Government and land corruption in Benin

LDPI Working Paper 12
by Sèdagban Hygin F. Kakai

This paper tries to explain the land problem in terms of the corruption of the urban elites, the policy brokers and, more generally, the players in the political arena. Indeed, in the context of democratising African States such as Benin, corruption has become a social phenomenon, as has the exercise of political power. There is almost no political system that is free from corruption scandals, where the economy in general and the rural economy in particular has not been pillaged. Land corruption is equally well organised in the corridors of power at local, intermediate and central level. Indeed we could talk about a ‘chain of corruption’ for land. From the viewpoint of public action, this paper offers an empirical definition of land corruption and a typology of players. It studies the major trends and the critical uncertainties surrounding this phenomenon, i.e. using land as an object of political clientelism. It also explores the future prospects for land in the face of land corruption, and the possible mechanisms for escaping the crisis.