(Un)safe living in Ghana An analysis of data from the World Economic Forum

In our daily lives we’re vulnerable to crimes and abuses of all sorts. Our goods may be stolen, someone in a position of power may force us to sell our property at an unfairly low price, our physical integrity may be threatened by malevolent individuals – and so on.

To cope with such vulnerabilities, we rely on courts of law and on police. The independence, accessibility and reliance of these institutions are of paramount importance for our ability to live in a safe environment.

So how safely do we live in Ghana?

To find out, we looked at the relevant data produced by the World Economic Forum (WEF) via expert surveys and published each year in WEF’s Global Competitiveness Report. We explored the data from 2016 and 2019 because 2016 was an election year and 2019 the most recent year for which data are available.

Here are the data.

In 2016, Ghana scored 4.6 (out of a maximum of 7) for judicial independence. Ghana’s ranking for this indicator was 46 (out of 136 surveyed countries). In 2019, Ghana’s score for judicial independence was 4.1. We were ranked 57 out of 141 surveyed countries.

Ghana’s judicial independence decreased both in value and in rank. In 2019, Ghana’s value for judicial independence declined at the 2012 level, which means all the advancements made during John Mahama’s Presidency were lost.

In 2016, Ghana scored 4.6 for organized crime, being ranked 82nd out of 136 countries. In 2019, Ghana’s score for the same indicator was 4.3, and we were ranked 92nd out of 141 countries.

This means that Ghana is more permeable to organized crime in 2019 than in 2016. Nana Akufo-Addo’s Presidency and the NPP Government helped, willingly or not, the organized crime to flourish.

Again, in 2016 Ghana’s score for the reliability of police services was 4.7. Our country was ranked 58th out of 136. In 2019, Ghana scored 4.1 for the same indicator, being ranked 89th out of 141 countries.

The reliability of police services collapsed during Nana Akufo-Addo’s Presidency and the NPP Government, which means ordinary Ghanaians are far less secure today than in 2016 – while, at the same time, organized crime gained more immunity (see the scores for organized crime and judicial independence above).

All in all, the data are pointing towards only one conclusion: Ghanaians are living significantly less safer lives today, because the judiciary is less independent, the police less reliable and the organized crime on the rise.

These developments make us more vulnerable to abuse than we were in 2016.

The 2016 Global Competitiveness Report is available here: https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-competitiveness-report-2016-2017-1.

The 2019 Global Competitiveness Report is available here: https://www.weforum.org/reports/how-to-end-a-decade-of-lost-productivity-growth.

GhanaNana Akufo-AddoOrganised CrimePublic Safety

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