Ghanaians from Nigeria in 1983-85, whose return worsened housing conditions in cities like Accra.    The seeming failure of the Limann government, the last civilian regime during the dark season, to find quick solutions to the extant socio-economic challenges and urban blight spurred a second military takeover in 1981 by the John Rawlings-led PNDC, which had previously toppled the NLC military regime in May, 1979, only to transfer power back to the elected Limann administration after four months.      1981-2000:  The Era of Reformation, Recovery and the Return of Democracy  After grappling to solve the myriad economic problems inherited from the Limann administration, which was aggravated by a severe 1983 drought leading to a near collapse of the Ghanaian economy, Mr. Rawlings sought help from the IMF and World Bank. The subsequent bailout package, which became known as Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), was rolled out in two phases: Economy Recovery I (1983-86), focused on stabilization and recovery; and Economic Recover II (1987-89), concerned with restructuring.   While economic transformation remains the key word or goal of all SAPs, it is however important to stress that the main policy objective of the Bretton-Woods reform program is not the modification of the industrial and employment structure of recipient economies, but rather the alteration of the institutional structure of the economy, from one of government-centred economic system to a market-driven or private sector-led economy, in  75  line with its underlying neoliberal philosophy. Thus, structural change, in the eyes of these institutions could be achieved even without any significant shift in the industrial and employment structure of an economy, an issue I shall return to when I examine the nature of structural transformation in the Ghanaian economy in section 3.3.3.   But in common with all IMF/World Bank-led reforms, the centerpiece of the Ghanaian SAP program included privatization of SOEs, trade liberalization, exchange rate deregulation, austerity and the opening up of the key sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, telecommunications and retail, to foreign participation, alongside a raft of other reforms intended to attract foreign capital. What makes the 1980s reform program unprecedented in Ghana‘s development history is its scope and depth compared to previous internally-initiated reforms. Also, unlike other African nations that accepted limited reforms, Ghana‘s structural adjustment program was quite extensive, covering the areas of transportation, education and healthcare delivery, making it one of the most extensive reform programs in the world (Baah-Nuakoh and Teal, 1993).    The SAP was later accompanied by two other important political reforms with significant consequences for economic development, class formation and urbanization. The first was an extensive decentralization program implemented in 1988-99, which saw the devolution of powers, including planning, from the centre to newly created autonomous local governments; the second was the return of multi-party democracy in 1992.   The SAP and decentralization programs have had far-reaching implications on the economic base, class and urban structure of Ghana, both in positive and negative terms. Generally, however, economic growth resumed and stabilized between 1985 and 2000, while the amount of FDI in the country soared to about 20% of GDP (Fosu, 2001). These investments and reforms further aided in revamping the key sectors of the Ghanaian economy, including industry which (temporarily) grew by 9.7 per annum between 1984 and 1989 (ibid).     76  But the social consequences of the neoliberal reforms were unpleasant, particularly in the immediate few years following. For instance, it had a wrenching effect on formal employment, as the government was forced to lay off thousands of public sector workers in a bid to shrink the size of the public purse. Similarly, many of the SOEs that were sold to locals or foreign private owners undertook extensive job cutting to ensure efficiency. Many of these retrenched workers would seek refuge in low-wage service sector jobs, in what became known as the so-called informal economy. The outcome of this was high incidence of poverty, which stood at more than half of the population (i.e., 51.7%) in 1991/92 (see Figure 3.3).   Regarding the impact of the reforms on class formation, there were both winners and losers. For instance, as was hinted above, the living conditions of those public sector workers who were laid off as a result of the SAP worsened, pushing many of them to join the ranks of the poor and working classes. But others, too, benefited from the SAP: those with political connections were able to purchase or acquire a stake in many of the SOEs that were liquidated saw their economic status improve. Also, the decentralization program helped to (re)distribute development more evenly, providing opportunities for others to climb up the social ladder, especially local elites who ended up dominating the newly created local government structures. In general, though, economic conditions improved over time with more FDI and aid flowing into the economy, alongside the gradual emergence of a local private sector, especially in deregulated sectors, such as the print and electronic media sector as well as in transportation. This created new employment opportunities, both high-skilled, high-wage and low-skilled, low-wage jobs, for Ghanaians, allowing some to climb into the middle class stratum. Furthermore, the improved economic and now democratized political climate paved the way for many middle class Ghanaians who had earlier fled the country due to the hash economic and or political conditions to return home, shoring up the size of the middle classes.    One other factor that spurred the growth or reformation of the Ghanaian middle classes during the reform era was the rise of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) sector. Widespread discontent about the social cost of the SAP led to the flood of foreign NGOs  77  in Ghana, particularly the rural and northern regions of the country, where the impact of the reforms had hit hardest. These poverty reduction-minded NGOs, mostly headquartered in Accra, created a huge cohort of professionals and administrators, helping in the emergence of a new NGO-based professional class.     Finally, these were the major impacts of the decentralization and the neoliberal economic reforms on the pattern of urbanization in Ghana. First, the number of urban localities across the country increased massively due to the decentralization program, which saw the upgrade of many rural communities into towns and district capitals for administrative purposes. For instance, according to the National Analytical Report of the 2000 Population and Housing Census, the number of urban settlements in Ghana rose by 80% from 47,769 in 1970 to 88,656 in 2000, most of which occurred after the introduction of the decentralization program (2000 Population and Housing Census Data Analysis Report, Vol 2: 322). Second, and expectedly, the urban population more than doubled in size from about 3.5 million 1984 to about 8.3 million in 2000, representing a massive increase of 110%, at an annualized growth rate of 4.6%. Lastly, the period was characterized by massive suburbanization in cities such as Accra, where it became a common practice for the newly-formed middle classes, including those who benefitted from the NGO sector, to build their own homes on cheaper land outside the central city.   2000-2010:  A Decade of Economic Boom and New Class Formation  The turn of the 21st century coincided with the arrival of a new government in Ghana: the New Patriotic Party (NPP), a right-leaning party led by John Kuffour with roots in the UGCC, the first middle class political party from which Nkrumah broke away to form the Convention People‘s Party (CPP). Having declared their reign as ‗the golden age of business‘, the NPP embarked upon further liberal economic reforms, including opening up additional sectors of the economy to private and foreign participation. The outcome would dramatically alter the story of economic growth, welfare, social structure and urbanization in Ghana, as will be evident from the next analysis. But suffice to say, the economy grew by 7% per year on average between 2000 and 2010, resulting in more than a 500%  78  enlargement in the size of Ghanaian economy, from 4.9billion to 32billion12, placing the country in middle income status by 2010, with remarkable gains in poverty reduction as well as significant shifts in the production structure of the Ghanaian economy, accompanied by the arrival of a new middle class. However, after two successive terms in office, the NPP was replaced in another democratic elections by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a social democratic party formed out of the erstwhile PNDC at the inauguration of the 1992 constitution. The NDC, which has been in office since 2008, completes their second term under John Dramani Mahama—successor to the now deceased John Atta-Mill who died in 2012—in 2016.     3.2   Analysis and Conclusions  This section analyses the recent shifts that have occurred in the trajectory of economic growth, welfare, structural transformation and urbanization in Ghana. It does so by  considering and comparing official data on economic growth (i.e., GDP growth rate and size), welfare (i.e., employment rate, poverty situation, and inequality), economic structure (i.e., industrial composition of GDP, and employment distribution by sector and industry), and urbanization (i.e., level of urbanization, urban growth rate and spatial distribution of the urbanized population) in Ghana between 1960 and 2010, to underscore salient certain features about the story of socio-economic change and urban transformation in Ghana.    3.2.1  Growth Record  Figure 3.1 shows the GPD growth rate and income per capita for Ghana from 1960 to 2014. Looking at the trend, it is clear, first, that the pattern of economic growth in Ghana differ markedly between three periods: 1960-1983; 1984-2000; and 2000-2010. The first period (1960-1983) could be described as a period of low and erratic growth, where economic growth, averaging 0.5% per annum, oscillated between positive and negative rates. This coincides with the mismanagement and decline experienced during Nkrumah‘s latter days as well as the turbulent political milieu of the dark years, characterized by                                                            12 To be fair, though, another factor that contributed to the massive enlargement in the size of the Ghanaian economy in 2010, 60% in fact, was the rebasing of the country‘s GDP that year, which captured previously unaccounted for economic activities valued at $10billion (BBC, 2009)    79   Source: Constructed from World Bank Development Indicators (Accessed December, 2015)    incessant changes in government and policy reversals, and compounded by major international events such as the 1970s global crude oil shocks. The second period (1984-2000) could be described as a period of stable growth, which hovered around 4.8%, brought about by the IMF/World bailout and reform program. The third period (2000-2010) could be described as a period of high and roaring economic growth, which  averaged 7.2% per annum. The last two periods are the most stable times in post-colonial Ghana‘s political environment.    The fundamental shift in the nature and style of economic governance from the previous state-dominated, tightly-regulated economy to a deregulated, market-based economy could be explained for the resurgence experienced during the 1985-2000 period, according to Aryeetey and Tarp (2000) (cited in Alagidede, 2013). However, the real source of the rebounding and growth in the early post-reform era came from massive infrastructure spending, FDI investments and aid flows or what they generally refer to as mostly donor-funded, capital application. But unlike the earlier post-reform growth, which was hugely contributed to by aid and debt relief, the post-2000 growth is driven by a combination of -15-10-5051015201960196219641966196819701972197419761978198019821984198619881990199219941996199820002002200420062008201020122014Figure 3:1: GDP and Per Capita Growth Growth in Ghana, 1960-2014GDP Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 80   Source: Ghana Investments Promotion Centre, 2012   non-aid factors; key among these include increased trade, high commodity prices, private sector investment, tourism, and a new wave of FDI (Figure 3.2). Furthermore, as evinced from Table 3.1 and 3.2, there have been significant shifts in the source and composition of FDI in Ghana between the early and late post-reform periods. While four of the top five sources of FDI projects in Ghana in 1992-2002 were Western nations (i.e., Europe and the United States), in the period 2002-2011, four of the top five leading FDI countries in Ghana were non-Western nations, highlighting the growing role of Asia and other African countries in the FDI sector in the country, especially Nigeria, which is now the fifth largest investor in Ghana, both in terms of projects and value, something that was unimaginable the decade prior. Also, in terms of sectoral composition, it could be seen that while services dominated the FDI sector in 1994-2002, manufacturing and construction or real estate are taking the greater share of FDI in Ghana (Table 3.2).  In 2011, however, the GDP growth was further bolstered, reaching an all-time high of 14%, buoyed by oil production, which attracted another wave of investments, making Ghana the fastest growing economy that year. Since then, growth has plummeted to about 3.2 per annum, raising fears about initial overconfidence in the growth spurt.    -1,000,000,000 2,000,000,000 3,000,000,000 4,000,000,000 5,000,000,000 6,000,000,000 7,000,000,000 8,000,000,000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011Figure 3.2 Annual FDI Flow in Ghana, 2000-2011USD 81  Table 3.1: Top Ten Investment Countries in Ghana by Value and Number of  Projects, 1992-2002; 2001-2011*  * Excludes Oil and Mining FDI Source: Ghana Investments Promotion Centre, 2012   Factors that have been cited for the current slowdown include falling commodity and crude oil prices, a deteriorating fiscal imbalance, a crippling energy crisis, the sharp fall in value of the Ghanaian cedi, and high inflation and interest rate. While the government has been quick to blame external forces for the weakening economic growth, its opponents attribute it to sheer managerial incompetence. In reality, both points of view are right, in that both poor economic management (mostly fiscal indiscipline) and unfavourable international commodity prices are the cause of Ghana‘s recent economic difficulties.   To conclude this section, there are two important observations to state. The first is that economic growth in post-colonial Ghana has generally been cyclical and is highly dependent on the stability of the political environment. Second, Ghana‘s economic performance is highly influenced by external conditions, demonstrating a high degree of fusion into the global economy. Rank  Top 10 Investors in Ghana Ranked by total Registered Projects  in 1992-2002 Top Ten Investors in Ghana by Value and No. of Projects in 2001-2011 By Value (US $M) By Number of Registered Projects Country  Value  Country  Registered Projects 1 Malaysia  Britain     4,867.54  China  470 2 USA Korea     4,819.17  India  422 3 Switzerland  USA    2,413.84  Lebanon  297 4 United Kingdom United Arab Emirates     2,065.16  Britain   205 5 France  Nigeria     1,396.32  Nigeria  173 6 Lebanon  India         526.70  USA 128 7 Ireland  China         449.66  Netherlands  85 8 Korea  Bermuda         255.43  Germany  63 9 Italy  Singapore         251.60  Korea  60 10 China  Trinidad         248.49  France  58  82  Table 3.2: Shifting Patterns of FDI in Ghana*  * Excludes Oil and Mining FDI Source: Constructed with Data from Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, 2013     3.2.2   Welfare: Employment, Poverty and Inequality Trends   One way of gauging the impact of Ghana‘s economic growth trajectory on the welfare of Ghanaians is by looking at data on employment, poverty and inequality. Given the absence of accurate year-on-year (un)employment data in Ghana, census data remains the most reliable source of (un)employment information in Ghana. As evinced from table 3.3 below, the proportion of the employed labour force (or employment rate) has slightly decreased over the (post-adjustment) years, albeit remaining high. Interestingly, the gender dynamics of employment appears to have shifted over the years as well, with males slightly edging out females among the employment population after 1984. The high employment rate and impliedly low unemployment rate in Ghana, if taken on face value, suggests that decades of economic growth has generally been accompanied by increased job creation. Of course, there are several problems or limitations with relying on such a ‗crude‘ measure of welfare, as they do not, for example, given us any indication about the type of jobs being created, which sectors where they are being created in, and the   Sector  1994-2002 2000-2011 Change (1994/02—200-11)  Amount ($M)  %  Amount ($M)  %  % Agriculture  203.96 11.52 101.040 5.15 6.37 Manufacturing  345.64 19.52 7,718.55 39.36 32.25 Construction  125.63 7.11 770.47 39.29 32.18 General Trade 101.25 5.72 115.40 5.88 -0.16 Export Trade 15.63 0.88 49.95 0.25 0.63 Liaison Office .101 0.01 47.92. 0.24 -0.23 Tourism  34.21 1.93 116.27 0.59 1.34 Other Services  994.37 53.32 1,810.09 9.23 44.09 Total  1,771.06 100 19,611.92 100 -  83  Table 3.3: Employed Population as a Proportion of the Labour Force in Ghana by Gender, 1960-2010 Year  1960 1970 1984 2000 2010 Employed as % of the Labour Force  94.0 94.0 97.2 89.6 94.7 Male  93.5 92.3 96.8 89.9 99.2 Female  94.8 96.1 97.5 89.3 94.2 Source: Population and Housing Census, 2000 and 2010 National Analytical Reports    distribution of employment in space, something I shall interrogate in the next section when I examine the issue of structural change.   In the area of poverty, available data point to considerable gains in poverty reduction over the past one and half decades in particular. As seen from figure 3.3, the incidence of poverty and extreme poverty in Ghana, as measured per the international upper and lower poverty lines (corresponding to Gh₵1,314 and Gh₵792.05 at 2006 prices) respectively, have dropped considerably over the years, with the incidence of poverty falling from as  high as 51.7% in 1991/92 to just 24.4% in 2012/13, and that of extreme poverty reducing from 36.5% to 16.4% over the same period. This represents a remarkable feat of 27.3% and 20% percentage point dip in the incidence of poverty and extreme poverty in Ghana.   But the greatest news in the fight against poverty actually came in 2006 when the results of the 2005/06 round of the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS), the official poverty and welfare assessment exercise conducted every seven years, showed a little over 50% drop in the number of poor people in Ghana from the previous 1991/92 headcount. This news made Ghana the first Sub-Saharan African nation to attain the United Nation‘s millennium development goal of halving the number of poor people, far in advance of the targeted 2015 deadline.    However, despite the welcome news of impressive poverty reduction, data on regional distribution of poverty indicate marked spatial inequalities in both the level of, and success at reducing, poverty across Ghana. The capital region of Greater Accra is the least   84   Source: Constructed with Data from Round 5 and Round 6 of the Ghana Living Standards Survey Report, 2012 and 2014  poor (administrative) region in Ghana (7.5% incidence), whilst the Upper East region in northern Ghana is the most impoverished region (70% incidence). This highlights the extant north-south development divide, albeit in terms of poverty reduction the latter recorded the largest margin of decline between 1991/92 and 2012/13, perhaps an indication that efforts  at bridging the longstanding north-south development divide is yielding results. Further proof of growing inequality in Ghana is highlighted by the marginal increment in the national Gini coefficient, the measure of the equality of welfare distribution among Ghanaians. Already high, it increased from 41.9% in 2005/06 to 42.3% in 2012/13. Underscoring the problem of rising inequality, the latest GSS report states that 7.1 percentage point reduction in the incidence of national poverty between 1995/6 and 2012/13 came from growth rather redistribution, as inequality contributed to worsening poverty by 1.1 percentage points, adding that‗ ..overtime Ghanaians are not benefitting evenly from the growth process‘(Ghana Living Standards Survey Round 6: Poverty Profile in Ghana, 2014:20). The challenge of growing inequality against the backdrop of falling poverty in Ghana is a clear confirmation of what I described earlier in chapter 2 of this thesis as one of the biggest downsides of Africa‘s renaissance in the 21st century—the 51.739.528.524.436.526.818.2 16.501020304050601991/92 1998/99 2005/6 2012/13Figure 3.3 Poverty Incidence in Ghana, 1991/92-2012/13Upper Poverty Line Lower Poverty Line % 85  paradox of falling poverty amid rising inequality—something that requires new or more redistribution aggressive strategies by leaders on the continent to ensure more inclusive growth, particularly if they desire to elevate more of their (poor) populations into the ranks of the middle classes.   3.2.3   Structural Transformation? What has been the impact of past and recent economic policies aimed at altering the structure of the Ghanaian economy, including the mid 1980s and subsequent reforms, on the basic structure of the Ghanaian economy? The answer lies in the information contained in the tables and graphs below, especially tables 3.4 and 3.5. As is evident from both tables, the industrial and occupational structure of the Ghanaian economy have evolved over the past five decades.   Table 3.4 below gives the breakdown of the contributions of the main sectors of the Ghanaian economy toward GPD and employment from 1960 to date.  As we can see, the most revealing aspect about the data contained in the table is the markedly different roles played by agriculture and services in value addition and employment generation in 2010. Prior to 2010, agriculture was the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy, contributing over 50% to employment creation and no less than 35% to GDP from 1960 to 2000. But in 2010 the sector lost its dominance to services, which has now become the largest employment and GPD contributor to the Ghanaian economy, accounting for more than half (i.e., 51.4%) of the national output and nearly half (i.e., 42.8%) of total employment, with that of agriculture shrinking to 29.9% of GDP and 42% of employment, from a record high of 51.1% and 64% in 1960, respectively.   The growth of the service sector over the years and its subsequent elevation as the leading economic sector in Ghana has been linked to productivity gains in the agricultural sector as well as the general expansion in service activities (especially low-skilled, low entry barrier service activities such as retail trade) following the liberalization of the Ghanaian      86  Table 3.4: Sectoral Contribution to GDP and Employment, 1960-2010  Sector  1960 1970 1984 2000 2010 GDP Share (%) Employment Share (%) GDP Share (%) Employment Share (%) GDP Share (%) Employment Share (%) GDP Share (%) Employment Share (%) GDP Share (%) Employment Share (%) Agricul-ture  51.1 64.0   50.7 57.0 47.9 61.1 36.0 53.1 29.9 42.0 Industry 18.2 12.8    19.3 15.8 19.6 12.8 25.2 15.5 18.6 15.2 Services  30.7 23.1    27.4 27.2 22.1 26.1 29.7 31.4 51.4 42.8 Source: Employment Figures from 2000 and 2010 Census Reports, GSS; GDP figures from GSS Quarterly Reports and Jedwab and Osei, 2012.      economy (table 3.5). But the other reason accounting for the huge growth of the service industry is the high amount of FDI going into high-order services such as banking, telecommunications, education and hospitality services and the growth of the local private sector, all of which have shored up (the share of) professional, managerial and clerical occupations in the economy (table 3.6)—an issue I shall pick up in the next two sections when I discuss the arrival of the new Ghanaian middle class. Also, looking at Figure 3.4 below, it seems that periods of high economic growth are accompanied by an increased share of agriculture in both GDP and employment, while periods of low economic growth are associated with increasing agricultural share of GDP and employment. The reason could be that periods of slow economic growth, such as witnessed in the early 1980s, lead to cutbacks in manufacturing and mining jobs as well as other services, which push people into farming—an observation that is corroborated by the dip in industrial and service employment between 1970 and 1984 (see table 3.4).   Contrary to the dramatic shifts in the trajectory of agriculture and services, the contributions of the industrial sector, both in relation to employment and national output, remains virtually the same from 1960 to 2010, hovering between 12% and 15%. But while the overall trajectory of the industrial sector has not changed, the various sub-sectors, comprised of manufacturing, public utilities (electricity, water and gas), mining and construction, have showed varied performances in the past decades. For instance,   87             while the growth and contributions of the manufacturing and mining subsectors have been sporadic since the reforms, oscillating between 10% and 6% between 1990 and 2012 (Alagidede et. al, 2013), the later being reactive to price shocks for gold, the country‘s main ore, the construction subsector seems to have picked up in recent years, thanks to massive investment in real estate post-2005. With the 2007 discovery of oil and gas, industrial GDP and employment are expected to increase over the next few years.  The transition from agriculture to a service-based economy in Ghana, without a corresponding rise in manufacturing, has been viewed by many analysts, including Alagidede et. al, (2013) and Jedwab and Osei (2012), as either as a lack of structural transformation or better still an undesirable form of economic transformation, as it departs from conventional models of structural change, which involve the shift from agriculture to industry before service. Whilst it is true that the Ghanaian (and perhaps African) experience of economic transformation does not conform to the path experienced by the 1970 1984 2000 2010Sectoral Contribution to GDP, 1960-2010Agriculture Industry Services 1984 2000 2010Sectoral Contribution to Employment, 1960-2010Agriculture Industry Services          Figure 3.4: Comparison of GDP and Employment Shares for Agriculture, Industry and Service in Ghana, 1960-2010  Source: Constructed with data using information from Table 3.3     88  Table 3.5: Industrial Structure of Employment in Ghana, 1960-2000* Industry   Share of the Employed Population Change (1960-2000) 1960 1984 2000 1960-84 1984-2000 Agriculture, forestry & fishing    39.1 61.1 47.6 22 8.5 Mining and Quarrying  1.9 0.5 1.3 -1.4 -0.8 Manufacturing  11.1 10.9 9.5 -0.2 -1.4 Electricity, Water & Gas  0.6 0.3 0.3 0.3 0 Construction  3.5 1.2 2.7 2.3 -1.5 Wholesale and Retail, Restaurants  3.7 14.6 15.5 10.9 0.9 Transport, Storage & Communication   2.6 0.5 2.6 -2.1 2.1 Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Business   0.2 2.3 1.4 0.1 0.9 Community, Social &Personal Service   5.6 8.7 8.5 3.1 -0.2 *Information for 2010 for employment distribution by industry and occupation were excluded from this and the next table because of the different classification system adopted by the Ghana Statistical Service from 2010. The new classification system for industry include the addition of new industrial classes (e.g., education) as well as the breakdown or separation of other industries (e.g., Transport, Storage and Communication) into two distinct industries, making it impossible to compare and draw important conclusions with past data. The same changes have occurred in the occupational classification system, although these changes do indicate or reflect important new trends that have occurred in the Ghanaian economy over the past few decades.    Source: Population and Housing Census: 2000 Analytical Report, GSS  West and to some extent Asia today, the evolution from agriculture to services does not make it any less an experience of economic change in my view. Most importantly, it is  being characterized by the shift from rural-based farming activities to urban-based services, with implications for class formation and urban change, which leads me to the next subject of analysis: shifting patterns of urbanization in Ghana.           89  Table 3.6: Occupational Structure of the Ghanaian Economy, 1960-2000  Occupational Type  Share of the Employed Population Change (1960-2000) 1960 1970 1984 2000 1960-70 1970-84 1984-2000 Administrative and Managerial  0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3 -0.1 -0.1 0 Professional and Technical  2.3 3.8 4.1 6.6 1.5 0.3 2.5 Clerical and Related Workers  1.7 2.4 2.5 4.5 0.7 0.1 2 Sales Workers  11.5 13.2 13.8 15.2 1.7 0.6 1.4 Service Workers 2.2 2.9 2.4 5.8 0.7 -0.5 3.4 Agric./Animal Husb/Foresty/ Hunting 61.1 57.4 60.6 50.3 -3.7 3.2 -10.3 Production/Transport Equip. Operators 18.7 19.6 16.4 16.0 0.9 -3.2 -0.4 Source: Population and Housing Census, 2000 and 2010 National Analytical Reports    3.2.4   New Trends in Urbanization  As with the economy, the pattern of urbanization in Ghana appears to have shifted significantly in recently years. But before we look at these shifts in detail, the first important thing that the data on urban growth rate and GDP growth rate in Ghana tell us about the nature of urbanization in Ghana is that the rate of urbanization in post-colonial Ghana is generally a reflection of prevailing economic conditions. This is because periods of high economic growth are correlated with rapid urban growth and vice versa (Figure 3.5; Table 3.7). For instance, between 1961 and 1984, at a yearly GDP growth rate of 0.9%, the rate of urbanization averaged 3.9% annually, whilst the period 1984-2010 saw an escalation in the urban growth rate to 4.5% per annum, when economic growth averaged 5.6% per annum. The reasonably strong correlation between urbanization and economic performance in Ghana is a challenge to the popular characterization of African urbanization as a problematic, contradictory picture of population implosion against the backdrop of weak or worsening economic growth.   90     Source: Constructed from Past census and Economic Data, Ghana Statistical Service      Second, despite slowing rate of urbanization, Ghana has enjoyed a relatively high rate of urban growth averaging 4% since independence, compared to the continental average of 3.5%. Consequently, Ghana has attained its urban transition ahead of many African nations, including the likes of Kenya and Nigeria.   Third, an analysis of recent urbanization trends point towards important shifts in the trajectory of urban growth in Ghana. Up until the 1980s, urban growth was centred around the primary cities of Accra-Tema, Kumasi and Sekondi-Takoradi (i.e., inside the so-called ‗golden triangle‘). But since 1984, the share of these three major urban centres in the urban population has steadily been falling, while that of smaller urban centres has been climbing concurrently (Figure 3.6). A number of factors account for this important change; however, there are two proximate reasons. One is the sheer growth in the number of urban localities, which has dramatically expanded over the past few decades. The other is the high growth of secondary cities, comprised of medium-sized (i.e., 20,000-50,000) towns such as Winneba, Tarkwa and Kintampo; and large-medium-sized (i.e., 50,000-100,000) cities, including Cape Coast, Sunyani and Ho, particularly since 2000.   2.4 2.4 2.6 2.7 1980 1984 2000 2010Figure 3.5: Population, Urban and GDP Growth Rate in Ghana, 1970-2010PGR UGR GDPGR% 91  Table 3.7: Urbanization Trends in Ghana, 1960-2010 Year  Country Population  Urban Population Proportion  (%) Population Growth Rate  Urban Growth Rate Period (%) 1960 6,726,815 1,551,174 23.3 1960-70 2.4 4.7 1970 8,559,313 2,472,456 28.9 1970-84 2.6 3.3 1984 12,296,081 3,938,614 32.0 1984-00 2.7 4.6 2000 18,192,079 8,274,270 43.8  2000-10  2.5  4.2 2010 24,658,823 12,549,229 50.9 Source: Compiled from 2000 and 2010 Census Report, GSS   For instance, between 2000 and 2010, the population of the city of Cape Coast grew at 7.5% per annum, more than doubling its population from 82,291 to 169, 984 and widening its share of the urban population from 0.9% to 1.4%, a similar feat achieved by Ho over the same period. In all, the total number of large-medium sized cities in Ghana has spiked from just 9 in 2000 to 36 in 2010, revealing the extent of urbanization taking place outside the ‗golden triangle‘. The shift in growth momentum from the 1st to 2nd and 3rd tier Ghanaian cities could be attributed to the massive decentralization program introduced as part of the wider economic reform program in 1998-89, as well as an attestation of the relative success of the initiative, which has helped spread development more evenly.    Another notable urban system change is the shifting growth dynamics among Ghana‘s power metropolises: Accra, Kumasi, Tema, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale13, since the economic reforms, particularly among the first two. As it could be seen from table 3.8, since 1984, Accra‘s share of the total urban population has been dwindling steadily, from 25% in 1984 to 16.5% in 2010, whilst Kumasi has been expanding its share of the urban population over the same period, from 12.6% to 16.2%. Accra‘s diminishing primacy is particularly an important development for two reasons.                                                             13 Although Tamale and Tema are not the 4th and 5th largest cities in Ghana, they are classified as metropolitan cities within the Ghanaian taxonomy due to their highly developed nature and complexity of functions performed.      92   Source: Constructed with Data from Past Censuses  The first is that it challenges dominant views about urban primacy in developing societies, including Africa, which suggest urban primacy as an increasingly and worrying phenomenon in the developing world (UN-Habitat, 1999; Abou-Korin, 2010). However, this finding and the previous suggest that urbanization in Ghana is becoming more even in recent times. Second, if current growth rates continue (Figure 3.7), the city of  Kumasi will likely overtake Accra to become Ghana‘s primate city, not least in demographic terms by 2020, which will be a historic event. Although Accra is and will remain Ghana‘s leading city in the foreseeable future in economic, political and cultural terms, its position within the national urban system as the main population centre remains slippery.    The fourth major counter mainstream development or observation about recent urbanization trends in Ghana is the fact that urban growth in the post-reform era is being accompanied by remarkable dip in urban poverty, particularly since 2000.  As can be seen from Table 3.9, the incidence of poverty in urban Ghana has been falling consistently since  48.854.844.540.1 60.023.328.93248.850. 1970 1984 2000 2010Fig 3.6 Share of Urban Population for Ghana's Major and Minor Cities (1960-2010)Primary Cities Other Urban Centres Total Urban 93  Table 3.8 Growth and Change Trajectories among Ghana’s Power Metropolises (1960-2010)   City  1960 1970 1984 2000 2010  Populat-ion   %  of Urban Population  Populat-ion   %  of Urban Population  Populat-ion %  of Urban Population  Population   % of Urban Population  Populat-ion  % of Urban Population  Accra 388,396 21.8 636,067 25.8 969,195 24.6 1,658,937 20.0 2,070,463 16.5 Kumasi 217,172 14.1 346,333 14.0 496,628 12.6 1,170,270 14.1 2,035,064 16.2 Sekondi-Takoradi 123,313 7.9 143,892 5.8 188,203 4.8 289,593 3.5 539,548 4.3 Tamale  40,443 2.6 83,653 3.4 135,952 3.5 202,317 2.4 371,351 3.0 Tema 27,127 1.7 60,676 4.2 100,052 4.8 141,479 1.7 292,773 2.3 Source: Calculated from Past Census Data     the early 1990s, declining from 27.7% in 1991/92 to 10.6% in 2012/13. This is almost four times lower than the current rural poverty incidence of 37.9, which also fell from 66.7 in 1991/92, suggesting that poverty in Ghana is largely a rural problem (Songsore, 2010),  albeit the pace of poverty reduction in rural Ghana is higher than that of urban Ghana. However, the breakdown also reveals significant regional disparities or inequality in both the incidence and rate of poverty among cities and towns in Ghana. In all, the capital region of Accra (or GAMA, comprised of the cities of Accra, Tema and five neighboring municipalities surrounding Accra) is the least poor (urban) region, while rural northern savannah is the poorest (rural) region in Ghana. In terms of poverty reduction, the rural forest belt recorded the highest overall margin of decline between 1991/92 and 2012/13, whilst the lowest gain was made in urban northern savannah. Between the last two headcounts, however, GAMA made the greatest stride in poverty reduction, compared to the abysmal performance seen in the rural coastal region (as well as urban coastal, urban forest and rural forest) for which the incidence of poverty actually worsened. But the overall pattern confirm the north-south development gap, seen from the earlier analysis of national poverty in section 3.4. However, many, including the World Bank, have praised the reduction in urban poverty in Ghana, calling it an example of ‗successful urbanization‘ (World Bank, 2015:1).    94   Source: Calculated from Past Census Data, Ghana Statistical Service   Last but not least, the face of Ghanaian cities and towns has changed significantly since the economic reforms, particularly in the 2000 years. Major cities, such as Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi and Kumasi, have undergone significant shifts in their space economy, land use structure, social profile, and skyline. These changes include the proliferation of multi-storey structures, the emergence of secondary service centres, the continued tertiarization of the urban space economy, increased FDI activity, and the rise of new professional cohorts, including the new middle classes, to which I now turn.      01234567891960-70 1970-84 1984-2000 2000-2010Figure 3.7: Annual Growth Rate for Ghana's Power Metropoleses, 1960-2010 Accra Kumasi Sekondi-Takoradi Tamale Tema 95  Table 3.9: Decomposition of Poverty Incidence in Ghana, 1990—2013 Region  Poverty Incidence  Change from Previous Headcount  1991/92 1998/99 2005/ 06 2012/13 1991/2-1998/99 1998/99-2005/6 2005/6 -2012-13 1991/920-12/13 Accra (GAMA) 23.1 4.4 10.6 3.5 18.7 -6.2 7.1 19.6 Urban Coastal  28.3 31.0 5.5 9.9 -2.7 25.5 -4.4 18.4 Urban Forest  25.8 18.2 6.9 10.1 7.6 11.3 -3.2 15.7 Urban Savannah  37.8 43.0 27.6 26.4 -5.2 15.4 1.2 11.4 Rural Coastal  52.5 45.6 24.0 30.3 6.9 21.6 -6.3 21.9 Rural Forest  61.6 38.0 27.7 27.9 23.6 10.3 -0.2 33 Rural Savannah  73.0 70.0 60.1 55.0 3.0 9.9 4.9 20 Urban 27.7 19.4 10.8 10.6 8.3 8.6 0.2 17.1 Rural  63.6 49.5 39.2 37.9 14.1 10.3 1.3 25.7 All Ghana  51.7 39.5 28.5 24.4 12.2 11 3.9 27.3 Source: Ghana Living Standards Survey, 2006 and 2015   3.3  Class Reformation and the Arrival of the New Ghanaian Middle Class  The constant reference to the ‗new‘ or ‗emerging‘ middle class in Africa in the media and other circles, occasioned by the recent increase in the size of Africa‘s middle class population, has often created the impression that the middle class is only a 21st century phenomenon in Africa. But as we have seen from the discussion above, the middle class is not a new trend in Ghana and arguably the rest of Africa; it has only gone through successive restructurings over the years just like the national economy and the urban system, with the current middle class cohort representing the new face of the African middle class. Having captured the previous middle class cohorts in Ghana, I shall concentrate on the new middle class in this section, discussing the factors that have spurred their ascent and which distinguish them from previous middle class cohorts.     96  3.3.1   Timing, Size and Growth Factors  As I indicated earlier on, the new Ghanaian middle class emerged during the most recent (i.e., 2000-2010) phase of economic development in Ghana, a phenomenon both confirmed externally by studies such as the 2011 AfDB brief and internally by the constant talk or mention of the new middle class in contemporary public discourse as well as recent awareness of other key new middle class signifiers. In terms of size, as was underscored in the introductory chapter, it is difficult to arrive at an accurate estimate of the middle class in part because of the conceptual or (definitional) problems and differing measurement techniques associated with the middle class, besides the practical absence of data on income levels and distribution predominantly used in mainstream calculations of the middle class. However, going by the 2011 AfDB report, which defines the middle class to include anyone whose daily consumption expenditure falls between $4 and $20, the middle class constitutes 19.8% of Ghana‘s estimated 22million population, translating into about 5.4million people. Lastly, whilst the sustained economic growth recorded in the opening decade of the century constitutes the overreaching factor behind the rise of the new Ghanaian middle class, the group‘s arrival is the outcome of a confluence of factors or events, including both economic and non-economic ones, as I shall explain below.   Industrial Restructuring  Apart from higher economic growth and significant poverty reduction, which have enabled many Ghanaians to join the ranks of the middle class from poverty, the first major event that has facilitated the rise of the new middle class in Ghana is the restructuring of the Ghanaian economy from agriculture to services, which was realized sometime in 2010 (see Table 3.5). The expansion of the service sector, inclusive of higher-order service industries such as banking, telecommunication and media broadcasting, has paved the way for some Ghanaians to acquire high-income paying jobs in these expanding sectors, enabling them to enjoy better life equivalent to middle class living.     Higher Education  Another factor that has significantly contributed to the rise of the new middle class in Ghana is increased enrolment in higher education. As underscored by Bawakyillenuo et. al (2013), there has been an increased demand for tertiary education in Ghana lately, a  97  situation attributable to a myriad of reasons, the most important being the desire for a better life, which include getting an edge in an increasingly competitive labour market, which tertiary education (especially college degree) provides. And whilst all sectors of the tertiary educational sector in Ghana—which comprise universities, polytechnics and specialized professional training institutions—have seen increased enrolment levels recently, universities, which occupy the apex of the educational system, have witnessed the most profound increase in enrolment levels (Adu, 2009).   Figure 3.8 shows the enrolment data for universities in Ghana between 2005 and 2010, which was obtained by Bawakyillenuo et. al (2013) from the country‘s higher education accreditation institution. As evinced from it, university enrolment increased from 73,408 in 2005 to 107,058 in 2010, representing 45% spike in a period of five years. This increase is further indicative of the enhanced access to higher education in Ghana, which has also been contributed to by a huge expansion in the number of higher educational institutions across the country—an issue I shall pick up in chapter 5 when I discuss the educational dimension of middle class urbanism in Accra.   However, besides the increased patronage of higher education locally, there are many Ghanaians who are either pursuing or have obtained higher credentials from outside the country, which has contributed to the huge increase in the number of people with post-secondary educational credentials in the country over the past decade, from 710,036 in 2000 to 789,029 in 2010, representing an increase of 11%, according to the 2010 Population and Housing Census. Possessing higher educational credentials, particularly university degree, which allows holders of such qualifications to obtain high-income paying jobs as well as attract high social prestige, is considered one of the important marks of the new middle class (AfDB, 2011; Fukuyama, 2013; Deloitte, 2013).      98   Source: National Council for Tertiary Education cited in Bawakyillenuo et. al (2013)  Professional Occupations    One other factor that is directly responsible for the emergence of the new middle class in Ghana is the growth or availability of high-skilled, high-income jobs, otherwise known as professional occupations. They include traditional professions such as managers, physicians, lawyers, accountants, pharmacists, engineers, financial advisors and bureaucrats, as well as emergent professionals in the creative industry such as media broadcasters, software developers, graphic designers, beauticians and entertainment professionals with higher education qualification. In total, the number of Ghanaians engaged in these professional occupations, according to figures from the 2000 and 2010 Population and Housing census, rose from 510,043 in 2000 to 796,838 in 2010, representing a respectable 56% increase. Like higher education, professional employment is considered one of the key characteristics of the new middle class (Ehrenreich, 1977; Buris, 1986; Ulbrich, 2015).  Growth of the Local Private Sector A factor accounting for the huge expansion in the number of professional occupations in Ghana is the growth of the local private sector, which has expanded over the years following the economic reforms in the mid-1980s. But more recently, many educated Ghanaians, including university graduates, are turning to the private sector either to find or 73,40884,07888,34593,973102,548107,058020,00040,00060,00080,000100,000120,0002005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010Figure 3.8 University Enrolment in Ghana, 2005-2010  99  create employment (Bawakyillenuo et. al, 2013), rather than look to the state for employment, which used to be the dominant practice. The increasing importance of the private sector as the main source of professional employment in Ghana is corroborated by the results from the 2000 and 2010 population and housing census, both of which show that the share of the private sector exceeds that of the public sector in formal employment: in 2000, the private sector‘s share in formal employment (which also include parastatals and international organizations) stood at 52% ; it then shrunk slightly to 49% in 2010, a change that was contributed to by the increased share of international organizations, including NGOs. But the continued importance of the private sector as the primary source of formal employment in Ghana is being driven by two other reasons. One is the formal sector‘s growing inability—and reluctance—to absorb additional workers, including the teaming army of university graduates, which is also the outcome of the current moves to manage the fiscal space. As a tangible proof of this, a moratorium on civil service employment has been in place since 2010. But the other reason for the continued shift towards private employment is the existence of better wages and service conditions in some private sector entities.   Globalization and New Expressions of the New International Division of Labour  The second reason behind the expansion of professional occupations in Ghana is increased FDI in higher-order services, linked to globalization and the new international division of labour. As was divulged from the analysis of Ghana‘s growth performance, foreign direct investments play an important and growing role in the growth and expansion of the Ghanaian economy, as evinced by the current FDI to GDP ratio of 7.8%, higher than that of many other African countries, including Kenya (1.5%), Nigeria (0.8%), South Africa (1.6%) and Ivory Coast (1.2%). The increased presence of FDI in the country is partly the outcome of the new international division of labour, a phenomenon which entails the relocation of capital from the advanced regions of the world to developing countries as part of what Frobel, et. al (1982) describe as the global reorganization of production. But while the idea behind the practice has not changed, the current expression of globalization and new international division of labour in Ghana (and arguably the rest of Africa) differ from previous rounds.    100  Earlier rounds of globalization and new international division of labour in Ghana were concentrated in primary industries (i.e, the extractive sectors) and in low-technology manufacturing, which resulted in the creation of mostly blue collar jobs for locals, with the few high-income, high-skilled jobs (i.e., upper and senior level managerial positions) being reserved for expatriates. But the current manifestation of globalized division of labour is different from two ways. First, although the extractive sector remains the dominant destination of FDI in Ghana, specifically mining and oil, some or part of the new wave of FDI are increasingly moving away from the extractive industry towards (non-extractive) service industries such as real estate, telecommunications, banking, education, cultural production (e.g., media, and accommodation and food services), accounting and legal services, and, more recently, aviation, as well as high-tech manufacturing. In addition, the sources of these FDI have changed over time (see section 3.2.1 and Table 3.1 above). Second, in response to lower labour cost and local policy changes (often known as the local content policy), an increasing portion of the managerial and other skilled positions in foreign firms, in both traditional and new sectors, are being allocated to local employees or outsourced to local companies. These important shifts have contributed to the growth or availability of professional occupations in Ghana, which are mostly occupied by the middle classes.   One non-extractive service field in Ghana that has benefitted from the new round of international division of labour is the banking industry. In about a decade and half, the number of foreign banks operating in Ghana has spiked from 8 to 15 (Table 3.10). And apart from having multiple branches that have created thousands of professional jobs for Ghanaians, the top management positions in these foreign banks are mostly occupied by Ghanaians, as suggested by the Ghanaian nationality of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of 7 out of the 8 international banks operating in the country.     Diaspora Comeback  The last factor responsible for the expansion of the new middle class in Ghana has been the recent return of Ghanaians in the Diaspora. The trend, which is attributed to the recent spurt in economic growth, is part of a bigger continent-wide phenomenon, which I   101   Table 3.10: Foreign Banks in Ghana as of 2014 and their Basic Characteristics  Name of Bank  Year of Establishment  Source Nation  No. of Branches as of June 2014 Nationality of CEO Barclays  1917 Britain  59 Ghanaian  Standard Chattered 1896 Britain  25 Ghanaian  Societe Generale (SG) Ghana  1975 France  45 French  Ecobank Ghana Limited  1990 African  78 Ghanaian  First Atlantic Bank 1994 Nigeria  8 Nigerian  Stanbic Bank Ghana 1999 Pan-African 26 Ghanaian  International Commercial Bank 1996 Switzerland  12 Nigerian  Bank of Africa 1997 Pan-African 19 Ghanaian  Guaranty Trust Bank  2004 Nigeria  28 Nigerian  United Bank (Ghana) for Africa   2004 Nigeria  27 Ghanaian  Zenith Bank (Ghana) Limited  2005 Nigeria  28 Ghanaian  Bank of Baroda (Ghana) Limited 2007 India  2 Indian  Access Bank (Ghana) Limited 2008 Nigeria  39 Nigerian  BSIC Bank (Ghana) Limited 2008 Libya  15 Senegal  Energy Bank 2010 Sao Tome and Principe  7 Nigeria  Source: Pricewaterhousecoopers, 2014  mentioned in chapter 2. But apart from the sheer escalation in the GDP growth rate, some of the other drivers of the middle class expansion discussed above, such as the growth of the private sector and the new expressions of globalization and international division of labour have arguably played an important role in the decision of some Ghanaians resident abroad to return home. As well, there seems to be a growing sense of nationalism among some non-resident Ghanaians, including young, highly-educated, gainfully-employed professionals, to return home and start their own businesses, to contribute to national development. Three examples of such individuals are Patrick Awuah, founder and president of Ashesi University, a new private liberal arts college located in Accra; Nana Kwame Bediako, CEO of Wonda World Estates, a high-end property development company in Accra; and Herman Chinery-Hessie, CEO of SofTribe, an Accra-based, software development firm. The first was a former senior computer programmer at  102  Microsoft Incorporated, who returned to Ghana in 1997 to found Ashesi University, which has become one of the most prestigious universities in Africa. The second, 33-year old Nana Kwame Bediako, returned home about a decade ago after living in the UK to pursue his dream of transforming the property sector in Ghana, resulting in the birth of Wonder World Estates, which has built several high-profile office and residential properties in Accra. Herman Chinery-Hessie, the third, came to Ghana after working stints with various IT firms in England and the United States to set up SoftTribe, which develops a range of software products for a variety of clients that include the Ghanaian government and businesses across the West African sub-region. Therefore, whilst there may not be any official statistics on the number of Ghanaian professionals going back to settle home, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to back this claim.     3.4   Summary and Discussion The purpose of this chapter was to examine the story of economic transformation, class reformation and urbanization in Ghana, as a microcosm of the Africa rising story. As was evident from the analysis, Ghana‘s economic performance, as with the rest of the continent, has generally been chequered over the years, with periods of high and stable growth interspersed by periods of low and unstable growth. At the same time, however, the country has chalked considerable success in economic growth, poverty reduction and investment in human capital, particularly in the post-reform era, attributed to better economic and political governance and resulting high levels of FDI. Furthermore, in addition to high growth, the post-2000 era has been accompanied by important shifts in the economic structure, social structure and the pattern of urbanization in Ghana. With respect to the economic structure, there have been three important shifts, namely: first, the shift in the institutional structure of the economy from a state-dominated economic system to a market-oriented economy, as evinced by the rise of the private sector over the public sector in formal employment; second, the shift in the production structure from agriculture to services in terms of GDP contribution; and third, the shift in the industrial structure of employment from agriculture to services.      103  In the area of urbanization, the most significant changes have been the shift from rural to urban-based society; the relatively higher growth of secondary cities; the fall in urban poverty incidence; and the sharp reduction of Accra‘s primacy, as evidenced by its drop in the share of the urban population from 20% in 2000 to 16.5% in 2010. Lastly, in terms of social structure, the most significant development has been the rise of a new middle class. The emergence of this new middle class is the outcome of high economic growth; falling poverty; expanded access to higher education; growth of the private sector; the return of Ghanaian diaspora; and increased availability of professional occupations, linked to industrial restructuring favouring service occupations as well as new expressions of globalization and the new international division of labour, resulting in high-income jobs in both new and traditional sectors.  From the discussion on the new middle class and other observations made about them as part of this research, we can deduce a few salient characteristics Ghana‘s new middle class. The first is that it is a fairly homogenous group, comprised of locally-educated individuals and returnees, including some top-tier business executives (e.g., CEOs of international banks) who maintain multiple residences in different countries over the course of a year, who I would refer to as the global cohort of the Ghanaian middle class.  The second is that they are fairly well-credentialed, professionals who are mostly engaged in the private sector. Thirdly, they are a materialistic group whose growth has been accompanied by increased consumption of certain non-basic goods such as personal automobiles, personal computers, aviation, the internet, cell phones—the latter which has a current penetration of 119.41%. Finally, they are mostly concentrated in large Ghanaian cities such as Accra, where their imprints on the urban structure and social life are most discernable. This latter point leads us to the next two chapters on the new middle class and urban transformation in Accra, beginning with an overview of past and recent developments in Accra, including the growth of the new middle class and their role in Accra‘s economic transformation.      104  4     Case Study of Accra: Outline of Past and Recent Developments  This chapter, which examines the case study, tells the story of urban growth and change in metropolitan Accra. It divulges how local and international forces, including changes in the political economic structures, migration, class relations, globalization, neoliberalism, have shaped the structure, size, growth direction and fate of the city from the past to the present. The discussion proceeds in the following order. Section one chronicles Accra‘s evolution from a pre-colonial fishing village into the centre of modern government, business, education and social life during the colonial era and its subsequent adornment as a befitting capital of a newly-birth independent African country within a framework of central planning, modernism, nationalism, industrialism and the so-called African socialism in the immediate post-independence era. It also narrates the city‘s later decline in the 1970s and early 1980s, symbolic of the larger political and economic instability that characterized the post-Nkrumah era, precipitating the neoliberal economic and political reforms. In section two, I examine post-reform Accra‘s development trajectory, outlining recent development features, including changing physical growth directions, changing city skyline, new investment patterns, and emergent new spaces. In section three, I discuss the rise of the new middle class as an important marker of urban growth and change in Accra, highlighting the growth factors, major signifiers and defining attributes. This will provide a context for examining the spatial imprints of the new middle class in Accra in chapter five, including the place-making strategies employed by them in territorizing these spaces. Section four provides a summary of Accra‘s development history.       4.1   Pre-reform Accra: Growth History and Trajectory of Urban Development14   Accra traces its history to the 15th century, when it was first settled by the Ga people15, who upon discovering many ant hills where they settled, named the place ‗nkran‘, which means ‗an army of ants‘, from which Accra derives its name. However, Accra was not a significant settlement until the 17th century, when European traders established forts along the coast of Accra to serve as trade outpost (Grant, 2008). This began with the Dutch, who                                                           14 This section draws on the works of Skidmore (2003) and Rain, et. al (2011).  15 The Ga people, who migrated from the interior of Africa, are considered the native inhabitants of Accra. They make up about 15% of the city‘s population and are generally a low-income group.     105  constructed Ussher Fort in 1650, followed by the Danes, builders of Christianborg Castle in 1661, and the British, who established James Fort in 1673. Other European traders, including the Swedes, the French and the Portuguese, who all participated in the slave trade, also established smaller forts. However, it was the three major forts mentioned above that became the growth poles around which the city of Accra grew as the indigenes moved closer to the Europeans, to deepen the lucrative slave trade relations that had ensued between them. And today, ‗old Accra‘, also known as ‗Gamashie‘, comprised of Jamestown, Usshertown and Osu, the respective names of the three indigenous settlements that developed around the three European forts, form the historic part of the city of Accra, possessing certain unique characteristics that distinguishes it from other parts of Accra.    Following the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the Danes sold Christiansborg, the largest of the three European fortifications in Accra, to the British, who had already established their base in Cape Coast, along the central coast of Ghana. Following a troubled relationship with the Asante Kingdom in the middle belt of Ghana, the Ashanti stronghold of Kumasi was attacked and almost destroyed by the British in 1874, who subsequently declared the kingdom a Crown protectorate . At the end of the second Anglo-Asante war in 1877, Kumasi was captured by the British, who also annexed Accra. Ghana—then named Gold Coast—was then officially declared a British colony, and Accra succeeded Cape Coast as the capital of the Gold Coast due to its dryer climate and safe haven from tsetse fly, making it conducive to animal transport, the major means of transportation then (Skidmore, 2003).   The next eight decades of British rule in Ghana, separable into pre- and post- World War II, would see Accra transform from a small indigenous settlement into a purpose-built colonial capital, shaped by Eurocentric architecture and vision of urban planning, and evolving alongside national and regional economic and political trends (Rain et. al, 2011). The centerpieces of this European planning ideal included land use segregation, racial segregation, well-built infrastructure, large public realms, and a core-periphery spatial organization. Important pre-World War II landmarks in Accra underpinning these principles of European urban planning and design included the construction of the Accra-  106   Figure 4.1: Present-Day Jamestown, showing the Lighthouse close to James Fort  (Source:,_Accra#/media/File:Jamestown_Light_House.jpg) (Last accessed: 26/04/2016)  Kumasi railway in 1908, which linked Accra to Ghana‘s cocoa producing and resource rich hinterlands; the development of the Accra port for the transshipment of gold and staples out of the Gold Coast and the offloading of European goods and personnel who came to do business and to govern the gold coast; the construction of the large Makola market (or the central business district) in 1924; a teaching hospital (1919-27), which opened the area west of the Korle lagoon, up until which formed the western boundary of Accra, for settlement; and the elite Achimota School, amid several other beautification projects, such as fountains, monuments and public squares. The establishment of Achimota School combined with the much older Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast built by missionaries in 1876 and later additions, including the University of Ghana, became the local incubator of the Ghanaian political class and civil servants who took over from the Europeans after independence.   These developments became a magnet which attracted migrants from other parts of Ghana, including those from the north, who thronged the capital city in search of employment opportunities created by the large scale construction and other projects, as  107  well as those emanating from other parts of southern Ghana. The latter group was made up of those who had learned the ‗Whiteman‘s‘ language, education and skills as a result of their initial contact with the Europeans, in addition to having privileged access to the educational institutions put up by the colonialists and missionaries These sought work in the bureaucratic and commercial sectors that were growing fast and important by the day.    However, the rigid racial segregation policy of the colonialists ensured that there was a sharp divide between the European and non-European areas of the city, both of which were expanding rapidly due to an escalation in the intensity of the two waves of migration flooding the capital. One was represented by the indigenous Ghanaian population moving into Accra from various parts of the country in search of ‗greener pastures‘. The other featured the European population settling into the city as businessmen, administrators, missionaries, educators, engineers and other technical professionals to undertake and supervise the construction of large scale projects, including mines, transportation (road, rail, harbours) and social infrastructure (e.g., schools and hospitals), the funding of which came from taxes raised from economic activities fuelled by the booming mercantile economy. As noted by Rain et. al (2011), in the non-European parts of Accra, new settlement formations, including Mamprobi, Tudu, Korle-Gono, Sobon Zongo and Adabraka (the last two being enclaves that hosted the Muslim population from the northern Sahel and other West African countries), emerged around Gamashie and to the west and north of the CBD around 1927   Due to the introduction of British town planning ordinance, which required the use of cement block for housing construction and large spacing in the new neighbourhoods, the overall quality of life in these newer migrant neighbourhoods, perhaps with the exception of Sabon Zongo, was better in comparison to Gamashie, even in the absence of very stringent building requirements and the provision of social amenities. Administration of the city was given to the Accra Town Council, composed of white men, established under the Accra Town Council Ordinance of 1898 (revised in 1943), which was responsible for the city‘s physical regulation.   108    Figure 4.2: Map of Accra in 1927 Showing Victoriaborg (Source:  Skidmore, 2003. Available at (Last accessed: 26/04/2016)   Apart from extensions to Christianborg, Victoriaborg—an exclusive European enclave—was developed east of the city‘s limits to provide housing, office, social and religious amenities for the colonial civil servants and businessmen moving into the Gold coast. The historic district (Figure 4.2), separated from the rest of the city by means of a cordon sanitaire of vacant land, was built on land behind cliffs where there was ―always a breeze‖ (Skidmore, 2003). With its niceties of luxury homes, golf course, race course, polo and cricket grounds, churches, and special hospital, Victoriaborg fit no better description than that given by Skidmore (ibid): ‗a piece of England grafted into the townscape of Accra‘. Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, governor of the Gold Coast from 1919 to 1927, under whose watch many of the developments mentioned above occurred as part of his ten-year development plan, is credited with much of Accra‘s early modernization.  Accra was hit in 1939 by a devastating earthquake, in the early days of the Second World War, leaving many parts of the city in ruins. The city‘s reconstruction saw additions to  109  both the European and non-European quarters of the city. This expansion was  driven by an astronomical increase in Accra‘s population, which rose from 60,726 in 1931 to 133,192 in 1948. The increase is attributed to an intensification in the two migratory streams mentioned above, local and international, buoyed by a booming mercantilist economy. To house the growing European community, three new neighbourhoods, Ridge, Ringway Estates and Cantonments, were founded further north and east of the city, in addition to extensions to Victoriaborg, in the post-WWII era. These areas were developed as low-density, elite residential neighbourhoods for the expatriate population, some of who hired the local population as servants. Later additions included Airport residential area, built adjacent to Accra‘s airport.   Concurrent with the creation of new European neighbourhoods, new settlement formations were underway in the non-European parts of the city as new migrants arrived from northern and rural Ghana. But because these neighbourhoods developed outside the official boundaries of Accra, and were therefore considered ‗illegal‘, construction occurred in a rather haphazard manner, without recourse to any zoning ordinance or building codes, resulting in sub-standard housing and amenity-deficient communities. Nima and Accra New Town are emblematic of these informal settlements in contemporary Accra, having origins in the colonial epoch.   The fate of the emerging native middle class population was, however, different. With the support of the city council, new neighbourhoods were constructed to accommodate them—among these were Kanashie, Kokomlemle, Tesano, Achimota and Kanda Village, all of which were incorporated into the boundaries of Accra upon completion in 1954. Therefore, as observed by Rain et. al (2011), as early as the mid-1950s, Accra was already depicting three distinct residential gradations: the low-density, well-planned, elite European neighbourhoods, typified by enclaves such as Victoriaborg, Ridge and Cantonments, sharply contrasted by the poorly-planned, high-density native and migrant enclaves of Gamashie and Nima, with the emerging semi-planned, medium density, middle class neighbourhoods of Kanashie and Adabraka and the likes mentioned above moderating the two kinds of neighbourhoods.   110  Another visible transformation that occurred in post-WWII Accra‘s landscape was in and around the CBD. New commercial buildings were put up in the CBD, including multi-storey structures, elevating the skyline of the city centre, while making it more vibrant. In addition to this, a massive judicial and administrative complex, housing Ghana‘s highest court as well as offices for the colonial administrators, was constructed at the fringe of the CDB. By 1948, Ghana‘s first university, the University of Ghana (originally named as the University College of the Gold Coast as an affiliate of the University of London Ghana) was established. Moreover, politically, a new Gold Coast constitution was passed in 1945, one that was designed to accommodate local grievances over British colonial rule. Among other things, it created a new Accra City Council, composed of seven members—five appointed by the governor and two by local chiefs—with British town planner Maxwell Fry serving as Accra‘s city planner, charged with the task of devising a master plan for Accra. Fry‘s 1944 plan (which later became known as the Fry/Treavallion plan as the latter, with the input of one Allen Flood, helped to revise Fry‘s initial proposal) outlined ―the British vision of how Accra should develop‖ (Skidmore, 2003). Truly aristocratic, the Fry/Treavallion plan, as elucidated by Skidmore (2003), which revealed the colonialists‘ ambition for a complete Europeanization of Accra, included:  the reorganization of the CBD, including the superimposition of a tight grid north of Usher fort; the preservation of a large recreational space for restaurants, country club, cricket and polo field east of the redeveloped CBD; the development of a large parliamentary block in the city center; and the extension of Victoriaborg to incorporate the entire coastal area south of it as an exclusive elite leisure space; and the construction of large public squares, fountains, ornamental pools and statues throughout the capital.   (Skidmore, 2003, available at    But the rather unanticipated or hurried transition to self-rule in 1957, triggered by a series of popular revolts representing widespread discontent with British colonial rule, the most  111  decisive being the 1948 Accra Riots, led to the abandonment of the Fry/Treavallion plan by Ghana‘s new independent government, headed by Kwame Nkrumah. Left-leaning and nationalist in ideology, Kwame Nkrumah‘s sought to de-Europeanize the city, de-segregate its landscape, and reconfigure its urban form by creating new spaces to instill a sense of nationalism, pride and Africanism. To achieve this, Nkrumah constructed landmark nationalist buildings such as the Independence Square, the State House, and the Organization of African Unity building close to the city center. He also densified the CBD and respatialized Victoriaborg, siting the Bank of Ghana, government ministries and head of national companies there.  Nkrumah‘s planning ethos represented a decisive break with the aristocratic traditions and aspirations of the colonialists. Whereas Britain‘s vision for Accra, as articulated by the Fry/Treavallion plan, emphasized order, aesthetics, land use and racial segregation, and guided development, Nkrumah‘s plan, which was less orderly, was aimed at fostering national and social cohesiveness and a shared sense of (African) identity (Skidmore, 2003), in addition to laying the groundwork for a modern African city run by Africans. Thus, in addition to declaring Accra as a city and appointing a new city council exclusively made up of local Ghanaian intellectuals, Nkrumah also ensured that all the European spaces of living, work and interaction, including Victoriaborg, Ridge, beach fronts and the several sporting arenas, which were previously ‗cordoned off‘ to the indigenous Ghanaian population, were opened up for local utilization, with a number of streets being renamed and re-routed to pass through formerly inaccessible neighbourhoods, especially Gamashie (Rain et. al, 2011).   Although Nkrumah‘s sought to diffuse development more evenly through the creation of new growth poles, rather than specific geographies of concentrated wealth, Accra‘s position within Ghana‘s emergent urban system remained dominant. This is because additional functions were added to its role as it became the command and control centre of the nation‘s domestic industrialization program. But as pointed out above, Accra had its fair (and in actual fact, the greatest) share of Nkrumah‘s transformative plans. This is because several projects were undertaken to link the capital to other Ghanaian towns and cities, making Accra in effect the epicenter of the different economic and social  112  development projects that were being embarked upon by the Nkrumaist government. These projects included new dual-carriage roads and intersections, the most popular being the ‗Kwame Nkrumah Circle‘, which is Accra‘s busiest traffic intersection, as well as street lighting projects, the refurbishment of the Accra International Airport, the upgrading of existing and construction of new tertiary institutions, such as the Ghana Law School and Accra Polytechnic, amid other cultural artifacts and aesthetic projects, such as the National Cultural Centre and the Ghana Films Industry. These projects were undertaken to give the city a facelift befitting the status of a national capital while projecting its rich cultural heritage.     These developments attracted a high population influx, both skilled and unskilled labour, into Accra, resulting in a somewhat spontaneous formation of new settlements, both planned and unplanned, increasing the physical extent of the city and the number of neighbourhoods dramatically (Figure 4.3). Not surprisingly, the first post-independence headcount of Ghana‘s population yielded a figure of 338,000 for Accra, representing a 185 per cent jump in the city‘s inhabitants since 1948. However, what was more intriguing was the fact that the 1960 enumeration revealed striking patterns of inequality and class segregation in Accra‘s socio-spatial landscape, despite Nkrumah‘s attempt at unifying the city, socially and physically. In the elite neighbourhoods of Ridge, Cantonments and Airport Residential Area, there were new occupants: ministers, senior civil servants and heads of the many state-owned enterprises in and outside Accra, with a few remaining European expats. Also, new purpose-built working class neighbourhoods had been built to accommodate the new class of factory workers, teachers, health professionals, middle and lower rank civil servants, alongside security and army quarters, all of whom were direct employees of the state. These neighbourhoods include Lartebiokoshie, Kotobabi and Mekaheko.   Arguably, the new professionals that occupied the erstwhile European neighbourhoods  represented the new face of Accra‘s middle class—one directly created by the state—as the previous middle class, some of whom espoused a different political (democratic) and economic (free market) view from Nkrumah, were sidelined, if not marginalized, by    113                 Figure 4.3: Expansion of Accra, 1900-1969 (Source: Skidmore, 2003. Available at  Nkrumah‘s socialist, one-party state government (see chapter 3). Meanwhile, the deprived communities of Nima and Gamashie witnessed no substantial improvements in their economic conditions during Nkrumah‘s near decade rule, which was truncated by a munity led by one General Kotoka, who accused Nkrumah of being a dictator, corrupt, inept and insensitive to the plights of the Ghanaian masses. This happened in 1966, at a time when plummeting cocoa prices and economic mismanagement led to inflation, massive depletion of Ghana‘s foreign reserves, and shortage of industrial inputs (which rendered many of the SOEs operating below capacity), resulting in high unemployment and food scarcity, amid a heavy-handed clampdown on opposition figures, which made Nkrumah‘s government unpopular.    114  Successive governments following Nkrumah‘s abruptly ended 9-year rule (1957-66), including both juntas and civilian regimes, have, with varying degrees, influenced the urban structure, space economy, growth, social dynamics and political landscape of Accra through their various policy instruments. But they shared one thing in common: they lacked a clearly defined, long-term vision for Accra. That said, however, it is important to highlight one defining moment in Ghana‘s (and for that matter Accra‘s) history—a juncture which marked the turning point in the political-economic order of Ghana. This came in the mid-1980s when the Rawlings government (itself a military regime), reeling under severe economic crisis—stagflation, recession, industrial output decline, mounting national debt, mass unemployment and famine—(somewhat akin to the situation in Greece today)—succumbed to IMF and World Bank loan and aid conditionalities, under the ambit of structural adjustment (see chapter three). Among other things, the reforms marked a seismic shift in Accra‘s spatial structure, growth trajectory, urban economy and class structure, the nature and extent of which I next examine.      4.2   Post-Reform Accra: Outline of Recent Development Features  Accra has profoundly changed in many ways in the three or so decades following the liberalization program, as hinted above. However, five key features have characterized the city‘s post-reform growth trajectory. While some of these developments emerged early in the post-reform era, others have been more recent. Thus, from a temporal perspective, we can delimit post-reform Accra‘s development into early (i.e., 1985-2000) and late (i.e., post-2000) restructuring eras. As well, while some of the features that emerged in the immediate post-reform era have continued to the present, others have been supplanted by newer trends starting 2000, indicating patterns of continuities and change.  4.2.1  Weakening Demographic Growth The first, perhaps rather unexpected, attribute about post-reform Accra‘s development trajectory is the slowing rate of urbanization or population growth, which I revealed in the previous chapter. As table 4.1 reveals, Accra‘s population has steadily been growing at a decreasing rate since 2000, which is indicative of the fact that, despite strong numerical increase in the city‘s population, the margin of growth has been smaller compared to the   115  Table 4.1:  Population Trends in Accra, 1960-2010 Year 1960 1970 1984 2000 2010 Population 338,396 636,667 969,195 1,658, 937 2,076,546 Percentage Change (%) - 1960-70 88 1970-84 52 1984-2000 71 2000-2010 25 Intercensal Growth Rate (%) - 1960-70 5.1 1970-84 3.1 1984-2000 3.4 2000-2010 2.3 Source: Calculated from Past Census data obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service   pre-reform and the early post-reform decades, except, of course, for the 1970-84 period, where the steep economic decline slowed urban growth considerably, as corroborated by the percentage changes in the population between 1960 and 2010. By contrast, other cities, such as Kumasi and Tamale, recorded stronger growth over the same period (see Table 4.1). While the emergence and growth of secondary cities in Ghana and the consequent reduction in Accra‘s primacy since 2000 could easily be implicated for the city‘s slowing population growth, within the context of greater Accra metropolitan region, what really accounts for Accra‘s dwindling population growth rate has been the relative higher growth of neighboring municipalities such as Ga East, Ga West, Ga South, Adenta alongside the port city of Tema, which recorded proportionately higher increment in their population sizes and rate of growth over the same period. For instance, between 2000 and 2010, the combined population of the erstwhile Ga District (now divided into Ga East, Ga West, Ga Central and Ga South) grew by 75% and 5.8% in percentage and annualized growth terms respectively, while that of Tema was 41.5% and 3.5%, both far in excess of Accra‘s 25% and 2.3%.   4.2.2  Strong Suburban Growth   Correlated to the shifting demographic growth from Accra to its surrounding regions has been the incidence of massive suburbanization, which constitutes the second salient and visible feature of post-reform Accra‘s growth. According to Angel et. al (2005), between 1985 and 2000, Accra‘s built-up area expanded from 133 square kilometers to 314 square  116  kilometers, that is, a 181km2 areal enlargement, representing a 136% increase, compared to the limited pre-reform (i.e., 1975-1986) expansion of just 61km2, or  46%, as found by Yeboah (2000). Furthermore, according to both Yeboah (2000) and Angel et. al (2005), most of this (early post-reform) growth occurred at the outer suburbs, rather than on land immediately abutting the built-up area of 1975 (Yeboah, 2000; Angel et. al, 2005), suggesting massive areal growth of Accra, particularly in the immediate post-reform era. In addition, Angel et. al. (2005) notes that the rate of Accra‘s physical growth rate between 1985 and 2000 (6.6%) exceeded demographic expansion (3.4%) over the same period, a trend that has continued to the present day.   Whilst there is considerable disagreement among scholars on the exact spatial model(s) that post-reform Accra‘s suburbanization fits into—ranging from Yeboah‘s (2000) unicentric pattern to Doan and Oduro‘s (2011) diverse patterns—there is one consensus amongst these studies, that the nature of urban sprawl in post-reform Accra comprise low-density residential development, driven by single-family housing. This is what Yeboah (2000:70) has described as ―quality residential sprawl‖. These high-quality, low density housing developments were built with ‗concrete‘ and ‗modern‘ or imported products and designed as ‗self-contained structures‘ owned by the wealthy. They were ‗built in anticipation of infrastructure and services like water, roads, drainage and electricity‘ (ibid). This is both a testament to, as well as an important spatial marker of, the (re)growth of the city‘s middle class (who sharply diminished during the late 1970s to early 1980s due to the economic crisis and related political persecution and urban decline) in the post-reform era.   The city‘s massive suburbanization in the early post-reform era, reflecting increasing land values at the urban core and a desire for bigger, more comfortable housing by the middle classes (Yeboah, 2000), resulted in the shift or diffusion of development momentum from the central city to peripheral Accra. And the major outcome of this phenomenon has been the underbounding of metropolitan Accra (Songsore, 2010) and the consequent fusion of the city‘s boundaries with that of neighbouring municipalities such as Tema, Adenta  Ashiaman and the four Ga districts, forming a single, integrated mega-urban region, commonly referred to as the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA). This contiguous  117  urban development stretches westward from Central Accra to as far as Kasoa in the Central Region, eastward to Mitsio in the far away Gangme West District of the Greater Accra, Nsawom in the Akuapim South municipality in the Eastern Region to the northwest, and northward to Aburi in Eastern Region. The emergence of GAMA has since been a subject of investigation by local urban scholars such as Songsore (2010) seeking to understand its economic potential and governance implications.     Although suburbanization still remains a salient feature of post-reform Accra‘s development, the new wave of investments that have flooded into the national capital since 2000, spurring massive physical developments, including luxury housing, office and recreational infrastructure targeting the new middle classes, appears to be swinging back the development momentum to the urban core. Reasons for this include the desire to build close to the prime business areas and important land marks such as the airport and wealthy neighbourhoods such as Cantonments which are all located in the central city, albeit some of the new developments are taking place at the fringes of Accra. In sum, it could be asserted that whereas the older middle classes were mostly responsible for the massive urban sprawl in the immediate post-reform era that resulted in the diffusion of urban growth from the core to the peripheries, the rise of the new middle class in the latter post reform epoch, which is associated with renewed investments in the central city, has facilitated the revival and reassertion of the core‘s primate position and role within Accra‘s reconfigured space economy.    4.2.3  An Emerging New City Skyline  Another conspicuous feature defining post-reform Accra‘s development has been the on-going transformation of the city‘s skyline, which has been of two major forms. The first is the upward elevation of the city‘s built form from a predominantly low rise to a middle-to- high-rise built form. This change has been occasioned by a proliferation of multi-storey structures in the metropolis since 2000. Prior to 1997, there was only handful of skyscrapers in Accra, the tallest being the 49metre, 14-storey Cedi House, built in 1973 to serve as the annex of the country‘s central bank, the Bank of Ghana. Moreover, the majority of the tall buildings in pre-2000 Accra were office structures, which were mostly   118   A – New Office Complexes at Downtown Accra (circa, 2012)     B – Areal View of West Ridge, an Emerging New Business Centre, showing the Octagon (2015)             C- The Marina Mall, One of Accra‘s New                    D – The Iconic World Trade Centre in         Modern Shopping Complexes                                  Accra        Figure 4.4: Crystalline Landscapes of 21st Century Accra    Sources: Image A:                               (Last Accessed: 26/04/2016) Image B: http://dro