Who Owns the Land and Who Rules the Land?


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Ghana is undergoing her fourth experiment in Constitutional Rule − the 4th Republic. She was the first Black African country south of the Sahara to gain her political independence in 1957 but economic independence has eluded her till now. Her development is at a snail-pace at best.

According to the author, there are certain fundamental bottlenecks in the country’s governance system which make it difficult for her to realize her economic potential. The author compares Ghana’s governance system to Singapore which gained political independence around the same time as Ghana but has successfully transformed from Third World to First World economic status in 30 years and asks why the difference. The author calls for a national debate on the country’s governance system that will lead to a total review of the 1992 Constitution. The following are some of the key issues he calls the nation’s attention to:


  • A Feudal Land Tenure System whereby more than 90% of the land mass of Ghana is vested in the Chieftaincy institution as Stool Lands and the remaining 10% vested in the President on behalf of the people of Ghana as Public Lands. A system which greatly impedes development and benefits only a privileged few and yet there are no Land Reforms
  • The Legacy of the Colonial Indirect Rule leading to a “bifurcated state” in which traditional authority runs parallel to civilian political authority
  • An Ineffective Decentralization System which excludes the traditional leaders and refuses to allow the people to elect their own District Chief Executives whom they can hold accountable
  • An Adversarial Political System in which the two main political parties have indulged in violence since independence and thus refuse to reach consensus for national development
  • The Short Tenure of the Executive and Legislature which does not promote long term planning and execution for meaningful development
  • An expensive electoral system which engenders corruption and prevents well-meaning and qualified candidates from offering themselves for governance
  • The Lack of a National Agenda for development and dependence on party manifestoes thus ignoring the Directive Principles of State Policy. Development is thus not progressive but disjointed and depends on which party is in power
  • A Council of State which is merely advisory and has no power to serve as a check on the Executive
  • A National Mindset of Dependency Syndrome and Entitlement Mentality which has resulted in lack of effective mobilization of the populace by the political and traditional leadership. A national psyche that does not promote self-reliance and the can-do spirit
  • A Governance System which tries to copy Westminster and American systems instead of a home-grown system which suits our situation and promotes development
  • An Educational System that fails to build problem-solving abilities and patriotism into the youth and fails to make them proud of being Africans
  • A Very Strong Religious Atmosphere which feeds on superstition and does not enable the teeming members to transform their mindset and focus on teachings which promote hard work, wealth creation and prosperity

Additional information

Weight 1.2 kg

978 9988 3 1976 2

Year Published






Author Picture

Osei Safo-Kantanka

Rt. Rev. Prof. Osei Safo-Kantanka is a Full Professor of Plant Breeding and Genetics who taught for many years at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. His research interests were on Root and Tuber Crops, especially Cassava. His research accomplishments include the release of three cassava varieties − Tekbankye, Nkabom and IFAD − for cultivation by farmers. He was the first Dean of Students of KNUST and also made several contributions to the life of the University including the founding of the Christian NGO, Africa Leadership Development Center.

He was ordained a Methodist Minister while still a lecturer. On retirement from the University, he was appointed the Director for Lay Ministries and later on was elected as the Bishop of the Kumasi Diocese of the Methodist Church Ghana. He served as the Presiding Member of the Asante-Akyem South District Assembly and also as Chairman of the Management Board of CSIR-Crop Research Institute and Chairman of the Council of the Christian Service University College.

He is a Conference Speaker and a gifted Bible Teacher. The major emphasis of his teachings is Leadership Development based on the Bile for the eradication of poverty in Africa. On retirement from active ministry in the Methodist Church, he has founded The Bishop Kantanka Teaching Ministries (BKTM) in which he undertakes teachings in Churches and Organizations and on Radio and Television. An important wing of his ministry is The Movement for the Eradication of Poverty in Africa through the Church (MEPAC).

He is married to Mary and are blessed with five adult children and many grandchildren.

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