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Festus Boamah and Aled Williams

Strengthening formal control and oversight institutions is a common policy prescription for addressing corruption in natural resource sectors and escaping from the resource curse. This chapter problematizes this approach, arguing that contested notions of land entitlements provide leeway for powerful local actors to re-invent customs aimed at justifying the appropriation of valuable resources at the expense of weaker groups. In Ghana, where rival institutions jostle for authority to control natural resources, generating desirable outcomes requires more than tightening existing controls or creating new regulations. Keywords: Ghana, biofuel, land tenure, bribes, contested authority, customary practices