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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tamale: election 2008, violence, and 'unemployment'
Author:MacGaffey, WyattISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies (ISSN 1536-5514)
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:political stability
economic conditions
Abstract:This article explores, from a local perspective, some of the factors that seem to have provoked the incidents of violence that occured in Tamale and other parts of the Northern Region of Ghana after the elections of 2008. The multiple sources of political violence include unemployment, but that must itself be deconstructed: the 'unemployment' of which activists complain is as much as anything a state of envy for the material rewards associated with political success. The government's dominant position in the economy leaves relatively few areas open to private enterprise besides the retail market in food and consumer goods. Together with the low level of education and public information which make the people less able to comprehend economic issues of underdevelopment and income distribution, this contributes to a growing dissatisfaction with the political and economic situation. The deep cultural tradition of conspicuous consumption of material goods by politicians clash with the concepts of development and modernization, and individual leaders advocating simplistic and sometimes violent remedies are not so much sources of instability as symptoms of it. This kind of corruption makes the stability of the political system precarious, as well as the fact that these political leaders are unable to keep their promises. The elections of 2008 reveal the fragility of the politics of the Ghanaian State. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]