Civil Society on Land holds Land Rally 2015

LandTraditional rulers have been advised to stop giving out land indiscriminately to foreigners for commercial purposes at the detriment of succeeding generations.

The chiefs, in particular, were also urged to consult the elders, queen mothers and family heads before allocating any parcel of land for commercial use.

Nana Afrakumaa Serwaa Kusi Obuadum, Agogo Omanhemaa in the Ashanti Region, said at the opening of a two-day “Land Rally” held in Accra, that most of the chiefs sell lands to foreigners without even consulting their queens.

“What I want to tell the chiefs is that they should also think about the future leaders when selling out our lands. They should ensure that they preserve some of the land for the future generations as their forefathers did for them,” Nana Afrakumaa said.

The “Land Rally 2015”, organized by the Civil Society Coalition on Land (CICOL), was held to sensitize stakeholders, including traditional rulers, professionals, policy makers, landowners and users, on the crucial issue of access to land and securing land rights for smallholder farmers and women.

The meeting is also to enable stakeholders to dialogue and embark on critical policy decisions and actions to regulate the adverse effects of land acquisition for investment.

Nana Serwaa Bonsu, Paramount Queenmother of the Amanten Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region, said most chiefs sell out lands without really assessing the real value or price of land, thereby they give out huge acres of land to investors without its corresponding value for money.

“As soon as they see the money, they rush in giving out the land. Some even do not declare the full amount taken from the sale of the land to the elders,” Nana Serwaa said.

She called for the intervention in the form of educating traditional rulers on how to even price their land in acres so they would not be shortchanged, adding that, they should see to it that they also put the money in good use for the development of the communities.

Pimampim Yaw Kagbrese V, Omanhene of Yeji and President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, said most often, chiefs were forced to give out land to investors for commercial farming rather than to the local smallholder farmers “because they are ready to pay huge sums of money that would help develop the traditional area”.

Mrs Lilian Bruce, Coordinator of CICOL, said the participants would be educated on the various best practices such as existing guidelines and frameworks that promote good land governance, and responsible governance of tenure and security of tenure for the vulnerable.

She said the AU Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy Initiative and Guidelines on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa would also be discussed to help in securing the legitimate rights of land users and owners in the country.

Some of the chiefs also expressed concern over activities of estate developers and other investors who claim to have bought the land from their predecessors over long period, work and accrue so much from the communities and yet refuse to help develop the communities as part of their social responsibilities.

Source: GNA

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