Critical Notes on Northern Ghana’s Development: History, Geography, Institutions, Politics, and Development in Contention

M. H. A. Bolaji (Editor)
Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies (SPHS), FIDS, University for Development Studies (UDS), Ghana

Agnes Atia Apusigah, Ph.D. (Editor)
Faculty of Education, University for Development Studies, Ghana

Series: African Political, Economic, and Security Issues
BISAC: POL053000



Volume 10

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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This is an edited book whose themes address the myriad of social, economic, political, cultural, and religious problems that analysts attribute to northern Ghana’s under-development. This collection of 15 chapters – including the introductory and concluding chapters – is written by seasoned academics, researchers, practitioners, and professors. The book consists of three parts: Northern Ghana’s Under-Development and Northerners’ Complicity; Chieftaincy, Conflicts and Peace-Building; and Policy, Politics, and Social Development.

While the book deals with the complex subjects of northern Ghana’s under-development, its analyses are cutting-edge and down-to-earth. This collection presents the political, economic, legal, religious, governance, social issues that are at the heart of northern Ghana’s development. Where the arguments need graphic illustration, the authors have painstakingly provided diagrams, tables, and figures. Of interest to this collection is that although the contributing authors present their various explanations and ideas on this aspect of the research on northern Ghana’s development, they give readers the prime place of making sense of the subject for themselves. The writing styles that the contributing authors adopt are engaging and thrilling.

Besides that the chapters are well documented to meet the accepted scholarly conventions, the language is lucid and straightforward. While the contributing authors come from diverse scholarly backgrounds, the editors have tried to reduce the variations in presentation and style to aid easy comprehension. The issue of northern Ghana’s under-development has not only been topical, but it has also been a concern to many Ghanaian politicians, scholars, and development partners. As part of understanding the nature and context of northern Ghana, government, non-governmental organizations and development need scholarly research to back the oftentimes programmatic research conducted. Such programmatic research such as baselines, situational assessments, and rapid appraisal although they have their own merit in generating data for development interventions, they have tended to lack a comprehensive understanding of the northern situation. Even for such programmatic assessments, some academic studies are necessary for grounding the analyses. Yet, such studies are often scanty and/or partial in tackling the northern Ghana question. This book fills that gap. Its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary theme is of particular appeal to students of history, politics, geography, development studies, ethnic and conflict studies, and legal studies, among others.


Chapter 1. The Complex Maze of History, Geography, Institutions, and Politics: The Quagmire of Northern Ghana’s Development
(M. H. A Bolaji and A. A. Apusigah, Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies (SPHS), FIDS, University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana, and others)

Chapter 2. Cultural Impediments to Development in Northern Ghana: Personal Experiences
(Wyatt MacGaffey, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, USA)

Chapter 3. In Search of Moses: The Entrepreneurial Leadership Disconnect and Stuttering Development Agenda of Northern Ghana
(Hippolyt. A. S. Pul, Institute of Peace and Development, Tamale, Ghana)

Chapter 4. A Trilateral Blame Game of Northern Ghana’s Underdevelopment: The British Colonial Administration, the Post-Colonial Governments or the “Beasts within”?
(Mariama Marciana Kuusaana, Department of History and Political Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology (KNUST), Ashanti, Ghana)

Chapter 5. The Political Economy of Conflict and Peace: Interrogating Chieftaincy and Ethnic Conflicts in Northern Ghana
(Awaisu Imurana Braimah and Cletus Kwaku Mbowura, Department of Political Science, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, and others)

Chapter 6. A Checkered Legal Pluralism and the Dagbon Succession Conflict: Modernity and Tradition as Inharmonious Bedfellows
(M. H. A. Bolaji, Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies (SPHS), FIDS, University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana)

Chapter 7. Brother to Brother, Sister to Sister Talk: Resolving the Dagbon Chieftaincy Dispute Using the Lenses of Restorative Justice
(Hippolyt. A. S. Pul, Institute of Peace and Development, Tamale, Ghana)

Chapter 8. Colonial Tyranny or African Initiative? Chieftaincy among the Dagara and Sisala of North-Western Ghana
(Carola Lentz, Department of Anthropology and African Studies, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany)

Chapter 9. "This Situation Is Incongruous in the Extreme": The History of Land Policies in the Upper Regions of Ghana
(Christian Lund, Development of Resource Management and Governance, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark)

Chapter 10. Public Education Spending in Northern Ghana: Implications for Regional Inequality
(Abdul-Gafaru Abdulai, Department of Public Administration, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)

Chapter 11. Rethinking Northern Ghana’s Development in the Context of the Fourth Republic
(Agnes Atia Apusigah, Faculty of Education, University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana)

Chapter 12. Youth Outmigration from Northern Ghana: Male-Female Dynamics
(Felicia Safoa Odame and Emmanuel Wedam, Department of Social, Political and Historical Studies (SPHS), FIDS, University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana, and others)

Chapter 13. The Savannah Accelerated Development (Programme) Authority: A Panacea for Underdevelopment in Northern Ghana?
(Fauster Agbenyo and Dominic Degraft Arthur, Department of Planning, University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana, and others)

Chapter 14. Weathering the Storm: Northern Ghana’s Development and the Need for a New Political Engineering
(A. A. Apusigah and M. H. A Bolaji, Faculty of Education (FoE), University for Development Studies (UDS), Tamale, Ghana, and others)


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