‘We are not the only ones to blame’: District Assemblies’ Perspectives on the state of planning in Ghana

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Eric Yeboah
Franklin Obeng-Odoom


Planning has failed to exert effective influence on the growth of human settlements in Ghana. As a result, the growth of cities has been chaotic. The district assemblies, which are the designated planning authorities, are commonly blamed for this failure, yet little attention has been given to district assemblies’ perspectives of what factors lead to failures in planning. This paper attempts to fill this gap. Drawing on fieldwork in Ghana, it argues that, from the perspective of district assemblies, five major challenges inhibit planning, namely: an inflexible land ownership system, an unresponsive legislative framework, undue political interference, an acute human resource shortage, and the lack of a sustainable funding strategy. The paper concludes with proposals for reforming the planning system in Ghana.

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How to Cite
Yeboah, E., & Obeng-Odoom, F. (1). ‘We are not the only ones to blame’: District Assemblies’ Perspectives on the state of planning in Ghana. Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, (7), 78-98. https://doi.org/10.5130/cjlg.v0i7.1893
Research and Evaluation (peer-reviewed)
Author Biographies

Eric Yeboah, Department of Civic Design, The University of Liverpool

Eric’s undergraduate degree was in Land Economy from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi-Ghana. After his graduation in 2006, he was retained by the Department of Land Economy to serve both as a Teaching and Research Assistant. Eric’s PhD principally focuses on developing a land management model that will ensure greater collaboration between customary land tenure systems and the machineries for land use planning in sub Sahara Africa. More about Eric's work can be seen at http://www.liv.ac.uk/civdes/researchstudents/Yeboah.htmHe can be contacted at e.yeboah@liv.ac.uk

Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Department of Political Economy, the University of Sydney

Franklin Obeng-Odoom is a Ph.D Candidate and a Teaching Fellow at the Department of Political Economy, the University of Sydney. His research interest is in economic development, focussing on the political economy of urbanisation, and debates in economic development. His research has appeared in journals such as Regional Studies, Cities, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Housing Studies, Habitat International, Development and Journal of Developing Societies. He is the Book Review Editor of Journal of International Real Estate and Construction Studies, and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Sustainable Development and African Review of Economics and Finance. More about Franklin's work can be seen at http://www.jjang.rgro.net/franklin.htmHe can be contacted at franklin.obeng-odoom@sydney.edu.au