Governability of Customary Land Tenure Institutions: insights from Odupongkpehe Customary Area in Ghana

Anthony Acquah Mensah


Context and background

The role of customary land tenure institutions in land governance is immeasurable. Notwithstanding the enormous role of customary land tenure institutions in local land governance, they are fraught with problems. The governability of customary land tenure institutions is critical to good local land governance. The literature on has mainly focused on examining the role and capacity of customary land tenure institutions with very little attention to good local land governance indicators.

Goal and Objectives:

The goal of this paper is to assess the governability of the Odupongkpehe customary land tenure institution in the Awutu Senya East Municipal area of Ghana. The objectives of this paper are to examine the quality and capacity of the Odupongkpehe customary land tenure institution.


The study was conducted in the Awutu Senya Municipal area in Ghana. The concurrent mixed methods design was used for the study. Data were collected from 178 landowners and experts in customary and statutory land governance. Data were collected from 10th February to 24th February 2019. The semi-structured interview schedules used for data collection in this study was developed and pretested on 14th January 2019.


The results evinced that the governability of the customary land tenure institutions was poor because the institution failed to interact with the populace in the customary area. Furthermore, the customary institution did not have the capacity to govern since it was constrained by inadequate staff and logistics and did not collaborate with public land sector agencies. The study recommends the formulation and implementation of a Customary Land Secretariat policy to guide the activities of customary land governance structures.


Land; Customary Land Secretariat; Governability; Customary land tenure institutions; Ghana

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