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. 6: 190-197. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2018.09.006
- 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. 72: 27-36. doi: 10.1080/00291951.2017.1406402
- 2018. Power theories in political ecology. Journal of political ecology. 25: 350-363. doi: 10.2458/jpe.v25i1
- 2017. Local navigations in a global industry: the gendered nature of entrepreneurship in Ghana’s oil and gas service sector. Journal of Development Studies. 53: 361-374. doi: 10.1080/00220388.2016.1184250
- 2016. Rethinking Livelihood Impacts of Biofuel Land Deals in Ghana. Development and Change. 47: 98-129. doi: 10.1111/dech.12213
- 2015. Networks, trust and capital mobilisation: Challenges of embedded local entrepreneurial strategies in Ghana's oil and gas industry. Journal of Modern African Studies. 53: 391-413. doi: 10.1017/S0022278X15000385
- 2014. Local and global geographies of innovation: Structures, processes, and geographical contexts from a firm perspective. Growth and Change. 45: 403-411. doi: 10.1111/grow.12051
- 2011. Introduction to special issue : environmental governance in the South - discourses/science/policies. Forum for Development Studies. 38: 235-238. doi: 10.1080/08039410.2011.615489
- 2011. Modernisation narratives and small-scale fisheries in Ghana and Zambia. Forum for Development Studies. 38: 321-343. doi: 10.1080/08039410.2011.596569
- 2009. New Technologies, New Demands and New Literacies: The Changing Literacy Practices of Fishing Communities in Bangladesh and Ghana. Maritime Anthropological Studies. 8: 35-51.
- 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: 539-563.
- 2006. Networks, Distance and Trust: Telecommunications Development and Changing Trading Practices in Ghana. World Development. 34: 1301-1315. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2005.11.015
- 2005. 'Money has no name': unemployment, informalisation and gender in Accra, Ghana. Chr. Michelsens Institutt, Bergen. 23 pages.
- 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.
- 2008. Mobile Traders and Mobile Phones in Ghana. Chapter 4, pages 43-54. In:
- 2008. Handbook of Mobile Communication Studies. MIT Press. 472 pages. ISBN: 978-0-262-11312-0.
- 2005. When Sisters Become Competitors: Coastal Women's Innovative Utilization of Trawler By-Catch in Ghana. Kapittel, pages 136-151. In:
- 2005. Changing Tides. Gender, Fisheries and Globalization. 305 pages. ISBN: 1552661598.
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).