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Cabinet To Approve National Urban Policy   
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Businesses in the country will soon heave a sigh of relief when Cabinet approves the comprehensive National Urban Policy and an action plan on land use in urban cities.

The document which is expected to deal with the various challenges associated with where to site what business is currently in its final draft stage awaiting Cabinet approval. The policy document is also expected to earmark specific areas in the country for specific business ventures.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, said the move was the first of its kind in the country’s land planning history.

Mr Ankrah made the remarks when he presented a paper on the “Effectiveness of zoning laws in Ghana” at a forum organised by the Ghanaian-German Economic Association, a grouping made up of Ghanaians and Germans with interest in either or both countries.

The forum was to give stakeholders in land, including those in the municipal, metropolitan and districts assemblies (MMDAS), the opportunity to deliberate on the challenges confronting businesses on acquiring land permits. The deputy minister who spoke on “The permit and licensing regime in Ghana” bemoaned the country’s inability to zone land for specific roles, a lapse he said had led to high land and housing prices, among others.

Land use zoning involves allocating certain lands in particular places for specific purposes and assigning the land owner some legal and conditions regarding the use and development of the land in question. Although the practice, if well carried out, can help ease the pressure on land and its associated challenges to businesses in particular, the country has not been able to effectively implement it.

Mr Ankrah attributed the failure of land use zoning in the country to weak enforcement mechanisms at the MMDAS and the lack of a properly integrated planning at the national and local levels. He said the National Urban Policy, which comes with a corresponding action plan, would “go a long way to address some of the zoning challenges confronting us as a nation.”

The government, he said, was undertaking a lot of interventions through the Ghana Land Administrative Project to strengthen the land administration and management system nation-wide. He assured the business community of an effective zoning and land use mechanism, should those measures take shape.
Source: Daily Guide

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