Property rights and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa: a case study of North-East Ghana

John Bugri, Peter Glaves, Robert Broughton Ridgway

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Land tenure is the institutional framework within which access to and use of land and environmental resources are achieved. Thus, property rights have a crucial role to play in the attainment of sustainable development. The relevance of sustainable development practices to sub-Saharan Africa cannot be overemphasized. However, due to the urgent need to overcome poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, balancing the environmental, economic and social goals of development is an extremely difficult task in the region. Using both qualitative and quantitative data from North-East Ghana, the linkages between property rights and sustainable development are examined. The evidence adduced shows that the main factors that undermine the prospects of achieving sustainable development are inappropriate agricultural practices, high levels of poverty, lack of environmental knowledge and demographic conditions. The way forward for the concept of sustainable development to be realized, is a systems approach that emphasizes sustainable agricultural practices and poverty reduction measures leading to sustainable livelihoods. The paper concludes that political will and commitment on the part of governments and civil society groups are crucial if sustainable development is to be achieved.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReal Estate and Development Economics Research Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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