Ghana

GHA

Ghana

Located in Western Africa, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence. Agriculture is a major driver of the economy, accounting for one-third of GDP, alongside gold and cocoa. Approximately 68% of Ghana’s land is used for agriculture and 15% is used as permanent natural pastures.

In 2003, Ghana launched a major land reform project aimed at improving land registration, institutional capacity building, land dispute resolution and the harmonization of statutory and customary systems governing land. Under the country’s mixed system of English common law and customary law, land is governed under overlapping customary and formal land rights regimes. The vast majority of land is held informally under customary tenure, while approximately 20% of land in Ghana is officially owned by the state. In recent years, tensions and conflicts over land have been exacerbated by the expansion of mining and bio fuel cultivation. While women have legal rights to own and inherit property, in practice under customary law their rights are greatly restricted and they themselves do not own land.

Main issues: tensions between customary and formal land rights regimes; pastoralists’ rights; women’s land rights; legal protections associated with compulsory land acquisitions; insecurity of rural people’s land rights.

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Indicators

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Infographics

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
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    • Very Weak Practice
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    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.

    Media

    Latest News

    26 May 2017
    Africa
    Kenya
    Zambia
    Ghana

    Colonialism brought large-scale farming to Africa, promising modernisation and jobs – but often dispossessing people and exploiting workers. Now, after several decades of independence, and with investor interest growing, African governments are once again promoting large plantations and estates. But the new corporate interest in African agriculture has been criticised as a “land grab”.

    21 March 2017
    Ghana

     

    Ghana has made a strong case at the United Nations for the economic empowerment of women in the cocoa industry.

    At an event on the sidelines of the on-going 61st Session of the Commission on Status of Women (CSW) at the UN Headquarters in New York, it became clear that gender inequalities limit economic productivity, efficiency and undermines the development agenda.

    9 March 2017
    Ghana

    The issue of women’s land rights is one of the human rights issues that is not given enough attention; however, about 50% to 60% of rural women in Ghana constitutes the labour force within the agricultural sector, yet only 10% earn income and only 8% own land.

    The limited land ownership and rights has led to limited access to productive resources.

    Latest Blog

    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Ghana

    By Marian Amissah-Ocran

    First, Maame Kraba was diagnosed with HIV. Shortly thereafter, her husband died of the disease. For Maame, a young mother of two children living in Western Region, Ghana, her husband’s death marked an abrupt change in her family’s circumstances, one that would put her rights to land in jeopardy.

    Sub-Saharan Africa
    Western Africa
    Ghana

    In Ghana, land is an indispensable asset. It’s a source of livelihood and social identity, and men and women should have equal opportunities to benefit from it. But when entrenched patriarchy tips the power scales, and corruption reinforces cultural norms, the impact on women can be devastating.

    A recent survey reveals that one in three Ghanaians have been asked to pay a bribe for land-related services in recent years. The study was done by the Ghana Integrity Initiative, the local chapter of Transparency International in Ghana.

    Partners

    Caritas Ghana

    Resource Equity

    Library

    Displaying 1 - 6 of 542
    Peer-reviewed publication
    October 2015

    Synergies among land institutions and institutional changes impact on land markets and in guaranteeing agro-based employment, capital injection, local economic development and infrastructural improvement. Increasingly, these institutions have come under pressure and there are concerns about their functional capacities and implications on land markets. This paper discusses institutional synergies and its impacts on customary land markets under large-scale land acquisitions for agro-investments in Ghana.

    Peer-reviewed publication
    October 2015

    Soil loss is not limited to change from forest or woodland to other land uses/covers. It may occur when there is agricultural land-use/cover modification or conversion. Soil loss may influence loss of carbon from the soil, hence implication on greenhouse gas emission. Changing land use could be considered actually or potentially successful in adapting to climate change, or may be considered maladaptation if it creates environmental degradation.

    Understanding changing land access and use by the rural poor in Ghana cover image
    Journal Articles & Books
    May 2017

    In Ghana 70 per cent of the population are smallholder farmers who depend on the land for their basic needs. Growing competition for this resource is having significant impacts on rural livelihoods and governance as land changes hands. This study highlights the key drivers of pressure on rural land and their communities, such as population growth, urbanisation and acquisition of land by new actors, including government and business.

    Reports & Research
    June 2017

    A recent surge in agribusiness plantation deals has increased pressures on land in many low- and middle-income countries. Rural people have mobilised to protect their rights, seek better terms or oppose the deals altogether. Since 2014, an initiative in Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal has worked to help people harness the law in order to have greater control over decisions that affect them – a process commonly referred to as legal empowerment. 

    Journal Articles & Books
    September 2016

    This paper assesses past trends in agricultural land and labour productivity, as a test whether it is feasible to meet the SDG target 2.3, namely doubling productivity and incomes of smallholders within a 15-year time span, if history were to serve as a guide. The target implies agricultural productivity would need to increase by 4.6% per year on average during 2015-2030. Available country-level data on land productivity (1961-2012) and labour productivity (1980-2012) for 140 countries shows that past trends fall well short of the desired pace of productivity growth.

    Reports & Research
    December 2016

    This report uses data from a two-year impact evaluation to analyse the impact of the Ethiopia Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) on household behaviour and decision-making, including agricultural production and other income-generating activities, labour supply, the accumulation of productive assets, access to credit and food security.