2001 volume 33(6) pages 997 – 1014

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Grant R, 2001, "Liberalization policies and foreign companies in Accra, Ghana" Environment and Planning A 33(6) 997 – 1014

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Liberalization policies and foreign companies in Accra, Ghana

Richard Grant

Received 24 June 2000; in revised form 16 February 2001

Abstract. Globalization in the periphery of the world economy is a poorly understood phenomenon. Africa is stereotypically 'excluded' from globalization, and research has not clarified that general negative assessment for specific places in Africa. To redress this deficiency, I examine globalization empirically from the ground upwards through an analysis of foreign companies. Primary and secondary data were collected at the local level to examine the nature and extent of foreign corporate activity in Accra, Ghana. The evidence points to growing inclusion in, rather than exclusion from, the world economy, to increasing service-sector rather than extractive-sector investment, and to foreign companies producing for local and regional markets as well as for international markets. Foreign companies employ a range of strategies to embed themselves in the local market: establishing joint ventures, developing local products, joining national stock markets, and historicizing their presence in the market. This study reemphasizes the need for place-specific fieldwork to enable us to make accurate statements about globalization in particular locations.

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