DAAD MoE, 2014 – 2017
Millicent Awialie Akaateba
Costumary land delivery and urban planning pratice in peri-urban northern Ghana
Rapid urbanisation in many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, has precipitated increased conversion of peri-urban and, hitherto, rural lands into urban uses. In an African urbanisation process that has been described as predominantly parasitic and poverty-driven, access to urban land and housing remain problematic.
In Ghana, urban population growth, colonial and national government policies, neo-liberal globalisation and other local and global policies have synergistically mutated customary land tenure, culminating in the commodification of land, particularly in urban and peri-urban areas. Indigenous processes of access to land are being transformed as customary land tenure is interminably re-interpreted, re-invented and re-defined.
Peri-urban agricultural lands are progressively being transformed into residential use outside formal land use planning regulations. Under a dual land management system operating in legal pluralism, the complex and dissenting interface between this autonomous and sometimes collaborated peri-urban land conversions and formal attempts to regulate land use based on colonial / imported urban planning practices is the focus of this Ph.D study. Seen as an interface representing a clash of cultures or conflicting rationalities, the study explores the actors and processes involved in peri-urban land conversions and the messy reality of the application and muddling through of techno-rational-comprehensive urban planning models under 'neo-customary' land delivery systems in peri-urban northern Ghana.
The doctoral thesis is funded by Government Scholarship Ghana under the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD MoE).