The State and Alcohol Revenues: Promoting "Economic Development" in Gold Coast/Ghana, 1919 to the Present

  • Emmanuel Akyeampong


Colonial and independent governments in twentieth-century Gold Coast/Ghana have consistently viewed alcohol revenues as a major source of government income. The importance of the alcohol industry refiects not only the skewed nature of the Ghanaian economy, but also indicates the existence of a huge local demand for alcohol. A vocal temperance group, whose activities date from the colonial period, has sought to challenge and revise the state's dependence on alcohol revenues. To explore the resulting dilemma, it is necessary to examine the cultural and historical circumstances that elevated the economic significance of alcohol, the development of the alcohol industry and its role in the country's economy, and the relations of Ghanaian governments to the alcohol industry.