Land Ownership in Ghana

Every first Friday of the month in December commemorates Farmers’ Day in Ghana. This is a day set aside to celebrate the farmers and fishers who have provided food for the entire populace throughout the year. The day is normally marked by regional award ceremonies and a prize is given to the national best farmer. As the country celebrates farmers, Jumia House Ghana wishes to draw your mind to how lands are owned and leased in Ghana.

Vested Lands

These are lands that the Government of Ghana lays its hand on to manage for a group usually because there is a conflict between different parties who are claiming ownership of the land.

State Lands

Lands that have been compulsorily acquired using its powers of eminence but under certain laws in the country. The Government pays the owner of the land adequate compensation before it acquires that land. The law allows the owner to value the land and give the government a price. Government of Ghana also has it’s valuers headed by the Land Evaluation Division of the Lands commission.

Customary Lands

Over 80% of lands in Ghana are owned customarily under the customary land owning system that is, they are owned by the stool or the skin.

Family Lands

These are lands owned by the family. In most parts of the Volta Region and some parts of the Ashanti Region, Brong Ahafo and in the Northern Region, lands are usually owned by families.

Customary Freehold

The customary freehold is common in rural areas. The stool is the interest holder and the subject or the indigenes of the stool have user rights. This is also a form of freehold. Freehold means the owner of the land has custody over the land until his or her lineage is extinguished.

Common Law Freehold

The common law freehold is slightly different from the customary freehold. The common law freehold was adopted from the British during the colonial rule. The constitution bars any stool from granting a common law freehold on any stool land. If the stool gives an individual a common law freehold then what that means is the person is now an authority on its own. The stool cannot take back that land.

This law is to prevent people/foreigners from owning the lands forever so the commonest interest in Ghana now is the leasehold. The lease is normally given for 99 years but that is not a law. The only law on leasehold is for Non-Ghanaians; they can’t lease a land for more than 50 years. That is what is enshrined in the constitution.

There is also the system where the land is shared traditionally. An individual has a land and an indigene wants to farm on the land then they go on a certain agreement. After farming on the land the proceeds are divided into two or three and shared, depending on the agreement and the number of people involved.

And on that note, Jumia House Ghana wishes all farmers and fishers a Happy Day!

Source 

Kwame Ankapong, Land and Property Investment Consultant.

 

 

 

 

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