I am a human geographer mainly working in Ghana, but also in Zambia and other African countries. My research always involves fieldwork where socio-economic processes in local communities are viewed in context of processes on national and global scales. Research interests include gender, entrepreneurship, innovation, informal economies, market trade, food and nutrition security, small-scale fisheries, land tenure, petroleum industry, ICT development, migration, globalisation and political ecology.
Current research projects:
- 2018-2021: Small Fish and Food security (SmallFishFood): Towards innovative integration of fish in African food systems to improve nutrition. The SmallFishFood project is funded by LEAP-Agri (Long term EU Africa research and innovation Partnership on food and nutrition security and sustainable Agriculture, Horizon 2020) and is led by Jeppe Kolding, Department of Biological Sciences, UiB. Together, biologists, nutritionists, anthropologists and geographers investigate the contribution of small fish species such as anchovies and sardines to the food and nutrition security of low-income groups in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. My research focuses on the processing and marketing links of the fish value chain.
- Project news:
- Supporting small fish to fight food insecurity https://www.uib.no/en/matnat/117453/supporting-small-fish-fight-food-insecurity
- Utilising small fish for global food security https://www.uib.no/en/geografi/103289/utilising-small-fish-global-food-security
- Project news:
- 2018-2022: Enclaving: Patterns of global futures in three African cities. This Research Council of Norway (FRIHUMSAM) funded project is led by Bjørn Enge Bertelsen, Department of Social Anthropology, UiB, and investigates urbanisation and multiple inequalities in three African cities: Johannesburg, Maputo and Accra. My research focuses on gender and socio-economic dynamics of households in a newly constructed high-cost residental area in the capital city of Ghana, Accra.
- Project webpage: https://www.uib.no/en/urbanenclavingfutures
- 2019-2021: Mapping marine resource conflicts across sub-Saharan Africa: patterns, drivers and solutions for coastal communities (MARICA). Project leader. Elizabeth Selig, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA). Funding: NORGLOBAL, The Research Council of Norway.
Development; globalisation; gender; natural resource governance; agriculture; fisheries; food security; political ecology; migration; the power of maps; qualitative methodology; research ethics; theory of science.
- 2019. Opposing discourses on the offshore coexistence of the petroleum industry and small-scale fisheries in Ghana. The Extractive Industries and Society. 190-197.
- 2018. The importance and limitations of social networks and social identities for labour market integration: The case of Ghanaian immigrants in Bergen. Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift. 27-36.
- 2018. Power theories in political ecology. Journal of political ecology. 350-363.
- 2017. Local navigations in a global industry: the gendered nature of entrepreneurship in Ghana’s oil and gas service sector. Journal of Development Studies. 361-374.
- 2016. Rethinking Livelihood Impacts of Biofuel Land Deals in Ghana. Development and Change. 98-129.
- 2014. Local and global geographies of innovation: Structures, processes, and geographical contexts from a firm perspective. Growth and Change. 403-411.
- 2011. Modernisation narratives and small-scale fisheries in Ghana and Zambia. Forum for Development Studies. 321-343.
- 2009. New Technologies, New Demands and New Literacies: The Changing Literacy Practices of Fishing Communities in Bangladesh and Ghana. Maritime Anthropological Studies. 35-51.
- 2007. When men do women's work: structural adjustment, unemployment and changing gender relations in the informal economy of Accra, Ghana. The Journal of Modern African Studies. 539-563.
- 2006. Networks, Distance and Trust: Telecommunications Development and Changing Trading Practices in Ghana. World Development. 1301-1315.
- 2005. 'Money has no name': unemployment, informalisation and gender in Accra, Ghana. .
- 1995. Interpretation of other life worlds: An essay on the construction of gendered world versions. Paper in scientific theory for the Dr.polit. degree, The Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bergen. .
- 2011. Motivations, challenges and performances of local entrepreneurship in the emergent oil city Takoradi, Ghana.
- 2011. Modernization narratives and the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in Ghana and Zambia.
- 2011. Local entrepreneurship in the context of the emerging oil and gas industry in Takoradi, Ghana.
- 2011. Introduction to special issue : environmental governance in the South - discourses/science/policies. Forum for Development Studies. 235-238.
- 2018. The Gendering of a Farming System. A study of the relationship between gender and agricultural production in Ghana.
- 2017. Mobile Phones and Innovations. An Empirical Description of Farmers´ Utilizations of the Mobile Phone in Upper East Region, Ghana.
- 2017. GOVERNING THE OCEAN SPACE FOR THE COEXISTENCE OF FISHERY AND PETROLEUM INDUSTRY IN GHANA’S WESTERN REGION.
- 2016. LAND GOVERNANCE AND COMPETITION FOR SPACE IN GHANA’S EMERGING OIL CITY, SEKONDI-TAKORADI.
- 2016. INTEGRATION OF GHANAIAN IMMIGRANTS IN BERGEN’S LABOUR MARKET.
- 2015. The Proposed Re-development of the Takoradi Market Circle and its likely Implications for Market Traders’ Access to Trading Space.
- 2015. Impacts of the oil and gas industry on the livelihoods of men and women working in the firsheries: A study of Shama, Ghana.
- 2014. The Role of Norad’s Oil for Development Programme in Environmental Management in Ghana.
- 2014. Managing sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Liberia: Exploring the syncretisation of Western and traditional approaches.
- 2014. Irregular and Incomplete Primary School Attendance in Rural Ghana. A case-study of late enrolment and early drop-out in the Eastern Region.
- 2014. Health advocacy and practice: Exploring the influence of social structures in the health related lifestyles of adults in the Asokwa community in Kumasi, Ghana.
- 2014. Ghana’s Emerging Oil and Gas Industry: Livelihood Impacts of the Ghana Gas processing Plant at Atuabo in Western Region, Ghana.
- 2013. Housing in the era of black gold: A study of access to housing in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, Ghana.
- 2012. MANNING THE RIGS: A STUDY OF OFFSHORE EMPLOYMENT IN GHANA’S OIL INDUSTRY.
- 2012. Gender and Informality in the Construction Industry in Ghana’s Oil City Takoradi.
- 2011. Processes and Effects of Land Sales on Local Livelihoods in Communities located near the Oil Industry in the Western Region of Ghana.
- 2010. Tilgang til vann gjennom det uformelle vannforsyningssystemet i Luanda, Angola.
- 2010. GENDERED STRATEGIES AMONG MIGRANTS FROM NORTHERN GHANA IN ACCRA: A CASE STUDY OF MADINA.
- 2010. Competition between biofuel and food? The case of a jatropha biodiesel project and its effects on food security in the affected communities in Northern Ghana.
- 2009. The Impact of Tourism on Socio-Economic Development in Busua in the Western Region og Ghana.
- 2009. RESOURCE MANGAGEMENT IN THE ANLOEWE MIGRANT FISHING COMMUNITY ABAKAM IN THE CENTRAL REGION, GHANA.
- 2008. Poverty mitigation and Wealth creation through artisanal fisheries in Dzemeni area at Volta Lake, Ghana.
- 2008. MIGRATION AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR RURAL LIVELIHOODS: A CASE STUDY OF KWAMANG IN ASHANTI.
- 2008. IBI TSE YIE ( SOME PEOPLE ARE BETTER OFF):RE-DISTRIBUTION MECHANISMS IN THE COASTAL TOWN MOREE, GHANA.
- 2008. Consequences of the reduction in the water levels of Lake Victoria on poor people’s livelihood in Rwanjaba lakeshore community, Uganda.
- 2007. Gender relations and household livelihood security in Lake Kariba fishing communities, Zambia.
- 2007. Fattige fiskere: Fanget eller frigjort av eget fiskegarn? En studie av fiskeribistand og fattigdomsforebygging i Kasafal -India.
- 2017. Matsikkerhet i Aasiaat, Grønland. En studie av interaksjoner mellom matpreferanser, klimaendringer og globaliseringsprosesser.
- 2016. From local content to local participation? Exploring entrepreneurship in Ghana’s oil and gas industry.
- 2015. Biofuels and land politics:Connecting the disconnects in the debate about livelihood impacts ofjatropha biofuel land deals in Ghana.
- 2008. Mobile Traders and Mobile Phones in Ghana. 12 pages.
- 2005. When Sisters Become Competitors: Coastal Women's Innovative Utilization of Trawler By-Catch in Ghana. 16 pages.
- 2015. Networks, trust and capital mobilisation: Challenges of embedded local entrepreneurial strategies in Ghana's oil and gas industry. 391-413.
Adjei, M. and Overå, R. (2019) Opposing discourses on the offshore coexistence of the petroleum industry and small-scale fisheries in Ghana. The Extractive Industries and Society, 6, 190-197.
Svarstad, H., Benjaminsen, T.A. and Overå, R. (2018) Power theories in political ecology. Journal of Political Ecology, 25, 350-363.
Badwi, R., Ablo A. D. and Overå, R. (2018) The importance and limitations of social networks and social identities for labour market integration: The case of Ghanaian immigrants in Bergen, Norway, Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift - Norwegian Journal of Geography, 72:1, 27-36.
Overå, R. (2017) Local Navigators in a Global Industry. The Gendered Nature of Entrepreneurship in Ghana’s Oil and Gas Service Sector. In special section: Localising Globalisation: Gendered Transformations of Work in Emergent Economies, Journal of Development Studies, 53, 3: 361-374.
Boamah, F. and Overå, R. (2016) Rethinking livelihood impacts of biofuel land deals in Ghana. Development and Change, 47(1): 98–129. DOI: 10.1111/dech.12213
Ablo, A. D. and Overå, R. (2015) Networks, trust and capital mobilization: challenges of embedded local entrepreneurial strategies in Ghana’s oil and gas industry. Journal of Modern African Studies. 53, 3: 391-413.
Rusten, G. and Overå, R. (2014) Local and Global Geographies of Innovation: Structures, Processes, and Geographical Contexts from a Firm Perspective. Growth and Change, 5, 3:404-411.
Benjamisen, T. A. and Overå, R. (2011) Introduction to Special Issue: Environmental Governance in the South - Discourses/Science/Policies, Forum for Development Studies, 38, 3: 1-8.
Overå, R. (2011) Modernisation narratives and small-scale fisheries in Ghana and Zambia. Forum for Development Studies, 38, 3: 315–337.
Maddox, B. and Overå, R. (2009) New Technologies, New Demands and New Literacies: The Changing Literacy Practices of Fishing Communities in Bangladesh and Ghana. Maritime Studies (MAST), 8 (2): 35-51.
Overå, R. (2008) Mobile traders and mobile phones in Ghana In: Katz, James (Ed.) Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Overå, R. (2007) When men do women’s work: structural adjustment, unemployment and changing gender relations in the informal economy of Accra, Ghana. Journal of Modern African Studies, 45, 4:539-563.
Overå, R. (2006) Networks, Distance and Trust: Telecommunications Development and Changing Trading Practices in Ghana. World Development, 34, 7: 1301-1315.
Overå, R. (2005) When sisters become competitors: Coastal women’s innovative strategies and access to trawlers’ by-catch in Ghana. In: Neis, B., M. Binkley and S. Gerrard (Eds.) Gender, Globalization and the Fisheries. Fernwood Books, Nova Scotia.
Overå, R. (2005) Institutions, Mobility and Resilience in the Fante Migratory Fisheries in West Africa. Transactions of the Historical Society of Ghana, New Series, No. 9: 103-124. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41406726?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
Jul-Larsen, E., J. Kolding, R. Overå, J. Raakjær Nielsen and P. A. M. van Zwieten (2003) Management, co-management or no-management? Major dilemmas in southern African freshwater fisheries. Synthesis Report. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 426/1. Food and Agricultural Organisation, Rome.
Overå, R. (2003). Market development and investment "bottlenecks" in the fisheries of Lake Kariba, Zambia. In E. Jul-Larsen, J. Kolding, R. Overå, J. Raakjær Nielsen & P. A. M. van Zwieten (Eds.), Management, co-management of no management? Major dielemmas in southern African freshwater fisheries. Vol. 2. Case Studies. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 426/2. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
Overå, R. (2003) Gender Ideology and Manoeuvring Space for Female Entrepreneurs in Ghanaian Fisheries. Institute of African Studies Research Review, 19, 1: 24-39. https://journals.co.za/content/inafstud/19/2/EJC45946
Marquette, C., Koranteng, K. A., Overå, R. and Bortei-Doku Aryeetey, E. (2002) Small-scale Fisheries, Population Dynamics, and Resource Use in Africa: The Case of Moree, Ghana. Ambio, 31, 4: 324-336.
Overå, R. (2001) Institutions, mobility and resilience in the Fante migratory fisheries of West Africa. Working Paper WP 2001:2. Chr. Michelsen Institute. Bergen.
Overå, R. (2000) Rom for manøver? Kjønnsideologi og entreprenørskap i Ghana. In: Birkeland, I. and Hanssen, B. L. (Eds.) Menneskers rom. Unipub forlag, Oslo.
Overå, R. (2000) Les femmes, chefs d'entreprise dans la pêche piroguières au Ghana. Le cas de la ville Fante de Moree. In: Chauveau, J. P., Chaboud, C. and Jul-Larsen, E. (Eds.) Les pêches piroguières ouest-africaines. Perspectives en sciences sociales. Karthala, Paris.
Overå, R. (1998) Partners and Competitors. Gendered Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Canoe Fisheries. Bergen: Doctoral dissertation, University of Bergen.
Overå, R. (1995) Interpretation of Other Life Worlds: An Essay on the Construction of Gendered World Versions. Publications from Department of Geography, Series A, No. 215, University of Bergen.
Overå, R. (1995) Entrepreneurial Women in Ghanaian Canoe Fisheries. The case of the Fante Fishing Town Moree. Centre for Development Studies Working Paper No. 1/95, Bergen.
Overå, R. (1995) Gender and Entrepreneurship in Ghanaian Canoe Fisheries: the Case of the Fante Fishing Town Moree. In: Bivand, R. and Stokke, K. (Eds.) Investigating the Local: Structure, Place, Agency. Monographies from Department of Geography, Series B, No. 1, University of Bergen.
Overå, R. (1993) Wives and Traders: Women's Careers in Ghanaian Canoe Fisheries. Maritime Anthropological Studies (MAST). Vol.6 (1/2).