Ghana: is its success due to social cohesion?

Ghana is growing faster than anywhere else right now. Is that due to national pride facilitated by a single language?

Only some six percent of Ghanaians can communicate in English, as against over half of all Nigerians. Nigeria has oil wealth, yet Ghanaians are roughly 12% richer (as measured by GDP per capita PPP). Of course, Ghana has gold and cocoa. And now its first oil wells are up and running. It's not just wealth to which I refer: Ghana is stable, democratic and calm. But maybe another factor is influencing Ghanaian success, something else is at play here.

All African countries have a plethora of tribes and distinctive cultures which are often historical rivals, even enemies. Nigeria has thus adopted English as an adhesive influence to bind  its competing ethnicities together. When at least three languages are so widely spoken, as is the case in Nigeria with Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo, communication is impossible without a recognised conduit - and English proved a successful choice. Of course, religious rivalry and land ownership have proved obstacles to cohesion and the development of a single national identity.  

Yet Ghana, by comparison, benefitted from the powerful and dominant Ashanti. It is their language Twi (and its sister tongue Fante) which is the majority's lingua franca, particular in the centre and south.  Twi is used almost everywhere in preference to English and is giving Ghana an edge, I suspect. 

There are few African countries where a local lingo has had the same cohesive impact - perhaps Swahili in East Africa could be said to have helped Tanzania stay stable.

But Ghana's continued success might be in part due to its national pride, a rarity in Africa. And that has been made possible, I suggest, by the speaking of Twi.

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