In the third volume of his Development in Unity series, Daasebre Oti Boateng explores the major theories of economic development, explains why they are inadequate for developing countries, and presents the “root-based model” as an alternative. The volume also includes several of Boateng’s speeches and papers, including a detailed study of water usage in Ghana’s Accra Tama Metropolitan Area.
Boateng is a professional economist and statistician (serving as Government Statistician of Ghana for nearly two decades) and the traditional ruler of Ghana’s New Juaben State. This combination provides him a valuable perspective from which to evaluate global development theory.
Boateng argues that traditional models, in which decisions flow from the top down, will not help today’s developing nations achieve social well-being and economic growth. Alternatively, his root-based model relies on local associations to know what’s best for their communities and to implement it. This idea makes sense in the abstract, but more concrete detail is needed to illustrate the premise. Readers likely will be curious about how exactly the community groups are set up, obstacles they may encounter and how best to overcome these obstacles.
The speeches and papers that conclude the volume cover topics in recent Ghanaian history and economics, including inflation, voter turnout, and how improved water supply affects villages near a newly constructed dam.
Boateng’s language and approach are academic, making the book most likely to appeal to readers with a professional interest in development, or a deep and specific interest in Ghanaian economics and government. The material can be dense, and missing commas sometimes make reading difficult, as in: “The model incorporates a mechanism which facilitates collaboration between government and the communities leading to mutually beneficial outcomes in the development process.”
Attention to such mechanical issues would aid comprehension of the book’s sometimes challenging content. Still, this volume could be a useful resource for specialists.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.