The Mirror Lifestyle Content

Psychology of workers' performance assessment in Ghana

Psychology of workers' performance assessment in Ghana

Professor Stephen Adei, former chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, has said that research he had conducted showed that Ghanaian workers were among the least productive in the world when they worked in their country and not abroad.


In an interview with a local television station last week, Prof. Adei said one of his surprising findings was that Togolese workers in Ghana were more productive than Ghanaians.

“The Ghanaian worker is one of the least in the world when they are in Ghana. About 10 years ago, the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences asked me to give a lecture on productivity in Ghana.

 So, I was forced to do some research and I found that in Africa, given the same conditions, qualifications and everything else, the Ghanaian worker was among the least productive workers in Africa.”

‘’To me, what shocked me was that the Togolese worker was more productive than the Ghanaian, which I wanted to see evidence of. ‘’So, I started looking at Togolese workers and construction in Ghana, their productivity is far superior to the Ghanaian worker; mason, electrician and everything else,” he said.

“Their productivity is far superior to Ghanaian workers; masons, electricians, tailors and others. People think they are Ghanaians because they speak Ewe, but they are not Ghanaians.

“And some of the construction people look for them because of their quality work,’’ he said. Prof. Adei explained that one of the reasons for the abnormality was the white colour job mentality in Ghana, which had remained in the country since independence.

“I think one of the worst legacies of colonialism in Ghana, in particular, is the government-work mentality. “The mentality fostered a culture of complacency, especially in the civil service," he added.

In Ghana, he further said, productivity was not just low, but also, Ghanaian workers deliberatively tried to sabotage their compatriots who owned the businesses. He added that employers looked out for Togolese workers due to their higher productivity levels.

Prof. Adei considered his findings on the Ghanaian worker's low productivity as a major challenge to the economy. That is correct, and if the problem is not solved quickly, Ghana could have foreigners in control of the strategic and top heights of the Ghanaian economy.

Inherent in the findings of Prof. Adei on the productivity of Ghanaian workers at home vis-a-vis their foreign counterparts in Ghana, are relevant issues that remained hidden for a long time and are yet to be brought forward and dealt with.

Why should Ghana, with its superior high academic training institutions, produce professionals who are less productive than their African counterparts? The causes of the problem are rooted in the world of the seen and unseen; that is, they are rooted in the prevailing national and global psycho-physical environments.

Ghana’s institutions of higher learning have been ranked as some of the best in Africa. There is no evidence that training at Ghanaian universities has fallen below standards.

Are the excessive emphasis put on academy learning and first-class academy performance against creative and productive training, not the main causes? In the past, the natural sciences such as Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics were disciplines where it was difficult for a candidate to get a grade of B.

Today, it is easy for many Ghanaian candidates to score several A1s in the natural sciences. Prof. Plange Rhule and Prof. Badu-Akosa, both accomplished veteran medical doctors, had once commented on the development.

They had said they were surprised because, in their time at the secondary school, no candidate was able to score A1. So, none of them were able to get to medical school, then, with an A1 grade.

Last March 2024, it was reported that three Ghanaian West African Examination Council senior high school candidates had won three top international excellence awards that recognised candidates with outstanding performance at the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Two of the three awardees are presently studying medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the third is now a student at the Ashesi University.

To qualify for the award, a candidate must get an A1 grade in at least eight subjects, including English, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Health Sciences and Integrated Science, plus an A1 in one of the core subjects.

Last year, two Ghanaian candidates, among the three WAEC awardees, came from Ghana. The Director General of Ghana Education Service, Dr Eric Nkansah, has stated the following on the matter: “We are proud of our students for their consistent performance at the WASSCE.


“Last year, two out of three were from Ghana and this year, we are here again and this time round, we have taken all three awards.” The situation is ironic. At the academic performance level, Ghana performed very high. But at the professional level, performance was low.

Where lies the problem?

The problem is rooted in the psychological dispositions of the Ghanaian students and their trainers. There is too much pumping in of knowledge and less creative and skills training.

When that happens, a part of the human brain is trained or focused persistently to absorb knowledge, while that part of the brain that translates knowledge into creativity and productivity is neglected and becomes dormant.

It is a fixation that does not help us to “eat our cake and have it”. Training students to obtain very high scores at examinations comes at a cost or price. The economist calls it the “opportunity cost”.


Learning hard to obtain very high marks, for example, six to eight A1s comes at a cost. That cost is performance at the workplace. The part of the brain that promotes creative and productive skills is left dormant at the school level because it is not activated and trained.

At the workplace, how and why is it expected to obtain high-performance assessment scores? The comparative productivity study of the Ghanaian worker vis-a-vis the other African nationals in Ghana shows that the problem is more grounded in the psycho-physical.

When Ghanaian worker works abroad, he/she performs better. At home, his/her productivity is lower than his/her African counterparts in Ghana. I truly believe the problem rests, squarely, in the psycho-physical domain. Abroad, the psycho-physical environment helps the Ghanaian to perform better. At home, he/she is frustrated psychologically.

I have been observing and studying the impact of Future Shock or Culture Shock and the global surge in psychic power acquisition and dominance (The Search for Psychic Power (1975) by David Hammond).


In the 1990s, my Afra Research Centre sent a paper to the office of President Jerry John Rawlings, on my findings. My research found that nationals from neighbouring African countries got into Ghana and cloned themselves into Ghanaians – making them appear exactly like Ghanaians.

Cloning makes the outer man of the alien look like a Ghanaian, but the inner core is foreign to Ghanaian cultures and traditions. His/her distinct non-Ghanaian inner-core attributes act as the catalyst.

It is unseen because it is psychic and the catalytic element seeks to dominate and exercise its hidden hegemony on the unwary Ghanaian psyche. It is, therefore, not surprising if a Togolese, Nigerian or other non-Ghanaian worker in Ghana, performs better at the workplace than the Ghanaian.

I wrote and published in the Daily Graphic, an article – Artificial-Birth Population Increases in Ghana, to explain the abnormal population increases of the 1990s. Prof. Adei’s study of the productivity of the Ghanaian at work in his own country in comparison with that of workers of neighbouring African countries reveals the truth that Ghana is lagging in recognising and adapting to the realities of the 21st Century.

Alvin Toffler (1928-2016) in his books: The Third Wave (1980); Future Shock (1970) and Power Shift: knowledge, wealth and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century (1990) – has several decades ago drawn the world’s attention to the future that is now breaking in, not only on Ghana and Ghanaians but also on the world and humanity.
Ghanaians ignore Alvin Toffler’s projections and those of other futurists at their own risk.

 Email:  [email protected]

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...