General News of Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Source: GNA

Codification of customary law holds key to development

Kaleo (U/W), March 31, GNA - Dr. Henry Seidu Danaa, the Director of=

Research at the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, has said for Ghana t= o attract foreign investors there was the need to codify all customary laws= on land in the country. He said if that was done, foreigners would have the full knowledge a= nd be properly informed of the procedures regarding land acquisition, its usage, ownership, rules, practices and succession in the various traditio= nal areas. That would make them to decide on their own to meet the appropriate=

people to acquire land for development purposes.

They would also avoid middlemen who would cheat them and cause confusion among landowners. Dr. Danaa was addressing chiefs of the Kaleo Traditional Council at a validated workshop on land at Kaleo on Tuesday.

The chiefs were to validate the findings of data collected on land,=

its usage, ownership and succession in the area that was carried out by t= he Ascertainment, Codification of Customary Law Poject (ACLP) and the Nation= al House of Chiefs in collaboration with the Law Reform Commission. Dr. Danaa explained that the lack of laws governing land acquisitio= n had been a major obstacle that had shunned away investors.

He said about 80 per cent land in the country belonged to stools an= d skins and urged traditional rulers to cooperate with the project to come out with clear interpretation of customary laws on land to avoid disputes. Na Kanyi Wao, II, a Divisional Chief of Loho in the Kaleo Tradition= al Area, said landowners stood to benefit from the project as inheritance rights to land and other related issues would be documented. Land boundaries of the various traditional councils would also be ma= de known to the youth and that would promote healthy development in the communities.