Ghana is rated 4th among twenty (20) biggest cocaine consuming countries in the world, according to the latest Word Drugs Report 2017, released on Friday, October 20, 2017.
Worse is that Ghana is the second biggest transit country in Africa.
According to the report, “In the short term, an inflow of drug money can
boost investment and local gross domestic product. But the long-term effects tend to be negative, particularly when drug-related proceeds comprise a sizeable portion of the total economy of a community or a country.”
In this scenario, the report noted that drug money has the potential to inflate property prices, distort export figures, create unfair competition, reinforce skewed income and wealth distributions and increase corruption.
The report explained that in the process, legitimate businesses, without access to illicit funds, may be squeezed out of the market and new legitimate investments may not take place.
“The rise of an illicit economy helps to weaken the rule of law and facilitates corruption, which in turn reinforces the illicit drug sector,” the report added.
The report suggested that an injection of laundered money, including from illicit drug activities, was associated with reductions in overall annual economic growth rates, particularly in smaller and less developed countries.
“One estimate, based on a study of 17 countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, suggests that a $1 billion increase in money-laundering could reduce overall economic growth by between 0.03 and 0.06 percentage points,” the report added.
Story: Kofi Owusu Tawiah