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Ethnicity and the Making of History in Northern Ghana$
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Carola Lentz

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624010

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624010.001.0001

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Decolonisation and Local Government Reform

Decolonisation and Local Government Reform

Chapter:
(p.175) 7 Decolonisation and Local Government Reform
Source:
Ethnicity and the Making of History in Northern Ghana
Author(s):

Lentz Carola

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624010.003.0008

This chapter explores how local and national politics intertwined in North-Western Ghana during the decolonisation period, and considers the complex interplay between elements of continuity and change resulting from new linkages with national power blocks. Conflicts over landownership, political authority, local citizenship and taxes, which had first become manifest upon the introduction of indirect rule, set in anew under local government reform. At the heart of these debates were three controversial issues: the relationship between earth-shrine parishes and chiefdoms; the role that the distinctions between first-comers and late-comers, between landowners and settlers, should play in the new political order; and the disputes that arose over the political authority to which farmers who continued to farm in more than one locality should pay their taxes. In all these debates, ethnicity continued to serve as a basis for legitimating administrative boundaries and political rights, though ethnic identities were (re-)defined more narrowly or widely by local actors according to their political interests.

Keywords:   North-Western Ghana, politics, decolonisation, landownership, political authority, local citizenship, taxes, local government reform, earth-shrine parishes, chiefdoms

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