Forgotten World (96): Ghana

On 19 occasions now, I’ve had a week-long feature devoted to parts of the world that tend to be under-reported or even forgotten. You can check out the previous 95 entries here. This week, I am going to run another series of postings on this theme.
Ghana was the first former British colony in Africa to gain independence, achieving this in 1957. At that time, it had one of the strongest economies on the continent. However, within a decade, the country had accumulated foreign debts of $1billion. Political turmoil and a fall in both the price and the production of cocoa – of which it is the world’s second largest producer – saw the decline continue until the 1980s.
Ever since the 1981 coup led by Jerry Rawlings, although political instability and violence have continued, there has been market-oriented reforms and economic growth. Since 2000, when John Kufuor was elected President, the country has had free and fair elections, stable government, further economic reforms, and substantial debt relief. As result, Ghana is now seen as one of the brightest prospects in all of Africa. Indeed, in June 2007, oil was found and hopes are now even higher for economic prosperity for its 22 million citizens