Newly independent nations and large engineering projects: the case of the Volta River Project

Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph and Osabutey, Ellis L. C. (2018) Newly independent nations and large engineering projects: the case of the Volta River Project. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 14 (2/3) . pp. 154-169. ISSN 1742-2043 [Article] (doi:10.1108/cpoib-12-2016-0071)

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (192kB) | Preview


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explicate how newly independent nations combined local and international resources to plan and build large engineering projects aimed at enhancing economic development. It discusses the key factors and issues related to the planning and building of the Akosombo dam and related townships from 1962 to 1967.

Design/methodology/approach: Archival information from the Volta River Authority (VRA) together with other archival government data and interview transcripts before, during and after the completion (from the 1950s to the 1960s) of the Volta River Project (VRP)
Findings: The paper presents insights from the Volta River Project in newly independent Ghana and demonstrates how multiple international firms combine with host country stakeholders to usher in one of the most important engineering projects in post-colonial Africa. It also highlights how poor bargaining power and weak integration of projects to future development objectives, with negligence by succeeding political actors could inhibit the full achievement of intended long-term project outcomes.

Research Limitations/implications: Most of the conclusions are drawn from a single project within one country and would need to be supported by additional multi-country research. The study also presents an opportunity to explore how lessons learnt could influence policymaking in new large and complex infrastructure projects.

Originality/value: The paper reviews antecedents, processes and outcomes of a major post-independence infrastructure project in a sub-Saharan African country.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 23118
Notes on copyright: This is the accepted version of the manuscript "Newly independent nations and large engineering projects: the case of the Volta River Project", published in the journal "Critical Perspectives on International Business" available via the journal site at: This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here ( Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Ellis Osabutey
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 14:24
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:57

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.