Ghana’s current system of land administration generates a lot of conflicts for a number of reasons.
Firstly, under Ghana’s customary land tenure system, multiple people can hold an interest in the same land. This means that they cannot unilaterally sell or register it without the knowledge of the other parties or claimants. However, because the current land administration system is opaque and weakly coordinated, people are able to do that. Secondly, Ghana laws require land owners to register their property with the Lands Commission. But concerns exist that the process is cumbersome and involves a lot of cost, including alleged bribe payments. As a result, many land buyers, after receiving their allocation notes, rarely complete the title or deed registration process.
Finally, even in cases where land buyers follow through with the title registration process, there is some evidence that title documents can be manipulated or tampered with at the land secretariats.
This means that land records in the country don’t reflect the reality. Land that’s already sold can misleadingly be captured in the Land Commission’s records as ’available’ or ’vacant’.
Ghana’s ineffective land administration system has serious implications. For example, several parcels of land are unavailable for development due to ownership challenges.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.