The delayed Land Administration Project (LAP) 2, which was originally scheduled to have been completed in March 2016, has now been extended to the end of 2021, in order to utilize the US$ 35 million additional loan financing provided by the World Bank.
The project which was originally designed for financing of US$ 70 million, including some donor financing, of which not all was actually made available to the project, led to delay in completion.
According to the World Bank, the intended advanced ICT system – the Ghana Enterprise Land Information System (GELIS) – also required more time to prepare, tender and implement than was originally planned.
The financing gap is being addressed with the additional loan financing, which would ensure the full completion of the LAP2 agenda, consolidating and strengthening Ghana’s land administration and management systems for efficient land services delivery.
So far, the Lands Commission has digitized 10 percent of its total records at five selected regional offices in Accra, Tamale, Bolgatanga, Koforidua and Sekondi-Takoradi.
Information available indicates that a third LAP is possible, but this would depend on the progress made on the extended LAP 2, as well as further agreement between the World Bank and government.
LAP2 will also support activities such as building public awareness and customer feedback mechanisms to ensure that citizens are engaged and hold the Lands Commission and Customary Land Secretariats accountable
This additional financing will help complete base mapping of Ghana with aerial photography of most part of the country, integrating all land records for all types of land with GELIS which will benefit the whole of the country as more clarity and transparency in land holdings is made available for planning, development projects, environmental management and other uses.
Poor record keeping of land acquisition and ownership has been identified as a major challenge facing businesses in Ghana, particularly startups and ongoing enterprises seeking space to expand their activities.
The land registration process currently takes an average of between 46 and 75 days and digitalization of the process aims to reduce this to 30 days at most.
By Joshua W. Amlanu