Examining Conflicts Over Land Acquisition and Ownership in Dormaa Traditional Area, Ghana


In Ghana, conflicts over land are ubiquitous largely due to competing views of ownership as well as diverse cultural and economic interests. In some cases, land conflicts are so contentious that it takes nearly three decades for coming up with any settlement. This paper focuses on the Dormaa traditional area, the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana, which has been traditionally important area for feeding the country with its rich and abundant food crops and poultries. The area shares boundaries with Cote D’Ivoire and has maintained unique trans-border relationships. People have typically claimed their possession of or usufructuary right to land in Dormaa under traditional or statutory authorities. Due to its proximity to Cote D’Ivoire, some claims have been made by those who live in this neighboring country, further complicating land disputes. This paper shows the results of our field research on land conflicts in Dormaa. It examines the impact of land related conflicts on economic activities. Interviews were conducted with a number of key informants. Results demonstrate that three major factors largely cause/exacerbate land conflicts sometimes leading to court litigations. First, the land under dispute is often not documented or surveyed properly. Second, people do not have reliable information about who has the authority to legalize/authorize the use of the land they have been using. Third, overlapping jurisdictions over land have debilitated the ability of the government and traditional chiefs to resolve the dispute. This paper also offers some recommendations to reduce conflicts in the study area.

Author Information
Benard Kwame Oppong-Kusi, University of Tsukuba, Japan
Kenichi Matsui, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICSEEHawaii2018
Stream: Security and Safety

This paper is part of the IICSEEHawaii2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon