Ghana: When enough is enough (land registration)

Author: Cemile Hacibeyoglu
Publication: Celebrating Reforms 2008
Download Now


Since independence, the citizens of Ghana have dealt with a dysfunctional land administration system. Long and expensive procedures took up to 5 years and involved 6 different agencies. Many preferred to avoid the headache, keeping their land issues within clans or tribes—unrecorded, but simpler and cheaper for them. Finally, Ghana’s Land Administration Program managed to cut the time to register property to 34 days by enforcing a previously overlooked 1986 law with a new directive. This case study tracks how more outreach helped Ghana’s recent directive succeeded where past attempts at reform failed.

Main Findings

  • By finally abiding by a long-ignored law, the 135 unnecessary days it took the Lands Commission to plot a document suddenly disappeared.
  • All in all, the time it took to register property fell from as much as 5 years to just 34 days.