This chapter introduces the study of land and money in Africa, and how the people of Africa think about these things. With the arrival of people from all over the world into Africa, the competition for influence became much fiercer. In light of this context, all across Africa, and in tropical settings around the globe, the past century has seen discussions on the burning issue over whether land may properly be bought or sold—or in other cases, be exchanged in a more gradual, conditional, and subtle kind of transfer. The mortgage, for instance, involves an alarm clock wherein the loan is given a deadline. That said, numerous African governments—with the advice, support, and pressure from outside Africa—have been moving to title farmland as private property in the hands of individual or group owners in order to make it more marketable for mortgage. Thus, this chapter looks at the context through which the concept of mortgage has arrived and spread throughout Africa.
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