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COLANDEF Schools Editors on Land Rights

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A day’s workshop to broaden the knowledge of Editors on customary land rights has ended in Accra.

The workshop is expected to increase the understanding of media practitioners in the country to be better equipped and well positioned to support national policy discussion on land rights.

The programme which brought together over 20 editors from both the print and electric media forms part of COLANDEF’s outreach and awareness raising component of an ongoing project titled- Customary Land Rights Documentation in Ghana with support from Omidyar Network (ON), USA.

In an interview Executive Director of COLANDEF Nana Ama Yirrah said it is unfortunate land reportage in the country was minimal.

She said the media was inundated by news from other sectors of the economy to the disadvantage of coverage of land rights and its related matters.

Nana Ama noted that everyone has a stake on issues bothering on land stressing that land acquisition in Ghana was not only the purchase of the ground but the rights thereof.

The COLANDEF Executive Director was optimistic that the workshop would enhance the editors’ knowledge and understanding of the lands sector, matters pertaining to Customary Land Rights and the Customary Land Rights Documentation Agenda

Earlier in a paper on the Challenges in the Land Sector and Implications for Socio-economic Development, Nana Ama stated that there was a ddisconnect between the state system and the customary system.

According to her influence of custom and tradition on both the formal and customary systems also perpetuates the disconnect and discontentment.

“In Ghana, land is local. Local dynamics inform how policy implementation can be organized. Translating high level national policies to the local dynamics remains a challenge due to; low legal literacy, limited institutional capacity, complex social norms and customary practices.”

Patrick Amoah, the Deputy Administrator of Stool Lands speaking on the theme Understanding (Good) Land Governance
in Ghana posited that good land governance is the key towards the achievement of sustainable development in every society.

He noted that the concept of good land governance has become more imperative as a result of the complex nature the land question has assumed, rendering the traditional linear analysis and sectorial approaches for answering the question impotent.

Mr. Amoah, added “Focusing on title document as proof of ownership of land has not be able to resolve this question; the issues of informal settlements (slumps), internally displaced people among others are highly resistant to resolution, unless we all decide to embrace the concept of good land governance.”

Dr. Benjamin Armah Quaye, National Project Coordinator of the Land Administration Project stataed among other things that atempts at reforming land administration has been overly broad in scope with scattered impacts.

He said land administration in Ghana still falls short of almost all the key indicators of a good land administration system among others speedy turnaround time for land registration and land service delivery, reliability of the records, digitised records and automated business processes among others.

By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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