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Rita SEWORNU, Ghana and Michael BARRY, Canada
Drawing on the case of the systematic land titling project piloted in Dansoman, a suburb of
Accra, Ghana, this paper investigates why and how landholders, use or do not use land
registration when securing their land rights/transactions. Empirical evidence indicates that the
rate of property rights formalization in Ghana and other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa is low.
Land titling has been advocated by some policy makers and scholars as the answer to
insecurity of transactions/rights in land in sub-Saharan Africa. Widespread tenure insecurity
in urban areas and the low patronage of land registration raises two essential questions. First,
if securing claims/rights to land has become such an important issue for people, why are
landholders in Accra not using the land registration programmes? Secondly, if they do not use
land registration, how do they secure their tenure and secure transactions in land interests?
The study confirms the multi-faceted nature of the factors that influence landholders in
adopting a strategy to secure tenure. It also highlights the importance of both macro level and
local, micro level factors such as politics, history and culture and social change in explaining
registration usage or other strategies.
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