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Ghana’s present system of land administration generates numerous conflicts for a variety of causes.
Firstly, underneath 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 data of the opposite events or claimants. Nonetheless, 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 issues exist that the method is cumbersome and entails numerous price, together with alleged bribe funds. Consequently, 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 by with the title registration course of, there may be some proof that title paperwork will be manipulated or tampered with on the land secretariats.
Because of this land data within the nation don’t mirror the fact. Land that’s already offered can misleadingly be captured within the Land Fee’s data as ’obtainable’ or ’vacant’.
Ghana’s ineffective land administration system has critical implications. For instance, a number of parcels of land are unavailable for growth as a consequence of possession challenges.
It additionally clogs up the nation’s courts – a current research recommended that about 57% of all courtroom instances in Ghana are land associated. And it may result in violence. The truth that it may take a median of 10-20 years for the courts to resolve land conflicts, mixed with a common lack of religion within the justice system, implies 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 drive to thrust back rivalry.
To deal with the issues, we’ve got 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 wish to purchase – whether or not the property is registered with the Lands Fee or has been deregistered from the fee’s data.
The framework integrates blockchain know-how into the sale and buy of stool lands in Ghana to make the processes extra clear, and the associated transaction data unattainable to tamper with.
Blockchain is a system of recording data in a method that makes it tough or unattainable to vary, hack, or cheat the system. It’s primarily a digital ledger of transactions that’s duplicated and distributed throughout your entire community of laptop programs on the blockchain.
Blockchain has grow to be extra extensively recognized as a consequence of its use in Bitcoin as a ledger for monetary transactions which can be secured with encryption, verified and recorded by community nodes (additionally referred to as a digital cryptocurrency). However the know-how 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 handbook land data within the nation. All that must be finished is for the blockchain know-how to be layered onto the continuing land digitisation to create a blockchain-enabled land register within the nation.
The register may comprise data 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 (telephone numbers and e-mails); and different authorized pursuits hooked up to particular lands.
Blockchain-enabled land sale and buy at work
At present, if somebody desires to purchase land in Ghana, they contact the proprietor (who could also be a chief, queen mom or a personal particular person). After paying the decided worth, the proprietor provides the related paperwork (reminiscent of a land allocation be aware) to the customer 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 regularly 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 would possibly provoke the acquisition or sale of the land on the web blockchain-enabled land acquisition platform. And for the reason that platform would comprise the contact particulars (reminiscent of telephone numbers and e-mails) of those that had an curiosity within the land, the system would mechanically 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 in regards to 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 be aware could be issued.
The customer may then use the allocation be aware, as proof of switch or buy or sale of the land, to start the deed or title registration course of. The allocation be aware may comprise data such because the identify of the stool and the chief (or queen mom – regardless of the case may be) 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 underneath which the land was purchased or offered.
A blockchain-enabled land acquisition system would cease the unilateral sale of co-owned land as a result of all related events could be notified of any transaction initiated on their land. This may give them the chance to halt the transactions in real-time if it had been being carried out on their blind aspect.
It will additionally stop the a number of sale or buy of the identical land as a result of when somebody offered or purchased land, the data could be captured and saved on the blockchain system. Being a web based platform, it will be publicly accessible to anybody.
Due to this fact, potential land patrons may 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 amass 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 data are additionally tamper-proof, which imply they’ll’t be manipulated.
Kingsley Tetteh Baako, Eric Gaisie and Gideon Kwame Otchere contributed to the unique article.
The authors don’t work for, seek the advice of, personal shares in or obtain funding from any firm or organisation that may profit from this text, and have disclosed no related affiliations past their educational appointment.