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Title: An exploration of the relationship between customary land tenure and land use planning practices in Sub-Saharan Africa : evidence from Ghana
Author: Yeboah, Eric
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 8681
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is urbanising at a phenomenal rate, although largely on unplanned and unsustainable basis. This has resulted in the creation of negative externalities of urbanisation such as slums with an estimated 7 in 10 urban dwellers living in haphazardly designed settlements. Whereas some commentators attribute this state of affairs to the customary land tenure practices, others cite institutional ineptitude as the cause of the failed state of planning delivery. The aim of this thesis is to search for a more comprehensive understanding of the linkages between customary land tenure systems and other factors such as the institutional framework, and how these contribute to the defective state of land use planning regime in SSA. The first part of the research methodology reviewed the relevant literature in order to identify the theoretical issues relevant to the aim and objectives of the study. The literature survey also provided the basis for designing a methodology for the empirical research. In conducting the empirical research, the mixed method strategy (thus both quantitative and qualitative methods) was employed. A combination of questionnaire survey, interviews, focus group discussion and documentary materials were employed to examine the nature of relationship between customary land tenure, the state of planning institutions and land use planning in SSA using Ghana as the case study. In terms of the institutional setback for planning delivery, four challenges were identified as follows. Firstly, it was established that there is high incidence of political manipulation of the planning process for electoral gains. Secondly, it was also established that planning laws are generally obsolete and hardly ever relevant to the demands of modem conditions. Inadequate funding for planning activities was also found to be a major institutional setback for planning delivery. Finally, it was also identified that there is shortage of the needed human resource capacity to meet the growing demand for planning services. In terms of how customary land tenure practices contribute to ineffective land use planning, the study established that chiefs and tribal elites who are responsible for the management of customary lands unilaterally prepare 'land use plans' without the knowledge or endorsement of the designated planning authorities. In other instances too, chiefs alter duly prepared and approved land use plans. In both cases, they rely on unprofessional planners and surveyors. Therefore, plans prepared by unprofessional planners become the basis for guiding human settlement growth. The study also established that land title under customary tenure is generally insecure. This is because duly acquired land which is vacant may either be encroached upon, or may be allocated to other prospective developers by customary landholders. Therefore, developers hurriedly build on their land in an attempt to secure their land rights. In the process, these developers generally fail to comply with existing land use planning regulations. Based on findings from the study, it has been argued that there is the need for culture change in order to improve planning delivery. In this regard, the study recommends that future planning reforms should be pursued through public-private land management strategy such as land pooling. Other recommendations to ameliorate the institutional challenges are also offered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available