Ghana on Thursday unveiled an architectural strategy for the construction of a 4.3 million Euro multi-facetted “Lands Village”, to serve as a National and Greater Accra Regional Office of the Lands Commission.
The Lands Village to be cited at the current Surveyor School premises near the 37 Military Hospital, would house the Survey and Mapping Division; the Land Registration Division; the Land Valuation Division and the Public and Vested Lands management Division.
Briefing the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mrs Stella N. D. Arthiabah, Deputy Registrar of Architects Registration Council of Ghana explained that, the Lands Village project was in accordance with the Lands Commission Act, 2008 (Act 767) and being implemented through the Land Administration Project (LAP).
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources through LAP seeks to restructure public sector institutions responsible for land management and administration in the country.
She said the German Development Bank (KfW) was providing three million Euros while Ghana Government provided 1.3 million Euros.
The two-year project is expected to begin in 2011.
Mrs Arthiabah said the Lands Village was to create a new monumental administrative building for all other wings of the Commission to operate from the same building to ensure effective coordination and control in delivery of services to the public.
She said to ensure transparency and conform to the Public Procurement Law; the project team launched an architectural design competition, which attracted about 400 entries from both local and international firms.
Mrs Arthiabah said the project architectural technical team through well-advertised criteria short-listed the entries to five firms, who were currently going through the final phase of evaluation.
The five firms are Nelson Architectural Consultancy of Ghana; Estudio Lamela of Spain; City Foster from the Netherlands; James Cubitt Architects of Nigeria; and Henn Architecken of Germany.
She said all the firms had local subsidiary firms as their partners except Nelson Architectural Consultancy, which had an international firm as its partner.
The winner would receive 10,000 Euros; second prize 6,000 Euros; third prize 4,000 Euros; fourth prize 2,000 Euros and fifth prize 1,000 Euros.
Mrs Arthiabah, who later led some members of the team to expose the media to the five design works, said the winner would be announced in September.
The other members of the team include Mr William N. T. Evans-Anfom of Evans-Anfom and Associates; Mr Kofi Abaka-Blankson, Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Professor Burkhard Pahl, an International Architectural Design Expert and Mrs Ama Kudom-Agyemang, Communication Specialist of LAP.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mrs Kudom-Agyemang explained that the Land Village complex formed a major component of the process for re-organisation of the formal land sector to make it more responsive to the needs of the public, make it more client focus and customer friendly.
Currently, the various divisions are cited at different locations in Accra and making business transaction very cumbersome and time consuming, she said.
LAP is being implemented by Ghana with funding and technical support from the International Development Agency of the World Bank, the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Netherlands Development Fund (NDF).