Land Transactions and Chieftaincies in Southwestern Togo

Marco Gardini


Land access is becoming a crucial issue in many African contexts, where groups and individuals are coping with land scarcity and increasing competition over resources. Based on fieldwork carried out in the southwestern region of Togo, this paper explores the plurality and adaptability of the forms of land access that have historically emerged from changing economic and political landscapes characterized by the rise and the decline of cocoa cultivation. Moreover, it analyses the current strategies (from manipulation of group membership and land title registration to renegotiation of previous sharecropping agreements) subjects in asymmetrical power relations use to reinforce or contest rights over land in a context of rising social tensions.

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