The Faculty of Law of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi has organised the 4th KNUST Faculty of Law Eminent Legal Scholars and Lawyers Public Lecture Series on the theme; “Land Management as a Component of Sustainable Development; The Role of Traditional Leadership in Kumasi Traditional Area.’’ The Lecture was held at the Law Auditorium on Tuesday, 28th March 2023.
The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ellis Owusu-Dabo in a speech, read on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor (Mrs.) Rita Akosua Dickson discussed the relevance of effective land governance for socioeconomic development and environmental protection. He emphasised the need for policy implementation to address gaps in institutional fragmentation, market principles, transparency in land acquisition, and complex legal frameworks for land administration.
He hoped that the lecture will provide insights into the intricate relationships between traditional leadership, land administration, and sustainable development.
The Acting Dean of the Faculty of Law, Dr. Chris Adomako-Kwakye stated that it is essential to understand the policies that govern land law since it has become a critical issue that affects the lives of many Ghanaians.
According to him, the policy basis of land law in Ghana is founded on a determination of what constitutes property and land, who has ownership and access to land, and the rights of tenants and purchasers. With most of the land in Ghana still held under customary land tenures, traditional leaders play a crucial role in preserving customs and traditions derived from the Constitution, he added.
To this end, he highlighted the University’s commitment to providing knowledge and insight into critical issues affecting Ghana's development, including land tenure. Through its research and teaching, the University is contributing to the national conversation on land law and the land tenure system in Ghana.
Delivering the lecture, the Managing Partner of Totoe Legal Service, Mrs. Mariam Agyeman Gyasi Jawhary, discussed the history and trajectory of sustainable development, customary tender and knowledge management structures, and the enhanced role of traditional leadership in land management.
She highlighted the importance of chiefs in the management of private property, as they are recognised as custodians of the land and have the right to dispose of stolen lands and issue relevant documents. She questioned whether the current legal regime adequately promotes effective customer demand management and development, and compared the institutional arrangements made by the government with those made by traditional leaders.
She argued that chiefs play an important role in land management, as opposed to the dispossession of land by private acquisition. She emphasised the need for sustainable development practices that help to protect natural resources, conserve, and enhance resources, and provide good living opportunities for present and future generations.
In today's world, where sustainability and environmental protection are of utmost importance, she stated that traditional leadership plays a significant role in promoting sustainable development and responsible land management practices.
Present at the lecture were Chiefs, legal practitioners, and representatives of the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Bar Association.