Information for G00170
Land in Africa Conference November 8-9, 2004 Church House, London Report back from Group 4
Document begins: Land in Africa Conference November 8-9, 2004 Church House, London Report back from Group 4 The group heard analyses from three West African countries and Mozambique. A critique of locally owned land in Ghana in a neo liberal world suggested that the aim of international capital is to open up African economies to international capital, cut out the middleman, force individual farmers to absorb transaction costs, and hold them to contractual relationships backed up with moral coercion. Customary land holding is not pre colonial but defined by colonial rule. It makes the chief the labour boss answerable to the government, not to the people. These factors make land rights in Ghana "fragile and insecure". Up to 50% of small holders in parts of Ghana could be sharecroppers. Huge immigration into the cotton growing areas of Burkina Faso increasing by up to 10% in some years in the 1970s and 80s, created a land shortage by the 90s. There is no formal market in land that is effective and transparent. Land is transferred by a chief giving it to immigrants, by sales or, rarely, by leasing. Urban dwellers buy land for speculation and they want title deeds. Young ...