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27.01.2006 General News

Understudy Malaysia's Land Reforms - Baharam

By GNA

Accra, Jan. 27, GNA - Mr Mahalil Baharam, Malaysian High Commissioner, on Friday invited Ghana to understudy Malaysia's Land Reform programme to improve land acquisition in Ghana. Mr Baharam said land reforms in Malaysia had given a higher commercial value to land previously controlled by tribal groups, making it accessible to foreign investors.

Making the proposal during a courtesy call on Professor Dominic Fobih, Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines in Accra, Mr Baharam said Malaysia's economic and industrial growth could be linked to the land reforms, which began more than 40 years ago.

He said several Malaysian investors were willing to establish plantations and to invest in the housing sector in Ghana, but were unable to do so due to problems with land acquisition.

Professor Fobih said it was necessary that foreign investors dealt directly with designated government agencies instead of using lead persons to gain access to land.

He said the Government was vigorously pursuing a Land Administration Project, which involved the allocation of vast tracks of government-controlled Lands known as 'Land Banks' to willing investors. Prof Fobih said about 80 per cent of lands in Ghana were owned by Stool Authorities and said Land Management Secretariats were being established in all the 10 regions to facilitate the proper administration and titling of lands.

He said degraded forest reserves were being made available to investors for re-forestation, and such investors would derive 90 per cent of the benefits. 27 Jan. 06

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