On the Move: mobility, Land Use and Livelihood Practices on the Central Plateau in Burkina Faso, Marc Breusers, LUW, Promotor Prof. Norman Long, co-promotor Dr. Jan den Ouden. 2 March 1998.
The central plateau of Burkina Faso, with its complex land use patterns between Moose, Fulbe and Saaba, plus the central place of land and territory in present day politics, offers an apt setting for this study on land use and mobility. The local arrangement for land tenure are already complex: the notions of lineage land e.g. seems to shift according to the echelons of social organisation, and especially along the categories of "strangers" and "people of the village". On top of this "autochthony" principle, the notion of "seniority within the local group" and the complex daim on in-law territory, offer a "hierarchy of choice" to farm land for the individual actor. This dynamic land division is influenced also by actor's mobility, as well as by the available labour, which in turn brings in the notions of fosterage and the importance of affines and in-laws. The dissertation then sets out to analyse the meaning and impact of migrations, both to the Ivory Coast (where about a quarter of the population of Burkina Faso works) and the South and West of Burkina Faso. The long distance migration to Ivory Coast is shown to be well integrated in the economic and social life of the Burkinabe in question. Not only is the labour drain routinely met by pooling labour in the villages for the young men the working experience has become an integral part of their education, as a valuable episode before marriage. On the other hand, the fact that some kinsmen acquire cocoa or coffee plantations in Ivory Coast, boosts migration of the village youngsters.
Migration within Burkina, sometimes in the context of large settlement schemes, eventually is met by similar responses from the local community. Finally, the monetary consequences are analysed in detail the investment incattle by those who stay behind, colours the relationship between Fulbe and Moose, a relationship that is put into a larger perspective by the author.