This paper reviews the anti-corruption reforms pursued by three key donors in Ghana: the World Bank, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development and the United States Agency for International Development. The extent to which the anti-corruption efforts of these donors are undercut by China's emerging influence as an alternative source of development assistance with 'no-strings' attached is also outlined.
The findings suggests that, while significant legislative reforms in public financial management have been successfully implemented with donor assistance, some other efforts have been unproductive because of an apparent lack of political will. Overall, donor anti-corruption support can best be described as a work in progress. All the same, the key leverage used by donors, the provision of aid, is being tested by China's approach to development assistance as a straightforward business transaction without the good governance proviso.
The fact that Beijing lent more to developing countries than the World Bank between 2009 and 2010 is evidence of this test. Donors face a challenge in addressing this scenario through the 'quiet diplomacy' technique they maintain in Ghana. What is required is effective collaboration with civil society, as donors may be limited in their approach owing to their diplomatic status. The combined determination of a balanced and vibrant media, an active and well-resourced civil society, in concert with impartial donor pressure, can serve as a formidable bloc in Ghana's anti-corruption reform process.