Appraisal Of Thirty-Three Customary Land Secretariats In Ghana | Land Portal

Información del recurso

Date of publication: 
Enero 2022
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
LP-AJOLPGS-000003
Copyright details: 
Copyright (c) 2022 African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences

The government of Ghana through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources of Ghana has been assisting customary land authorities to strengthen customary land administration through the establishment customary land secretariats. The rationale for the support for customary land administration was to develop more effective and accountable systems of land administration at local level based on a collaborative approach and building on existing customary institutions. The work provides the findings based on the study of thirty-three customary land secretariats with the view to understanding the customary land secretariat concept in Ghana over a sixteen year period from 2005 to 2021.  The Specific Objectives were to assess the effectiveness of Customary Land Secretariats in terms of: 1) Keeping and maintaining accurate and up to date records on land dealings in their locality, 2)Providing information about the land owning community to the public, 3) Receiving correspondence on behalf of the land management committee, 4) Serving as a link between the land owning community and other stakeholders, 5) Serving as a link between an applicant and the local land management committee, 6) Serving as a link between the land owning community and the public land sector agencies, 7) Providing accounts of income and expenditure on local land transactions, 8) Preparing periodic report on activities of the secretariat, 9)Keeping records of all fees and charges associated with land grants and finally, Resolving land related disputes through Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms. In summary, the work seeks to unveil the successes and failures of the customary land secretariats based on the above ten thematic areas.Importance: In Ghana just as with several other African countries, land is central to livelihood for majority of the population which is largely agrarian subsistence farmers. Understanding systems for efficient administration at the local level holds key to improving the various systems in place for land management which has the potential to activate local economic development. Particularly in the case of Ghana, the new Land Act 2020 (Act 1036) places a herculean task on the shoulders of traditional authorities to effectively management land  - land which about 70% is customarily owned and held in trust by (i.e. family heads, clan heads, chiefs and priests) for their subjects. The effectiveness of customary land secretariat implementation will greatly aid the fiduciary relation and promote accountability at the local level. Some reports have found that, a good number of customary land secretariats are either dying or have died. This work seeks to confirm these findings and to explore the underlying causes of the problem. The work will enable customary land authorities and the government to better provide safeguards to make the customary land secretariats more effective and efficient. Data and Methodology: The study employs a case study approach within a Quantitative and Qualitative data analysis paradigm. The research and its findings and conclusion hinges on robust empirical evidence with analysis of quantitative and qualitative data collated from thirty-three customary land secretariats randomly selected across the country as follows:Coastal Belt = 11, Middle Belt = 12, Northern Belt = 10, Total = 33In all 148 respondents were selected from the various customary land secretariats and interviewed using the purposive sampling technique. The respondents were mainly members of the land management committees, the association of coordinators, chiefs and heads of families and clans, Some telephone and email correspondence were employed but to a limited extent. Visits were made to 22 of the customary land secretariats to verify and confirm conflicting data collated from the different data sources.Findings: Results show a reduction in the number of ownership disputes in areas where CLSs have been established and that there is an increase in public education and sensitization of community people on land documentation and that there is an increase in the number persons registering lands including the proportion of women registering titles to their lands.On keeping and maintaining accurate and up to date records on land dealings in their locality, most customary land secretariat had failed. A few such as Gbawe Kwatei, Odoitso Odoi Kwao and Asantehene Customary land Secretariats have successfully collected and stored records on customary land grants.On providing information about the land owning community to the public, the figures show that, a lot need to be done by way of training of the personnel.On receiving correspondence on behalf of the land management committee and serving as a link between the land owning community and other stakeholders, it was observed that, many of the secretariats were not properly aligned with the public land sector agencies and therefore could not adequately serve the need of clients.On serving as a link between an applicant and the local land management committee, we found bureaucracy as the major challenge especially with the chiefs hindering information flow.On serving as a link between the land-owning community and the public land sector agencies, poor coordination, collaboration and alignment was a challenge.On keeping accounts of income and expenditure on land transactions, the study found that a few customary land secretariats undertook proper book keeping such as issuing receipts for services rendered.On preparing periodic report on activities of the secretariat, the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands reported that majority of the customary land secretariats did not prepare and provide reports. Where reports were provided, they were of low quality.On keeping records of fees and charges associated with land grants this was a major challenge as less than 10% of the customary land secretariat was doing so.On resolving land related disputes via the application of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms the picture was positive. In fact, more than 250 disputes had been resolved by Customary Land Secretariats over the past four years alone.

Autores y editores

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Gad Asorwoe Akwensivie

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