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Monday, September 27, 2021

Ghana’s land acquisition course of generates battle. Blockchain affords an answer

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Ghana’s present system of land administration generates lots of conflicts for quite a few causes.

Firstly, beneath Ghana’s customary land tenure system, a number of folks can maintain curiosity in the identical land. Because of this they can’t unilaterally promote or register it with out the information of the opposite events or claimants. Nevertheless, as a result of the present land administration system is opaque and weakly coordinated, individuals are in a position to do this.




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Secondly, Ghana legal guidelines require land homeowners to register their property with the Lands Fee. However considerations exist that the method is cumbersome and includes lots of value, together with alleged bribe funds. In consequence, many land patrons, after receiving their allocation notes, hardly ever full the title or deed registration course of.

Lastly, even in instances the place land patrons comply with via with the title registration course of, there’s some proof that title paperwork will be manipulated or tampered with on the land secretariats.

Because of this land information within the nation don’t mirror the truth. Land that’s already offered can misleadingly be captured within the Land Fee’s information as ’accessible’ or ’vacant’.

Ghana’s ineffective land administration system has critical implications. For instance, a number of parcels of land are unavailable for growth because of possession challenges.

It additionally clogs up the nation’s courts – a latest research recommended that about 57% of all courtroom instances in Ghana are land associated. And it could result in violence. The truth that it could take a median of 10-20 years for the courts to resolve land conflicts, mixed with a basic lack of religion within the justice system, signifies that builders and particular person land homeowners are inclined to go for non-public safety by hiring armed gangs (popularly referred to as ‘land guards’) to make use of power to chase away rivalry.

To deal with the issues, we’ve designed a framework for managing land transactions. If constructed and carried out, it will make it doable for potential land patrons to authenticate or confirm the standing of lands they need to purchase – whether or not the property is registered with the Lands Fee or has been deregistered from the fee’s information.

The framework integrates blockchain expertise into the sale and buy of stool lands in Ghana to make the processes extra clear, and the associated transaction information inconceivable to tamper with.

Blockchain is a system of recording info in a approach that makes it troublesome or inconceivable to alter, hack, or cheat the system. It’s primarily a digital ledger of transactions that’s duplicated and distributed throughout the complete community of laptop methods on the blockchain.

Blockchain has turn into extra broadly identified because of its use in Bitcoin as a ledger for monetary transactions which might be secured with encryption, verified and recorded by community nodes (additionally referred to as a digital cryptocurrency). However the expertise will be put to many various makes use of, such because the one we’re proposing round land acquisition.

For this to be doable, the federal government would wish to assist construct a blockchain-enabled land register. The Lands Fee is already making headway in digitising guide land information within the nation. All that must be finished is for the blockchain expertise to be layered onto the continued land digitisation to create a blockchain-enabled land register within the nation.

The register might include info such because the areas, co-ordinates and bounds of lands; names of the caretaker chiefs or queen moms; particulars of current allocation notes or title holders reminiscent of their contact particulars (cellphone numbers and e-mails); and different authorized pursuits connected to particular lands.

Blockchain-enabled land sale and buy at work

Presently, if somebody needs to purchase land in Ghana, they contact the proprietor (who could also be a chief, queen mom or a non-public particular person). After paying the decided worth, the proprietor offers the related paperwork (reminiscent of a land allocation observe) to the client to start the title or deed registration course of.

The issue with the present land sale and buy course of is that it’s finished offline. And the particular person promoting the land won’t be the one proprietor or the suitable proprietor, which is why the method incessantly breeds conflicts.

A blockchain land register would cope with these issues as a result of land sale and buy processes would transfer from offline to on-line.

Within the first stage of the land acquisition, the potential purchaser or the purported land proprietor may provoke the acquisition or sale of the land on the web blockchain-enabled land acquisition platform. And because the platform would include the contact particulars (reminiscent of cellphone numbers and e-mails) of those that had an curiosity within the land, the system would robotically notify them that somebody needed to promote or purchase their land (stage 2).

In stage 3, if the one who initiated the sale of the land was not the true proprietor or the one proprietor, the suitable events notified concerning the transaction in stage 2 would have the chance to dispute and halt the transaction. The method would revert to stage 2 for decision. If permitted, the transaction would proceed to stage 4, the place a purchase order or sale doc or a land allocation observe can be issued.

The customer might then use the allocation observe, as proof of switch or buy or sale of the land, to start the deed or title registration course of. The allocation observe might include info such because the identify of the stool and the chief (or queen mom – regardless of the case is perhaps) in command of the jurisdiction; particulars of the land vendor and purchaser, their (digital) signatures and people of their witnesses, and the phrases and circumstances beneath which the land was purchased or offered.

Advantages

A blockchain-enabled land acquisition system would cease the unilateral sale of co-owned land as a result of all related events can be notified of any transaction initiated on their land. This might give them the chance to halt the transactions in real-time if it have been being carried out on their blind aspect.

It might additionally stop the a number of sale or buy of the identical land as a result of when somebody offered or purchased land, the information can be captured and saved on the blockchain system. Being a web based platform, it will be publicly accessible to anybody.

Subsequently, potential land patrons might simply confirm the standing of land by simply logging onto the blockchain land acquisition platform to see whether or not the land they needed to accumulate had been offered already or not or whether or not the particular person attempting to promote it to them was the true or the only proprietor.

Lastly, blockchain information are additionally tamper-proof, which imply they will’t be manipulated.

Kingsley Tetteh Baako, Eric Gaisie and Gideon Kwame Otchere contributed to the unique article.

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