News in 2022

The National Land Conference 2022, Ghana

6-9 December 2022, Accra, Ghana

FIG partners the Ministry of Lands and Natural Recources, the Lands Commission and Civil Society Organization for the Maiden Lands Conference in Accra, Ghana.

A four-day conference on land was held in Accra Ghana from the 6th to 9th December 2022 to highlight the implementation of the recently promulgated laws on land management and physical planning for sustainable development. The land act 2020, act 1036 and Land Use and Spatial Planning Act 2016, act 926 were brought into focus. The theme was “Ghana’s Land Administration Regime: Leveraging Policy, Legislation and Institutional Capacity Towards Sector Transformation for Sustainable Economic Development.


The conference was formally opened by Ghana’s President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and supported by key Ministers of state, Members of Parliament Traditional Leaders from across the country, and representatives of the World Bank, GiZ of Germany, SNV of Netherlands and other local and foreign development partners. FIG was represented by Vice President Kwame Tenadu Snr. The conference brought together an average of 560 participants each day, both local and foreign with online guests. It had four policy dialogue sessions paneled by distinguished policy analysts, researchers and academics and in addition several relevant technical sessions with presentations from knowledgeable persons. The occasion was also spiced with cultural displays at the opening and closing sessions.    

Leading towards FIG Working Week 2024

The 2022 National Land Conference in Ghana marks an important milestone in the roadmap towards establishing a transformed land administration system. The conference created a platform for deliberating on the current and emerging land related issues and chartered a new course for land governance and land administration.

As outcome of the conference, a communiqué was formulated.

FIG Vice President Kwame Tenadu was engaged in the week preceding and days after the conference as the final report was presented to the Ministry and Presidency.

Ghana land conference programme and information

This conference was an important kick-off also for the FIG Working Week 2024 that will take place in Accra Ghana.



The first national land policy formulation process in Ghana started with the receipt by Government in March 1994 of the Final Report of the Law Reform Commission, which started work on Proposals for the Reform of Land Law in 1973. Between 1994 and 1997, the Final report was subjected to a series of reviews and wide stakeholder consultations to identify policy options for consideration by the Ministry. A draft policy document was discussed at a National Land Policy Workshop in April 1997. The final draft policy document was presented to Cabinet in December 1997 for consideration and approval, and received final government approval in January 1999. The policy document was launched in June 1999.

The National Land Policy identifies several land administration challenges and their resolution of which are considered fundamental in realizing an efficient and effective land tenure regime in Ghana.  The challenges include weak land administration and management systems, multiple land sales, compulsory acquisition by government of large tracts of land unutilized and compensation unpaid, land market indiscipline, unauthorized occupation and use of state lands by encroachers, haphazard spatial developments, lack of adequate functional and coordinated geographic information systems and networks, indeterminate boundaries of customary owned lands, lack of modern and up-to-date maps and plans, and use of unapproved development schemes.

Successive Governments have sought, through numerous initiatives to improve Ghana’s land administration regime. The major interventions in land administration have been through the Land Administration Project (LAP) - phases 1 and 2, which sought to lay the foundation and consolidate urban and rural land administration and management systems for efficient and transparent land service delivery. Broadly, the interventions under LAP achieved the following main gains:

  • establishing the “new” Lands Commission in 2008 (through the passage of the Lands Commission Act, 2008, Act 767),
  • drafting of a new Land Bill, which was passed by Parliament as the Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036) and assented to by the President on 23rd December 2020,
  • supporting the Judiciary by funding the establishment of a number of specialized Land Courts and improving the operations of the courts through automation,
  • introduction of a new three-tier Spatial Planning Model,
  • enacting the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925) establishing the new Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority,
  • preparing a National Spatial Development Framework and two (2) Regional Spatial Development Frameworks,
  • funding street naming and house numbering in towns and cities,
  • establishing five (5) Client Service Access Units (CSAUs) within the Lands Commission,
  • developing a Geospatial Policy for Ghana,
  •  establishing 87 Customary Land Secretariats nationwide,
  • constructing a modern office complex for Land Sector agencies in Kumasi,
  • decentralizing deed registration to all the regional capitals
  • ensuring participation of non-state actors such as the Civil Society Coalition on Land (CICOL) and other NGOs in land sector among others.

In addition to the State efforts, several independent programs aimed at contributing to addressing the challenges in Ghana’s land sector have been implemented by non-state actors. These have produced some results that have contributed to improvements in the land sector. Examples include projects implemented by several NGOs such as Solidaridad, GiZ, USAID, RRI, COLANDEF, as well as some private sector actors. These include the collaboration with stakeholders in the development of a Handbook for Customary Land Rights Documentation, piloting of customary land rights documentation, organization of an Africa Regional Consultative Workshop on Securing Land Tenure in Africa, analysis of land access and tenure security for the several agricultural value chains, development of Guidelines for Responsible Land Based Investments for the Private Sector, Community and Public Sector actors, Analysis of the Social Inclusion Dimensions of Large Scale Land Acquisition, among many others.
Even though the Land Administration reforms has focused on reforming the legal regulatory and institutional frameworks, decentralization of service delivery, testing new methods and approaches through piloting and seeking to harmonize the customary and formal systems of land administration, there is worsening land tenure risks for urban, peri-urban, and rural land users, fueled on the one hand by the rapid population growth and urbanization, increasing demand for land for all human activities and on the other hand by lack of coordination among many public sector institutions, uncoordinated land use practices, and lack of participation and inclusiveness in land governance and land administration.   This indicates the urgent need for a more inclusive, strategic, and sustained multi-stakeholder approach to improve the governance of land in the country. Dialogue spaces among national and local governments, industry players, customary landowners and actors, academia, civil society organizations, investors and the general public are needed to achieve sustainable land sector transformation and socio-economic development.

Thus, the National Land Conference 2022 is designed to build on all these efforts in the land sector by both state and non-state actors and institutionalize a structured arrangement for multi stakeholder participation in the transformation of the land sector.


Significant land administration challenges still remain unattended to in the country. Additionally, since the National Policy Workshop was held in 1997 to review the revised draft policy document, there has not been any major national conference to critically consider emerging land issues resulting from environmental pressures, population dynamics, use and misuse of resources, reorganization of national, regional, local and traditional agencies, and advancements in technology among others.

There has been calls for deeper review of the current state of the land administration system and critically review the various interventions (Policies, Legislative, Institutional and Regulatory frameworks) in the land sector with a view to charting a new direction for the land sector.
The 2022 National Land Conference provides a good platform for undertaking a deeper introspection of the current state of Ghana’s land sector, identify opportunities and generate multi-stakeholder support for sustainable reforms.


Kwame Tenadu
December 2022