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Contentious politics over authority and control of the Cameroon development corporation’s surrendered land in Fako division-Cameroon


Sociology International Journal
Same Moukoudi Teclaire,1 Lotsmart Fonjong,2 Ayuk Agbor3

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Abstract

Land embodies power, wealth, and meaning, especially in Africa. Thus, analysing the dynamics of land access and their effects thereof requires and examination how land is accessed, the actors and institutions that mediate access and the strategies used by different groups to gain access and control. This paper is guided by the interactionist approach entwined around the theories of theory of ‘Power’ and that of ‘Access’. We explore how power relations and the institutional/regulatory frameworks enabled or constrained practices by which people gain access to land in Cameroon’s administrative division of Fako. The paper reveals that the fragmented and overlapping mosaics mechanisms of land governance and territorial control, have a direct impact on local people (Bakweri)’s realities including their agency to respond to changes in the politico-legal and social framework. These are not just arenas of negotiation but also of social disputes and conflicts. We agree in our analysis with several authors who have observed that access to land is often contested and conflictual as political and economic forces constantly transform land relations. In fact, in Cameroon, politico-legal institutions continue to exist in parallel with customary institutions. However, the issue arises when local actors try to secure their rights to natural resources by having their customary access claims recognized as legitimate property by politico-legal institutions.

Keywords

people, history, global

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