Building on “Traditional” Land Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Rural Ghana: Adaptive or Anachronistic?
2. Contemporary Hybrid Land Governance and Dispute Resolution in Ghana
3. Materials and Methods
3.1. Study Sites
4. Results and Discussion
4.1. Patterns of Land Disputes in Ankasa and Kakum
4.2. Household Experiences of Land-Related Disputes: A Plot-Level Analysis
Nature of Farmland Boundary Indicators of Household Plots
4.3. Dispute Resolution Pathways and Resolution Preference
‘Most people prefer an amicable settlement of their land-related disputes by making recourse to the Odikro and his elders as opposed to the court. This is due to several reasons, including the fact that the courts are expensive, delays in going to and fro and the fear of being labelled a litigant, which could affect or strain social relationships between families and friends in the community…’.(Interview 1, Kakum)
‘In this community we see ourselves as one, and as such, we try to resolve any disputes, especially in relation to land, amongst ourselves, sometimes even without seeking help from Odikro and his elders. Neglect of the customary structures could attract some scorn and/or sanctions from other members of the community…’.(Interview 1, Kakum)
4.3.1. Satisfaction with Local Dispute Resolution Mechanisms
‘If you are a settler farmer here and you have an issue over land with a Nzema [indigene], it is likely that the decision by the traditional authorities would favour your opponent due to his ethnicity. In the eyes of the chiefs, you, the stranger, cannot profess stronger ties to the land than the indigene as you only came to make a living…’.(Interview 1, Ankasa, June 2015)
4.3.2. Gendered Dimensions of Dispute Resolution Preference
5. Conclusions and Policy Implications
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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In instances where some household members managed their landholdings independently, they were also interviewed to capture specific variations in tenurial dynamics. This approach afforded an opportunity to capture the views of such household members (particularly female plot managers within male-headed households) who otherwise would have been excluded.
Twi is the most widely spoken language amongst the Akan tribal groupings of southern Ghana.
Recognising the sensitivity of land issues and the tendency for respondents to either exaggerate or withhold information about the subject, care was taken when soliciting respondents’ views on the incidence of land-related disputes in their respective communities. The question was approached from different angles to ascertain the factual situation on the ground.
The mean scores of communities were computed by aggregating individual responses to the statement divided by the total number of respondents surveyed in the respective communities.
At the time of the fieldwork, the Rural Parcels Rights Demarcation (RPRD) project had taken off on a pilot basis in the western, Ashanti and Brong Ahafo regions, focusing on demarcating 5118 farmlands in the afore-mentioned regions.
Odikro is the village chief or headman in the Akan traditional areas of southern Ghana.
|Statement||Severity of Land Disputes||Statement||Severity of Land Disputes|
|Kakum||Responses||Mean Score||Ankasa||Responses||Mean Score4|
|Have You Had a Dispute with Anyone Over This Plot?||Kakum Region||Ankasa Region|
|Household Plots||Household Plots|
|Total||(n = 29)||(n = 491)||(n = 73)||(n = 170)|
|Specific nature of the dispute|
|Farmland boundary disputes||50%||17%||43%||60%|
|Multiple claims to land||0%||19%||43%||20%|
|Breach of terms (sharecropping)||50%||60%||14%||20%|
|Other landlord–migrant disputes||0||4%||0||0|
|Total||(n = 4)||(n = 69)||(n = 7)||(n = 20)|
|Have You Sought Help with Land Dispute Resolution?||Kakum Region||Ankasa Region|
(N = 232)
(N = 148)
(n = 17)
(n = 215)
(n = 40)
(n = 108)
|Stool land office||0||1%||1%||0||0||0|
|Are You Satisfied with the Local Dispute Resolution Mechanisms?||Kakum Region||Ankasa Region|
(N = 232)
(N = 148)
(n = 17)
(n = 215)
(n = 40)
(n = 108)
|Yes||65%||74%||73%||83% **||57% **||64%|
|Are You Satisfied with the Local Dispute resolution Mechanism?||Kakum Region||Ankasa Region|
(N = 232)
(N = 148)
(n = 197)
(n = 35)
(n = 123)
(n = 25)
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Asaaga, F.A. Building on “Traditional” Land Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Rural Ghana: Adaptive or Anachronistic? Land 2021, 10, 143. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020143
Asaaga FA. Building on “Traditional” Land Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Rural Ghana: Adaptive or Anachronistic? Land. 2021; 10(2):143. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020143Chicago/Turabian Style
Asaaga, Festus A. 2021. "Building on “Traditional” Land Dispute Resolution Mechanisms in Rural Ghana: Adaptive or Anachronistic?" Land 10, no. 2: 143. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020143