‘Comply with laws governing mgt, alienation, acquisition of customary lands’

The Lands Commission has urged customary land owners to comply with the laws that govern the management, alienation, and acquisition of customary lands in the country.

The Head of Regional Operational Unit of the Lands Commission, Mr Raphael Hokey, said the commission was empowered by the Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036) and the constitution not only to manage public lands, but also customary lands through the use of the concerns and concurrent tool.

Mr Hokey was speaking at national expert dialogue on the guidelines for large-scale land-based investment in Ghana organised by Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII)in Accra.

The aim of the dialogue was to foster open exchange of knowledge, experiences and identify potential challenges and opportunities associated with large-scale land investment, develop strategies for effective implementation of the guidelines and policy briefs.

Mr Hokey explained that the guidelines on large-scale land-based investment since its establishment had been strengthened, and some of its provisions had been incorporated into the Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036).

For instance, he noted that the size of 50 acres of residential lands which was classified a large-scale land-based lands had been reduced to 10 acres, while the 50 acres for commercial lands had been maintained under the Lands Act 2020 (Act 1036).

He, therefore, entreated land owners who allocate residential lands of approximately 10 acres and commercial lands of approximately 50 acres, to subject the lands to the guidelines for large-scale land-based investment.

Moreover, he urged GII to focus on the customary land ownership and its alienation and its related corruption issues, as most of the lands in Ghana were owned by customary owners.

Mr Hokey also took participants at the dialogue through the processes involved in using the “tool of concern and concurrent” in the alienation of customary land, which included the pre-acquisition, concurrent, and post acquisition stage.

The Executive Director of GII, Mrs Mary Awelana Addah, in his welcome address said “It is crucial to acknowledge the profound importance of land in shaping Ghana’s socio-economic landscape.

Land is not only a vital economic resource, as recognised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, but also a cornerstone of heritage, identity, and livelihood for millions of Ghanaians.”

Some of the issues raised by participants at the dialogue were the lack of available information on the laws and guidelines that govern land ownership and its implementation, lack of inclusiveness in the land ownership and management, among other others.

Present at the dialogue included representatives from government agencies, civil society organisations, private sector entities, academia, development partners, and traditional leaders.


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