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Interplay of land governance and large-scale agricultural investment: evidence from Ghana and Kenya

[journal article]

Nolte, Kerstin; Väth, Susanne Johanna

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Abstract This comparative analysis examines how large-scale agricultural land acquisitions are implemented in Ghana and Kenya, using embedded case studies of two specific investment projects. We find that insufficiencies in these countries' land governance systems are partly caused by discrepancies between de jure and de facto procedures and that powerful actors tend to operate in the legal grey areas. These actors determine the implementation of projects to a large extent. Displacement and compensation are highly emotive issues that exacerbate tensions around the investment. We also find that large-scale land acquisitions have a feedback effect on the land governance system, which suggests that large-scale land acquisitions can be drivers of institutional change. We suggest there may be a window of opportunity here to reform these land governance systems.
Keywords Ghana; Kenya; land utilization; agriculture; land policy; displacement; resettlement; compensation (law); developing country; foreign investment; land; governance; English-speaking Africa; West Africa; East Africa
Classification Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 69-92
Journal The Journal of Modern African Studies, 53 (2015) 1
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X14000688
ISSN 1469-7777
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.