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Compulsory land acquisition in Ghana-policy and praxis

Larbi, Wordsworth Odame; Antwi, Adarkwah; Olomolaiye, Paul


Wordsworth Odame Larbi

Adarkwah Antwi

Paul Olomolaiye
Pro Vice-Chancellor Equalities and Civic Engagement


Compulsory land acquisition powers have been used extensively in Ghana since colonial times, as the main means of the state's access to land for development. The underlying principle is supremacy of the state over people and their private property, and is aimed at providing land for public and social amenities, correcting economic and social inefficiencies in private market operations and providing greater equity and social justice in the distribution of land. The paper analyses compulsory acquisition practice in Ghana in the light of these principles. It argues that few of the presumed principles have been met. Rather compulsory land acquisition has resulted in adverse socio-economic consequences including in landlessness, poverty and heightened tension in state-community relationship. The paper advocates for a new legal and institutional environment for employing compulsory acquisition powers. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Larbi, W. O., Antwi, A., & Olomolaiye, P. (2004). Compulsory land acquisition in Ghana-policy and praxis. Land Use Policy, 21(2), 115-127.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2004
Journal Land Use Policy
Print ISSN 0264-8377
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 115-127
Keywords compulsory acquisition, political economy, land development, compensation, land use, divestiture, public interest
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