A World Bank Discourse and Ghanaian Realities; A discourse study on the Land Administration Project in Ghana and its effect on women’s land security

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This thesis researches the following question: What discourses on land tenure systems can be identified in the case of the World Bank’s Land Administration Project in Ghana, and what effects do these discourses have on the program’s policies and consequently on women’s land security in Ghana? The academic debate on customary tenure is ongoing. As some researchers emphasize opportunities of customary tenure practices, other inquiries show how reinforcement of customary tenure systems creates windows of opportunity for traditional authorities to abuse their power. Three discourses on land tenure in this project were distinguished; a discourse wherein modernization and economic prosperity is the main goal; a discourse displaying a high level of trust in traditional authorities and a discourse wherein women remain in the background. Concludingly, the World Bank seems to underestimate the complexities of women’s land tenure security. There was insufficient attention paid to opportunistic politics involved with customary land systems, undermining women’s land accessibility. Furthermore, insufficient plans were made to support women in overcoming their fragile position, or these plans were not monitored properly. Since there is a risk of organizations taking over these policies, the World Bank has a responsibility to put effort into studies to better understand customary systems.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen