Legal Pluralism, Land Tenure and the Production of Nomotropic Urban Spaces in Post-colonial Accra, Ghana

Photo by Angela Cobbinah, Who really governs urban Ghana, Africa Briefing.

Photo by Angela Cobbinah, Who really governs urban Ghana, Africa Briefing

Published in Geography Research Forum, “Legal Pluralism, Land Tenure and the Production of “Nomotropic Urban Spaces” in Post-colonial Accra, Ghana” explores the legal duality that exists in urban Accra, Ghana, reflected in its customary and statutory legal land systems. The author communicates two key arguments: 1) ‘truly’ informal spaces in Accra, Ghana may only apply when both statutory and customary legal land systems are violated, and 2) the urban poor have little or no motivation to comply with customary and/or statutory legal land systems because of increasing land prices and other bureaucratic processes which increase transaction costs pertaining to land. 

The ideas from this research are currently being used to design a study about equitable land tenure arrangements among small-holder farmers in Ghana. This will form part of series of projects under the PLAN-REFUGE, Ghana—an initiative established by Professor Samina Raja and the Food Systems Lab at UB. The ultimate goal is to provide evidence for national and subnational policymakers about the urgent need for favorable land arrangements especially for urban and peri-urban small-holder farmers. 

Frimpong Boamah, E. & Walker, M. (2017). Legal Pluralism, Land Tenure and the Production of “Nomotropic Urban Spaces” in Post-colonial Accra, Ghana. Geography Research Forum. 36, 86-109. 

Emmanuel Frimpong Boamah

Co-lead, Food Equity Team; Assistant Professor

Urban and Regional Planning and Community for Global Health Equity

Related Publication

Frimpong Boamah, E., Sumberg, J., & Raja, S. (2020). Farming within a dual legal land system: An argument for emancipatory food systems planning in Accra, Ghana. Land Use Policy, 92, 104391.