There has been a boom in the Ghanaian real estate market in recent years due to the increasing presence of multinational companies and foreign investors in the country’s oil industry, with major projects including Actis' investment in the One Airport Square development.
Despite this, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) has acknowledged the significant challenges faced by investors in the sector with respect to land tenure. According to Mawuena Trebarh, Chief Executive Officer of the GIPC, “a unique combination of cultural nuances and clan ownership makes land tenure in Ghana a highly complex issue and as a result investors are often unable to carry out adequate due diligence on real estate assets”.
Although the existing legal framework provides a means for enforcing property rights, the process for obtaining clear title over land can be complex and electronic conveyancing is yet to be implemented in Ghana. Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia, Managing Partner at Oxford & Beaumont Solicitors, comments on the need to improve the efficiency of the current systems and regulations that “make business practice cumbersome and convoluted”.
Legislation is to be introduced that will seek to address these problems. The GIPC is working with the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Chieftaincy to introduce a new automated system of records and filings at the Lands Commission, which aims to improve the security of documentation and quicken the conveyancing process.
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