The Land of the Chiefs and the Land of the State - What happens after an acquisition in Ghana?
Citation:OFORI, ADWOA SERWAA, The Land of the Chiefs and the Land of the State - What happens after an acquisition in Ghana?, Trinity College Dublin.School of Natural Sciences, 2020
AOFORI_PHD_THESIS_FINAL_SUBMISSION II.pdf (PDF) 3.089Mb
In Africa the importance of land cannot be overstated given that many rural livelihoods depend on farming for subsistence. Yet, where international land acquisitions are concerned, the majority take place on the African continent. Academic scholarship emphasizes the impacts that result from these transactions: for example, decreased land holdings, compromised food security, population displacement and loss of livelihoods. The literature thus sheds light on the type of impacts that arise but appears not to elicit whether these impacts are differentiated and if so why and across which contexts. Such contexts however are significant within the African setting where there exist a heterogeneity of ethnic groups, traditions/cultures and in some countries differing land ownership and tenure types. The specifics in terms of how effects could manifest across different ethnicities in a locality (when some are of a non-originary status) also does not emerge in the literature. Additionally, there may be the emergence of impacts in the wider vicinity but how and why such effects would be produced in the adjacent communities do not appear to be drawn out in the literature. Using Ghana as a case study, this study seeks to examine comparatively the livelihood implications of land acquisitions within and across communities internal to the acquisition areas in the land of the chiefs and the land of the state. The interrogation is then extended to the adjacent community to ascertain how and why impacts are produced in the wider vicinity and comparatively, the differentiation in effects between villages located internal and external to acquisition areas. In examining these issues, the study utilised a qualitative strategy with the employment of interviews, focus group discussions, document reviews and observation. The study found that following a large-scale land acquisition there was differentiation in effects. Livelihood impacts get refracted through the particular land tenure type as well as the social structures and the differentials in positionality as determined by ethnicity and originary status. Within communities internal to the acquisition areas, there was the uneven distribution of impacts on the basis of ethnicity and the associated rights, or lack thereof, to land. Across communities internal to the acquisition areas, there was the differentiation of impacts on the basis of land tenure types. Thus livelihood implications cannot be generalised in areas internal to acquisitions. The study also revealed that the livelihood impacts could be transferred beyond the vicinity of the acquisition to the adjacent locality. This predominantly stemmed from human sensitivities such as compassion, sympathy, and conceptions of appropriate behaviour and the 'right' response, giving rise to a sense of moral obligation and the emergence of a moral economy. It was also as a result of the ethnic dynamics which engendered solidarity networks. Where impacts are homogenous, then similar strategies for addressing these can be employed across communities. However where differentiated impacts exist under varying contexts or there is the emergence of effects in the wider vicinity, then this enlightens on the need to separately consider the potential implications within communities and to the adjacent community. This is in order to tailor interventions such as mitigation strategies or pre-/post- acquisitions assessments to the communities in question (on the basis of the contexts in which they are affected).
Trinity College Dublin (TCD)
Author: OFORI, ADWOA SERWAA
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Natural Sciences. Discipline of Geography
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available