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Land tool development in Ghana: building on local aspirations and innovation

Increasing pressures on land resources are putting strain on the traditional institutions and state agencies that jointly govern land tenure in Ghana. Challenges including time, capacity, accountability and cultural constraints mean imported models of land administration such as titling often fail in rural areas. Ghana is developing progressive land policies but securing local land rights in rural areas also needs innovative implementation tools that build on local practices and accommodate Ghana’s legal pluralism and its diverse tenure and inheritances systems. This briefing shares lessons from three such tools piloted in Ghana’s cocoa-growing regions: community-based surveying, tenancy agreement
templates, and spousal transfer agreements.

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Land is life for millions of people across rural Africa. It is central for ensuring they have enough food to eat. Even if they are involved in other trades, land is an essential safety net for the rural poor during times of economic instability and helps define cultures and identities.

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