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Diligence on Land Acquisition, Benefit Sharing and Mitigation of Unintended Consequences: Case Study of Irrigation Investment in Northern Ghana

By: Paul De Wit, Simon Norfolk

This paper argues that private investors making large-scale land acquisitions should have a natural economic interest in reducing the risk of conflicts related to their acquisitions. Many investors, including some engaged in the case study area of northern Ghana, try to minimize negotiation costs by ignoring traditional or customary land tenure systems and negotiate solely with national governments or private parties. Neglecting the complexity of circumstances on the ground can lead to conflict over tenure and land access and can ultimately derail an investment. The authors argue that proactive engagement with local communities and customary tenure systems, with the aim of mutual and transparent understanding between communities and investors concerning the sharing of benefits and possible negative impacts, represents the most favorable option for both investors and local communities.

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Uploaded on: Jul 25, 2015
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2014
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