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Non-utilisation of State lands and the implications of non-restitution for informal settlement development in Agbogbloshie, Accra Ghana

Yidaana, Yussif Hani (2021) Non-utilisation of State lands and the implications of non-restitution for informal settlement development in Agbogbloshie, Accra Ghana.

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Abstract:Government needs land to undertake development projects for national development but sometimes there is no readily available land. This is made possible through the use compulsory acquisition. Many studies have assessed compulsory acquisition and compensation but only few focuses on how the handling of such lands by the state influences the emergence and development of informal settlements. Hence the study examined how State practices of acquiring and managing public lands influence the development of informal settlements and informal tenure in Agbogbloshie in the city of Accra. In achieving this, a mixed method (Quan-Qual) approach was adopted. To understand the dynamics of compulsory acquisition resulting in informal settlement development in Agbogbloshie, extensive interviews of Key Informant, Questionnaire survey and Focus Group Discussions were conducted. In the research, the primary data determined the statutory procedures that guided compulsory acquisition of Agbogbloshie, rationale behind the land acquisition and the failure in its materialisation, government plans for the land, accessing land in Agbogbloshie, land rights in Agbogbloshie and restitution attempts. Whilst the secondary data reviewed existing documents such as reports, laws and scientific article on compulsory acquisition and matters arising. Spatial analysis method thus digital image classification was used to determine the spatial extent of Agbogbloshie between 2-time series. The study discovered that although government have the best of laws for compulsory acquisition, its implementation is very problematic especially due to the nature of land ownership in Ghana, late payment of compensations as well as political discontinuity. Secondly, the emergence of new de facto actors in land rights allocations (such as slumlords) within Agbogbloshie weakens the relative position of both government and traditional authorities on the ground. Thirdly, the government has not made any attempt to reserve the land back to its owners, but the original owners including the residents have made several attempts to get back their land officially, but to no avail. Unofficially, such efforts manifest in the rapid expansion of Agbogbloshie over the past decades. For example, the spatial development of the area shows how much land that was unoccupied in 2000 have now turned to Built-Up in 2020 and also how the area that was covered by water have now become Built-Up in 2020. The study thus draws a general conclusion that despite the pervasiveness of informal settlements in emerging cities across the global south, and the countless attempts by governments to ameliorate the menace, such attempts have rather been curative than preventive and that attention needs to be paid to how government itself provides the fertile ground for their emergence in the first instance. This study thus suggests that proactive land governance at the interface of key governance actors is key in handling informal settlements especially in pluralistic states.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
Link to this item:https://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88905
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