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Formalization of Customary Tenure Practices and Customary Land Administration in Peri-Urban Ghana

Author Augustine FOSU
Director of thesis Prof. Dr. Tobias Haller
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

Contemporary debates on land policy in Sub-Saharan Africa have shifted from polarised discourses that previously promoted statutory land tenure or romanticized customary land tenure systems. Current land policies, usually supported by World Bank and other international lending agencies, have emphasized statutory recognition of customary land tenure systems and strengthening the capacity of customary land administration as a panacea to promote equitable land delivery, poverty alleviation, and tenure security. Nonetheless, in Ghana, the formalization of customary tenure practices has insulated the powers of traditional authorities by the state with less or no recognition of traditional councils and community members in land administration. The formalization of the customary tenure practices has removed all checks and balances in customary land administration and has also enabled traditional leaders to form a strong alliances with politicians. Traditional leaders are reinforced by the state and they define and redefine customs in their favor during land commodification. The consequences of traditional authorities’ conducts emerging from the formalization of customary tenure practices in the milieu of land commodification are land contestations, poor land delivery, lack of accountability on land transactions, and poor social relations between traditional authorities and indigenes, especially in peri-urban communities in Ghana. Accordingly, this study seeks to investigate how customary land tenure practices are formalized and the ways in which formalization of customary tenure practices transforms customary land institutions to modify customary land ownership, delivery, and accountability in peri-urban Ghana experiencing intensive land commodification for housing.

Status beginning
Administrative delay for the defence 2024