How did the period of political unrest in Ghana affect the child mortality and GDP per capita before, during and after it?Shortly after it regained independence from the British Crown in 1957, Ghana plunged into a period of political unrest. The government declared that the country was experiencing a state of emergency in 1961, under the rule of Kwame Nkrumah. Over the course of the following 20 years, Ghana was ruled by a single, centralized government, which were being overthrown in the coup after coup. Each regime was constantly overtaken by another, making Ghana’s political standings very unstable (BBC). Eventually, in 1981, Ghana was able to restabilize itself under the rule of Jerry John Rawlings. This period of political unrest experienced by Ghana had a severe effect on it, reducing the rate at which child mortality was declining, causing a negative net change in its GDP per capita purchasing power parity, and worsening the overall conditions of Ghana due to the continually shifting dynamics in political power and resources used to challenge or defend the regime and position in the government. By analyzing the article “Ghana” found in the Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, it is possible to divide the era of political chaos by ruler. The period started in 1961 with Kwame Nkrumah having already reigned as prime minister, then president for four years, since 1957. The country converted to a republic the in 1960. As each year progressed Nkrumah’s ways became more and more dictatorial. In 1961 and 1962, the country was in a state of emergency. In 1963 Nkrumah started to limit the freedom of his people and even turned the centralized government into a single party system, where power is not limited. In 1966, he was overthrown in a coup. The next triennium had National Liberation Council in power, followed by civilian government head, Kofi A. Busia. His regime eventually gave way to one lead by Ignatius K. Acheampong, who took power through a coup in 1972. Acheampong ruled with an iron fist, seizing freedom of the press and union activities, and even restained the constitution. While he loosened up military control in 1974 and set up two councils to support the political and economic standings of its citizens, he was forced to resign four years later in 1978. The following leader, Frederick W. Akuffo was not able to achieve much as he was overthrown after ruling for less than a year. Jerry John Rawlings, the successor of Akuffo, sought to rid corruption in Ghana, sentencing the former tyrants to execution. He stepped down from his role as president in 1979 for Hilla Limann, who had been duly elected. Eventually, Rawlings stepped up again in 1981 as the economy under Limann’s rule had worsened. With the start of Rawlings’ second rule, the political peace was achieved.          The rate at which the child mortality had been reducing at was stalled during the period of political instability. According to Gapminder, from 1800 to 1895, the recorded child mortality rate remained a constant 470 deaths per 1000. This reduced to 430 in 1925 at a linear trend beginning at 1895. After 1925, the rate of reduction increased and reached 210 in 1961. From 1961 to 1971, the first half of the era of political instability, child mortality only reduced to 200. From 1971 to 1981, the latter half, rates improved and the child mortality rate was able to drop to 165. From then to 2015, the child mortality rate reduced by 105, reaching 60. From 1925 to 1961, the average rate of reduction was 6.14. This stellar rate of reduction was reduced to 1 during the worst years of political instability, from 1961 to 1971, but averages out to 2.25 when all the years of political instability are accounted for. After the end of the era of political instability to 2015, the rate increased again to 3.17 which is slightly more than half of the original rate of reduction but still is higher than the 2.25 recorded in the years of the political instability. When looking at graphs of other countries on Gapminder, the trend was reduction of child mortality is initially high and reduces after a while is also apparent, but a stall in reduction of child mortality is only apparent in countries that have suffered from an event that is harmful to its development such as wars and conflicts, natural disasters, political and economic chaos. The political crisis in Ghana is also responsible for affecting GDP per capita purchasing power parity, as politics and economy are often tied in with each other. Looking at the data given on Gapminder, we can see that Ghana’s GDP per capita PPP is in constant fluctuation. From 1800 to 1890, the GDP per capita had been climbing at a slow pace, increasing by $75 in the given period, starting out at $695 and rising to $770. After a drop back to $720 in 1900, it skyrocketed to $1960 in 1920. Eventually, after a drop to $1240 in 1946, in 1961, it reached $2300. Until 1930, the upward trend continued, then after a short drop to $2180, it started it increase again in 1968. 1970 and 1974 are the two years with the greatest GDP per capita PPP, with the GDP per capita PPP reaching $2510 and $2550 both within the years of the political unrest and Ghana until then, only with a slight drop in between. However, in 1976, the GDP per capita PPP drops to $2070. It seems to recover but starts to reduce again, reaching $1890 in 1981 and continuing down to $1630 in 1982. Afterwards, Ghana does recover and its GDP per capita PPP reached $4100 in 2015. While it seems like the period of political chaos did not affect Ghana’s GDP per capita PPP, when comparing the GDP per capita PPP at the start and end of the era, we can see that it reduced by 20.96%. Also, the negative trend after the end of the period of political chaos is best explained that it was caused by the political chaos itself, as the decrease happens continuously with the decline happening during the period of political chaos. The year with the greatest GDP per capita PPP is the same year that Acheampong loosened military control. It is also explained in the Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia that Limann was overthrown due to the lack of his ability to provide economic leverage, closing on the ties of economy and politics. 

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