Strengthening GESI Integration In Land Based Investments

Ghana’s land governance system is strongly influenced by local culture and tradition. So strong is the influence of culture and tradition that, even the successful implementation of state laws and regulations on land governance, are dependent on their acceptance by the custodians of culture and traditions. One of the most striking influence of culture and tradition on the land system in Ghana is in gender equality and social inclusion. Women, migrants, the youths, the customary land rights holders, among others, have limited opportunities and benefits from landed resources as many traditions give limited recognition to the rights they hold.

As part of the project activities for the implementation of the “Achieving Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in Land-Based Investment in Ghana” project, a capacity enhancement program was organized in Accra to bring together actors in the land sector and the end users of the RIPL* Guidebooks. These were mainly stakeholders with mandates in the governance of investments in Ghana. They were drawn from the public sector, the private sector and the traditional authority. Selected Customary Land Secretariats were also invited to participate and represent the local communities.

The main objectives of the program were to build a shared understanding on the GESI* dimensions of the impacts of land-based investments and to identify strategies for integrating GESI considerations in mitigation measures for dealing with issues in land-based investments.

The program which was held in Accra, Ghana on the 13th of September 2018 brought together a representation of the Traditional Authorities in the 3 study areas representing the 3 land holding regimes (i.e. Skin, Stool and Family lands) in Ghana, the National Lands Commission, various Regional Lands Officers, the Office of the Administrator of Stools Lands, various Regional Stool Lands Officers, Customary Land Secretariats from various regions, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, The Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority, The Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project, Municipal and District Chief Executives and planning officers, Civil Society Organizations and the media.

An extensive discussion of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in land-based investments was undertaken during the workshop. Additionally, the participants examined the findings from the GESI project field research and the framework for integrating GESI in managing land-based investments.

From their response to the issues discussed, the participants made it clear that they recognized the need for integrating Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in Land Based investments. They agreed that to a large extent, very little attention is given to Gender Equality and Social inclusion in Land Based Investments in Ghana. Key decision makers such as the Traditional Authorities, Lands Commission, and Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources would have to give a dedicated attention to GESI considerations in all their operations related to land-based Investments to ensure that GESI considerations are well integrated in the institutions.

*RIPL- Responsible Investments in Property and Land

* GESI-Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Papa Kofi