As part of the government’s digitization agenda to ensure effective and efficient land administration in Ghana, a Liaison Unit has been established at the Office of the Vice-President towards achieving the desired land reforms.
The Unit would be working collaboratively with the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to assist in expeditious digitisation of the land records.
“A robust digitization of the land administration will help us slay this dragon, demons and principalities in the country’s land administration,” the Vice-President stated.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said this in Accra on Wednesday when he opened the National Symposium on the new Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036).
The forum was held on the theme: “The Land Act,2020(Act1036): The Way Forward towards Effective Land Administration in Ghana.”
It brought together key stakeholders, including the academia, members of the Judiciary, Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Natural Resources, traditional rulers, Land Bill Working Group and civil society organisations to make inputs towards the effective dissemination and implementation of the legislation.
The new Act was a revision, harmonization and consolidation of 13 old land laws to ensure effective and efficient land administration and to addressing the myriad of challenges in the land sector.
Act 1036 was approved by Parliament in July 2020 and assented to by President Akufo-Addo on December 23, 2020.
The Act protects spousal rights and stiffer punishments to persons who breach the provisions of the law.
“The importance of an effective and efficient land sector in Ghana cannot be overemphasized. Every economic activity undertaken by man has a relation to land and, therefore, the land remains critical to national development,” Dr Bawumia stated.
To address these critical challenges in the land sector, Dr Bawumia underscored the need to optimize the contribution of land to the socio-economic development of the country.
“The Akufo-Addo-led government is committed to change through the application of technology.
“Ghana can only make the much-needed strides in development when technology becomes the driver for all sectors of the economy.
“I am particularly excited that Electronic Conveyancing, which can only be realized by establishing a robust digitized land sector agency, has been incorporated in the Land Act,” the Vice-President noted.
Vice-President Bawumia noted that the Laws in themselves did not resolve problems but rather effective application of the laws would result in desired changes in the land sector.
To end the menace, he emphasised the need for all stakeholders to rally together to ensure that the provisions of the new Land Act are implemented effectively, and resources channelled towards its operationalisation.
For instance, the Land Act provides that the eminent chiefs, clan and family heads, who are the custodians of approximately 80 per cent of the land area of Ghana, are required to establish Customary Land Secretariats to improve the management of their lands.
However, the traditional authorities would require technical and professional assistance from the Lands Commission, Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands and the Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority to establish the Secretariats.
Dr Bawumia urged the Sector Minister to give urgent support and needed directives to the agencies.
He added that the participation of the private sector was essential, especially in the injection of capital and technical know-how in targeting specific key improvements in the infrastructure and operations of the Lands Commission.
“This participation would go a long way in improving efficiency and increasing the internally generated resources.
“The Act would ensure effective implementation of land administration in the country and government would lend its full support to the new direction,” the Vice President assured.
Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Sector Minister, in his welcome remarks, gave the assurance that the Ministry would embark on nationwide sensitisation campaigns to educate the citizens on the provisions of the law.
That, he said, would expedite the desired land reforms in the country and called on stakeholders to rally together towards ensuring effective implementation of the Act.