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Dissertation / thesis Dissertation / thesis Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contesting land and identity: the case of women cultivators and Fulani cattle herders in Wum, Northwest region of Cameroon
Author:Angwafo, Peter TseISNI
Geographic term:Cameroon
Subjects:women farmers
land use
theses (form)
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/1887/31878
Abstract:In Cameroon as elsewhere in Africa, the subject of ownership and access to land among different groups has been an issue of major concern. The arrival of the nomadic Fulani alongside with herds of cattle by the 1920s into Wum Central Subdivision did not only bring about profound changes in the political economy of the area but also introduced new ways of cohabiting, land use patterns and different perceptions about land and resources. This was partly so because the Aghem and Bu people who historically had exclusive ownership rights and access to land were compelled to compete and negotiate these rights and access on the same fertile lands that had abundant pastures for cattle with Fulani herders. With the presence of the Fulani, the issue of equal access and control of land and resources has constituted a contentious and perennial problem. Despite their long presence in the area, they are still considered as 'strangers' and/or 'intruders'. The objective of the research was to investigate why the conflicts between women cultivators and Fulani cattle herders are persistent. The outcome of this research reveals that the conflicts are more complicated than they appear and are embedded in gender relations and cultural practices where respect for tradition is optimal and exacerbated by a weak and out dated statutory land law. The law proscribes customary tenure system and does not guarantee women's ownership land rights but helps in the alienation and dispossession of women from their ancestral land. In addition, it is also a lever for rich domestic elites who now acquire huge tracts of land at the detriment of the rural poor. Constrained by this, they turn their frustration towards the Fulani by invoking ethnic sentiments as the legitimate strategy for their land claims. With increasing population and competition over diminishing resources and the sedentarisation of the Fulani, this research advocates for a new and more inclusive land law where all stakeholders would have security over their land and property. [Book abstract]