Abstract

This article explores the pent-up question of equitable distribution of land in Ghana using the Forest-Savanna Agroecological Zone as a case study. It focuses on the dichotomy of policy versus indigenous spirituality in contemporary distribution of land in Ghana. After independence several attempts have been made to restructure land title holding in Ghana by way of land registration. The effectiveness of these attempts is also examined. The paper concludes that Ghana needs pragmatic steps (policies) to confront the challenges of land distribution. And in taking these pragmatic policies, the religio-cultural underpinnings (the people`s worldview) of land issues in Ghana should be factored into the policy that will result. Anything short of this will make the implementation of any land policy in Ghana ineffective.

Acknowledgments

1. The term ‘indigenous’ is liable to shade of connotations. In view of this no a mean institution like the UN is reluctant to use it due to the unpleasant connotation that the term has assumed today. In this paper, however, the term ‘indigenous’ refers to original or aboriginal. Therefore, any reference to indigenous people in this paper should be understood as those people whose forebears founded settlements where they are found today and are glued to the customs and traditions of their forebears. In other words, they are the people who can lay legitimate claim to the land they are occupying today through ancestry. In this way, one may also refer to indigenous people as traditional people. For that reason, the two terms are used interchangeable in this discourse. By extension, the term ‘indigenous’ or’ traditional’ religion should also be understood as the religion of the people of Ghana before their encounter with Western European civilisation and religions like Christianity and Islam. 2. By tribal societies, we simply mean societies that are organised mainly on the kinship lines and may trace their origin or ancestry from one source. They are not directly comparable with reference groups or psychographic segments. They concentrate on the bonding or linking elements that keep individuals in the group. 3.Earth Yaa, Yaa is a name given by the Twi-speaking Akan to a baby girl born on a Thursday. Therefore, the Earth goddess was believed to have been created on a Thursday. 4.Among the Fante-speaking Akan, however, the Earth goddess was believed to have been created on a Friday, naming it Efua, a name given to a Friday born baby girl.

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