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Land valorisation processes and state intervention in land management in peri-urban Accra, Ghana

Larbi, Wordsworth Odame; Antwi, Adarkwah; Olomolaiye, Paul


Wordsworth Odame Larbi

Adarkwah Antwi

Paul Olomolaiye
Pro Vice-Chancellor Equalities and Civic Engagement


There is a continuous debate as to whether indigenous land tenure systems in sub-Saharan Africa can support market-based decisions. Whether or not this is the case is crucial to the quest for appropriate institutional frameworks to harness the potential of the real estate sector. This paper, using evidence from Accra, Ghana, argues that well-defined markets in land exist where property rights are traded within the indigenous system of land ownership. Furthermore, such markets perform better in terms of land delivery and pricing than the market for state-owned lands, and are responsive to the land needs of all segments of the population. The paper further argues that state intervention, which is intended to redefine property rights within a dual ownership-regulation framework and set unattainable standards for land use planning and development, distorts the indigenous market. This makes actors operate in an extra-legal context. Recommended policy reforms include a redefinition of formal property rights to effectively incorporate indigenous rights and the lowering of planning and building standards.


Larbi, W. O., Antwi, A., & Olomolaiye, P. (2003). Land valorisation processes and state intervention in land management in peri-urban Accra, Ghana. International Development Planning Review, 25(4), 355-371.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2003
Journal International Development Planning Review
Print ISSN 1474-6743
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 4
Pages 355-371
Keywords land valorisation, state intervention, land management, Accra, Ghana
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