Ghana

Chaotic land ownership records shock Ghana's supreme court

A recent dispute over the rightful owner of a plot of land in Ghana has led the country's highest court to ask why people who sell the same land to several buyers in fradulent deals, are not prosecuted. The judges also expressed their shock at the state of Ghana's records from which it is often impossible to tell the rightful owners of plots of land. They said such chaos, combined with uncertainty about whether property deals are valid, would deter also foreign investors.  

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The case of Dora Boateng v Mackeown Investments illustrates the incredible complexity of buying land in Ghana. It also shows the difficulties faced by the courts in sorting out claims and counterclaims about land ownership.

End of the road for Ghana Bank official, sacked after taking King’s cash by cab for depositing

When you are summoned by His Majesty, Ghanaian King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, courtesy demands that you attend as quickly as you can. But how could London banker Mark Frank Arthur, second most senior official of Ghana International Bank, have known that the summons, via the king’s wife, would lead to his dismissal from the bank – and, he now fears, to his becoming unemployable in the financial sector?

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In August 2016 when Mark Arthur was called to “attend” His Majesty, Ghana’s King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, he was the second most senior officer in Ghana International Bank PLC. He had first started work at the bank in 1988 and had risen through the ranks since then to become an executive director of the bank as well as a member of its board of directors. And, at least until his visit to the king that morning, he had an “unblemished disciplinary and performance record.”

Secularism in Ghana "obviously" encourages state accommodation of religion and religious identity - Supreme Court

A major challenge to Ghana’s planned national cathedral, brought on the basis of a challenge to alleged infringements of the country’s “secular” constitution, has just been dismissed by the supreme court. Ghana’s highest court found that secularism in Ghana “obviously” allowed and encouraged recognition and accommodation of religion and religious identity by the state. But this does not necessarily mean criticism is over – plenty of critics say it will be wasteful and an unjustified expense.

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As part of Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2017, the president, Nana Akufo-Addo, turned the first sod for a major national symbolic structure – the Ghana National Cathedral. To be funded by individuals and organisations within the Christian community, the cathedral is said by the government to be a priority project. But it is not without its critics.

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