What has Corruption Got to do with it? Understanding the Persistence of Rural-Urban and Inter-Regional Inequalities in Ghana and Zimbabwe

Authors: Konadu-Agyemang, Kwadwo1; Shabaya, Judith2

Source: GeoJournal, Volume 62, Numbers 1-2, January 2005 , pp. 129-146(18)

Publisher: Springer

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Inequalities are no respecter of countries, including the affluent ones. Nevertheless, these problems appear to prevail more in the developing countries, which have the dubious distinction of having the highest degrees of inequalities in the world. Inequalities exist between urban and rural areas, as well as between the various regions. This paper discusses inequalities in Ghana and Zimbabwe, emphasizing the rural–urban dichotomy. Using data from the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys (GDHS) and the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys (ZDHS) conducted by the respective statistical authorities of both countries and Macro International, the paper analyses existing inequalities in both countries. The paper also attempts to elucidate and understand the causes. It concludes that the traditional explanation of disparities that attribute the conditions to aberrations in the operations of market forces, while having some validity, may not provide a full explanation for Ghana and Zimbabwe’s predicament. It argues that whilst the existing disparities may be rooted in history, their persistence and worsening in the post-independence era could only be understood with reference to the corruption, nepotism and the mismanagement that have characterized these states since they gained their independence.

Keywords: Ghana; Zimbabwe; corruption; rural–urban dichotomy; socio and spatial disparities

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10708-005-8181-y

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography and Planning, The University of Akron, 44325-5005, Akron, OH, USA, Email: kkonadu@uakron.edu 2: College of Applied Science, University of Cincinatti, 45206, Cincinnati, OH, USA, Email: jueds@yahoo.com

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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