Professor Antony Allott's first studies of law in Africa were of Ghanaian land law. From an early date he has discussed issues of land title registration in Africa. It is therefore fitting in this celebratory number to note that Ghana, after many years of debate and delays, recently enacted a statute providing for the registration of interests in land throughout the country. It is planned that the Land Title Registration Law, 1986 (P.N.D.C.L. 152) (hereafter “the Law”) will be brought into operation in stages as areas are successively designated “registration districts”. It is expected to begin with Accra “and designated agricultural areas”, according to the Memorandum to the Law. When an area is so designated, the Chief Registrar of Lands will be obliged forthwith to call upon all persons claiming interests in land therein to present their claims. Those proven, after adjudication if necessary, will be registered, and the register will be conclusive. All subsequent changes in the holding of interests are to be effectuated through changes in the register. The Land Title Registration Regulations, 1986 (L.I. 1341) have already been made to provide in more detail for the procedures to be followed.
This contribution attempts to provide a brief, critical summary of the central features of the Law. It considers these in the context of the historical development of Ghanaian land law, and contrasts them with features of certain other schemes which have been implemented or proposed.