1.1 average manufacturing growth since 2000 was 10 percent

1.1  Background of Study.

The unrelenting demand for scarce land resources has rocketed in this period of rapid urbanisation, thereby raising global interest on sustainable land uses through good land governance (Akrofi & Whittal, 2010). Good land governance requires the use of policies, processes, and institutions to ensure the proper management of land (Bugri, 2012). In this quest, city authorities’ employ land use plans as a key technique in managing urban lands, which are presented in the form of residential, commercial, industrial, educational land use among others. Among these land uses, studies have revealed that zoning more lands for industrial activities to support industrialisation is one means to enhance productivity and employment (Zhu, 2000; Needham, Louw, & Metzemakers, 2013).

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In addition, a plethora of research has exposed the economic growth benefits of industrialisation, popularly called ‘the engine of growth’ (Pieper, 2000; Kiss, 2002; Tregenna, 2009; Page, 2013). Industrialisation, which began after the World War II, raised the economy of the western world. Many developing countries, on the other hand, were also not exempted from industrialisation process, although their regime occurred later in the 1960s and mostly after attaining political independence (Morris & Fessehaie, 2014; UNU-WIDER, 2016). Low developing countries received many economic benefits from industrialisation. In a year, between 1960 and 1970, industrial growth on the average was more than 7 percent in many African countries like Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Tunisia, Tanzania, and Senegal; and in Cambodia and Vietnam, the yearly average manufacturing growth since 2000 was 10 percent (UNU-WIDER, 2016). These economic potentials have made industrial lands one prime land use for city development.

Sadly, between 1960 and 1970, the economic returns from industrialisation saw a drastic decline leading to the collapse and runaway of many firms in the developed countries, causing a decline in productivity, employment, and GDP (Lever, 1991; Harrison, 2007). The existence of abandoned old industrial lands, properties and brownfield industrial zones in cities such as: Glasgow, Shenyang, Budapest: are also another significant indicator (Lever, 1991; Gross, 1993; Kiss, 2002; Loomis, Richardson, Bene, & Bailer, 2004; Montresor & Marzetti, 2011; Ren, et al., 2015). Similarly, from 1975 to 2005, manufacturing industries in Tanzania, Kenya, and Nigeria have declined in output, living elements of abandoned old industrial lands, brownfield sites and vacant industrial properties (Page, 2013; UNU-WIDER, 2016). Studies have identified that global unfavourable conditions, and transition to tertiary/service economic dominated sectors, mostly instigated this change (eg. Lever, 1991; Loomis, Richardson, Bene, & Bailer, 2004; Montresor & Marzetti, 2011). In response, many developed and the less developed nations adopted brownfield redevelopment and revitalisation projects for their old abandoned industrial sites (Gilderbloom, Meares, & Riggs, 2014; Ren, et al., 2015). Most of which have led to the reuse of old industrial lands into commercial centres, offices, and mixed uses (Collaton & Bartsch, 1996; Kiss, 2002; Hamnett & Whitelegg, 2007).

It is believed that Ghana was the first to have set the tone to industrialised in Africa, beginning with the Import Substitution Industrialisation Strategy (ISI) and subsequently the private-led industrial strategy (Quartey, 2006; Ackah, Adjasi, & Turkson, 2014; UNU-WIDER, 2016). These initiatives led to the establishment of manufacturing companies, light industries, and industrial parks in major cities like Kumasi, Accra, Takoradi, Tema, and Sekondi. Notable among the industrial parks are the Ashanti Technology Park, Accra-Tema industrial area, Sekondi and Shama industrial zones (Ackah, Adjasi, & Turkson, 2014). As a result, manufacturing output raised to 13 percent annually, representing a 14 percent share in industrial output in the 1960s (Ackah, Adjasi, & Turkson, 2014).

However, due to balance of payment deficit, foreign exchange restrictions, and underutilisation of production capacity, most of the SOEs, as well as private-led manufacturing industries, collapsed (Quartey, 2006). The trend of industrial closures was more evident in Kumasi, as a number of old-industrial sites within the metropolis were left redundant and vacant. After deindustrialisation, Ghana’s new industrial policy attention was mainly towards private sector-led accelerated development strategy (Government of Ghana, 2011; UNU-WIDER, 2016). Even though the revitalisation of Jute factory, tomato cannery, gold refinery and ceramics production have been captured in the new industrial land policy of Ghana, a number of other old industrial lands are ignored and abandoned (Lauferts & Mavunganidze, 2009; Government of Ghana, 2011). There seems to be a neglect in the policy that sets to provide a long-term solution to old industrial land management.

Regardless of the fact that the vacant lands and properties of old industrial sites are a potential resource for reuse (Collaton & Bartsch, 1996; Katyoka & Wyatt, 2008), there remain no strategic global or national industrial land use policy framework directed towards the sustainable management of abandoned industrial sites. On the other hand, whereas the redevelopment and revitalisation projects may have seemed to have provided a solution to the old industrial land in some developed and developing countries, its sustainability remains questionable due to its short duration and lack of systematic long-term management plan. Moreover, most of these projects are directed towards only curbing the environmental issues associated with the contaminated abandoned industrial lands (Collaton & Bartsch, 1996; Kiss, 2002; Gilderbloom, Meares, & Riggs, 2014; Ren, et al., 2015). Generally, city authorities embarking on redevelopment projects are burden with pressures from funding, location and ownership status of the site (Collaton & Bartsch, 1996; Kiss, 2002).

With the changing face in the urbanisation and economic development of cities, it can be said that abandoned land uses have come to stay, as such will require a long-term strategic sustainable management plan. Despite this urgent need of an effective sustainable management plan for the abandoned industrial lands, less political and academic attention has been given to it which could hinder its effective management (Gao & Ma, 2015). As a result, this study is directed towards investigating into this phenomenon to fill the gap by unravelling the management approach to old industrial lands in Ghana, using Kumasi as a case.

1.2 Problem Statement

Industrial sites that used to provide plenty employment opportunities for the majority poor populace can still be useful if they are managed in a sustainable manner. They can still be beneficial to the low-income minority in the city and provide city authorities with tax base revenues as well as other economic returns (Collaton & Bartsch, 1996). Because of its long abandonment, structures of the buildings mostly deteriorate with the surroundings engulf with many pollutants which are later condemned and demolished because there is little or no monitoring (Lauferts & Mavunganidze, 2009). In Kumasi, most of the old industrial lands were previously wood processing factories. Currently, structures on the land have dilapidated and the soil taken over by sawdust. The contaminant in the abandoned industrial lands, if not looked at could lead to negative health implication (Sigman, 2010; Gilderbloom, Meares, & Riggs, 2014; Ren, et al., 2015).

Yet most of these lands have been engulfing into the city centre. In the midst of a city, land plays a key role in city growth and development. Within the city centre, the land is valued highly due to the influence of competing for demand from other land uses. According to Enemark (2009), one key factor in land management is the use of the land. This use should be the one that can produce maximum economic returns (Dotzour, Grissom, & Liu, 1990). However, most of the abandoned old industrial lands in Kumasi are been used as dump sites for damaged machinery or occupied by unauthorised users. Yet, there seems to be no action taken by the city authorities and government agencies with regards to these old industrial land although they exercise excessive powers to manage their area of jurisdiction (Republic of Ghana, 2016).  

Meanwhile, the landowner, chiefs, planning authorities as well as other stakeholders hold a certain degree of rights and interest in these old industrial land resources. The lease holding right of the landowner; the allodial title interest right of the custodian chief or government and the physical and environmental development control rights of the planning authorities; are all embedded on these abandoned industrial properties (Bugri, 2012). These rights and interests when conflicting, can lead to slower development, land disputes and subsequently hinders the effective management role performed by each stakeholder.

Studies have shown that the option to reuse industrial properties were dependent on several factors. In some situation, the cost component of reusing the site was the main hindrance, other were also confronted with unclear and communal ownership rights on the land, in other cases also the location and function of the determines its ability to be reused (eg. Adams, Disberry, Hutchison, & Munjoma, 2001; Sigman, 2010). In Ghana, most of the abandoned industrial lands were privately owned industries with a number of them located close to the city centre. These factors could similarly influence the reuse and/or management of old industrial land, however, its ability to do so remains a question unanswered.

1.3 Research Questions

In answering the research problems, the following research questions will aid in the achievement of the research purpose.

v What are the factors that influence the reuse of old industrial lands in Ghana?

v What is the conflicting interest between the state, landowners and the chiefs in managing industrial lands in Ghana?

v What is the role of government institutions in response to abandoned industrial lands?

v How are Ghana’s policies responding to abandoned industrial lands?

1.4 Research Objectives

The goal of the study is to explore the management of old industrial lands in Kumasi. In achieving this, the following specific objectives are set to help realise the overall goal of the research.

v To identify the factors that influence the reuse of abandoned industrial lands in Ghana.

v To identify the conflicting interest between the state, landowners, and chiefs in the management of industrial lands in Ghana.

v To investigate into Ghana’s policy and institutional response to old industrial lands.

1.5 Justification

Several studies have been done on industrialisation in Ghana and beyond, however, within these much focuses are centred on the processes of industrialisation, the causes, effect of de-industrialisation and mitigation measures to revive the industries in an economy (Ackah, Adjasi, & Turkson, 2014; Morris & Fessehaie, 2014; Zivanai, 2016; UNU-WIDER, 2016). Likewise, the importance of industrial growth in an economy is beginning to gain more light (Government of Ghana, 2011; UNECA, 2017). As a result, new initiatives are set to increase growth in industries mostly the manufacturing sector which includes research in the industrial sector (Government of Ghana, 2011; UNU-WIDER, 2016).

Land management, on the other hand, has been widely studied (Akrofi & Whittal, 2010; Bugri, 2012; Biitir, Nara, & Ameyaw, 2017). In Ghana, a number of projects and programmes have been initiated to study the governance and administrative system of land in the country (Ministry of Land and Forestry, 1999; World Bank, 2011; Kakraba-Ampeh, Yeboah, Asare, & Oppong-Konadu, 2014). Possibly, all these studies have seen much interest from policymakers and governments. Yet there seem to be a neglect in the literature that reveals the management of old industrial lands in general. Management of these lands and the future prospective use of the land have not received much attention in the literature. This study is purposely to probe into this phenomenon to expose the management of old industrial lands using a typical industrial area as a case.

Results from the study will serve as a baseline information for further studies and research on industrial land management in Ghana. Patterns of information between this research and future similar studies in different parts of the country will provide a basis for generalisation to add to the body of knowledge, based on which policymakers can make a decision on the use of some of these old industrial lands in the country. However, on the basis of the scope of this research, decisions can be made for Kaase industrial area out of the results. The revelation of industrial land management will also supplement industrial land delivery strategy currently adopted by the government. In addition, investors will be informed on industrial land management practices in the country.

1.6 Scope of the study

The geographical scope of the study will be in the city of Kumasi. As a capital of Kumasi Metropolis, the city is fast growing with a responsive blend of growth in residential, commercial and industrial activities. It is one of the cities in Ghana that benefited from the industrial development during the colonial and the import substitution industrialisation era (Ackah, Adjasi, & Turkson, 2014). The manufacturing industrial sector in the city is the second largest in the economy and it comprises of large, medium and small-scale industries (Ghana Statistical Service, 2014). These are distributed across the entire metropolis with a number of clusters within the city. Notable amongst these clusters is the Kaase industrial area at Kaase.

Kaase is one of the suburbs in the Metropolis located in the south-western part of the city. The community is close to the city centre within 10km westward from the Central Business District (CBD) and bounded by fast-growing communities such as Ahinsan, and Asafo. It is characterised mainly by a mixture of residential and industrial activities. The industrial area in Kaase – also referred to as Kaase industrial area – is on the north of Kaase. It spans from the south of Ahinsan to the north of Kaase. It is one of the largest manufacturing industrial suburbs in Ghana. It exhibits characteristics of vacant and used industrial parcels with a blend of private and government own companies.  

According to Bhattacherjee (2012), site selection for a scientific research must be that which fits the research question. The unique characteristics of Kaase industrial area present it suitable for the study as it is rightfully aligned to the research questions. As such Kaase industrial area was selected for the purpose of the research. Conceptually, the overall research will be confined to concepts on sustainable land management and industrial lands use policy. Literature that will be reviewed will be in relation to how industrial lands are managed by policies, processes, and institutions.


1.7 Methodology

The philosophical basis of the research will follow the pragmatism philosophical assumption. Due to the exploratory nature of the study, a qualitative research design best suits it as such it will be used for the overall research design framework (Bhattacherjee, 2012; Tracy, 2010). Furthermore, according to Bhattacherjee (2012), case study methods are best appropriately used for exploratory studies. As a result, a case study research method will be adopted for this research. A multiple case study will be employed for the study. These cases are the management of private-own industrial lands and the management of state-own industrial lands. In doing so, the research will employ a cross-case analytical technique to compare and contrast output from the cases.

A non-probability sampling method will be used as the main tool for the data collection. A purposive sampling technique will be adopted in the selection of the industries, the institutions and other key stakeholders (Neergaard, Folesen, Andersen, & Sondergaard, 2009). In addition, the snowball sampling technique will be used to identify the owners and key informants who have a stake in the management of the old industrial lands. However, a diversity of the respondent will be employed when using the snowball sampling technique (Bhattacherjee, 2012).

Data for this research will purely rely on empirical sources with few secondary sources as a means to validate results. In the assembling of the data, interviews; observations; and questionnaire administration techniques will be used. Other tools and documents such as interview guides, pre-recorded documents and questionnaires will be employed to aid in the data collection (Tracy, 2010). The data will focus on the contemporary issue with some level of triangulation by comparing responses between interviews for validation of responses.



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