International Development Planning Review

Indigenes' and migrants' access to land in peri-urban areas of Accra, Ghana

International Development Planning Review (2008), 30, (2), 177–198.

Abstract

In many parts of the developing world, it has been observed that growing population pressure and the development of market economies as a cause and consequence of urbanisation are leading to significant changes in land tenure practices and related rights. Increasingly, land rights in urban and peri-urban areas are becoming more individualised and privatised, in contrast to communal or usufruct rights. Using questionnaire surveys and focus group discussions, this article explores migrants' and indigenes' access to peri-urban land in Ghana's largest metropolis, Accra. The study found that an increase in land transactions due to the emergence of land markets in this land-scarce area of Ghana is resulting in usufruct and inheritance rights over land under customary tenure regimes no longer being guaranteed, as many people belonging to land-owing families (indigenes) in peri-urban Accra are left to compete for less land with migrants or strangers. The implications of this situation for urban development in Ghana are explored.

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Owusu, George