The Lands Commission has sensitized and enlightened the Queen Mothers Platform Association on the Land Act.
At an event held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in Accra on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, the Lands Commission engaged the queen mothers on the what the Act entails and how it will shape land administration in the country.
Surv. Cynthia Odamtey, Head of Policy Planning and Research Unit, welcomed participants and indicated that the engagement forms part of continuous efforts of the Commission to ensure that all key stakeholders are well informed about their roles and responsibilities under the Land Act.
The Chairperson of the Greater Accra Regional Lands Commission, Surv. Yvonne Sowah who chaired the meeting stated that the commission acknowledges the important role of queen mothers in the country and commended them for availing themselves for the exercise.
In her opening remarks, Surv. Yvonne Sowah explained the critical role traditional Authorities play as custodians of land which makes it imperative for them to appreciate the laws that govern land administration in the country.
She stated that the Lands Commission has always recognized the important role that women have played in Land Administration in Ghana and therefore taken any opportunity that allows for engagements such as this.
Surv. Yvonne stated that the Land Act 2020, (Act 1036) was passed after extensive consultation and its passage provides a unique opportunity to positively transform the land administration story of Ghana.
“The role of women essentially as the principal supporters of our chiefs and family heads, makes it inevitable that your understanding of the provisions of the Act will prepare and equip each one of us gathered here with all that is required to better the lot of our subjects and kinsmen through an improved customary land administration regime”, she said.
She emphasized “the innovative provision on the creation of customary land secretariats (CLS) which has now been provided for in sections 13-18 in Act 1036. This will ensure there is avenue for accountability and transparency that is required in management of the land resources available to our various traditional areas”.
She cautioned the Queen Mothers to be mindful of the fiduciary duty they hold managing the land resources on behalf of the people and thus the benefits should be channelled to bettering the lot of their respective communities.
“The ground rent from leases granted to various persons must become a great source of revenue but this can only be achieved through a well – established CLS with up to date and accurate records,” she said.
She pleaded with them to also advise other mothers to take up professional courses such as surveying, land administration courses, legal courses and the likes that will enrich the traditional areas with the requisite human resources which will help in the full realization of the CLS’s.
I refer to some other provisions in Act 1036 that I believe will engage our discussions today such as;
•Understanding the implication of instigating or participating in activities that interfere with the legitimate interest of others (Landguardism) and the consequence of jail terms of 5 to 15 years. – Section 12
•Ensuring the allodial interest holders register their land before disposing of them. Section 182 the importance of ensuring land is properly planned and schemes provided to ensure effective management. – Section 117
•The mode of ensuring that customary interest and rights are recorded at the CLS’s. – Section 80
Surv. James Dadson, Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission gave the queen mothers a comprehensive overview of the Lands Act
Madam Celestine Deku from Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority highlighted functions of the Authority. Surv. Ruth Mawunyo Asuo took participants through Essential Features of the Land Act.
Surv. Timothy Anyidoho, Esq, Acting Greater Accra Regional Lands Officer exposed them to Key Provisions in the Act which guide operations henceforth.
The Commission donated 40 copies of the Land Act to the association and urge them to abreast themselves with dictates of the law.
Receiving the donation, the president of the association expressed her profound gratitude to the commission for the kind gesture extended to them and pledged to educate other traditional rulers.