The Third Ghana Geospatial Forum has opened in Accra, bringing together professionals from different fields, to chart a new direction for further expansion and growth of Geospatial Technology in Ghana and West Africa.
However, government said issues surrounding the country’s land administration called for some institutional reforms and re-engineering of the business processes of the leading land sector agencies.
Speaking at the forum, Nii Osah Mills, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, noted that the use of geospatial technologies was critical in transforming the land administration system, in order to ensure economic growth.
He said the statutory land delivery, including land use, planning, surveying, valuation and registration, and the traditional system that is utilized for the administration of land under customary tenure, have been too weak to deliver services commensurate with the demand.
“This unmet demand has resulted in inflationary increases in the prices of land,” he pointed out.
He said the rapid increase in land prices, have in turn, resulted in price levels which are on the verge of exceeding the present value of future income streams of land-based INVESTMENTS , especially in Agriculture.
“The ever increasing land prices in urban areas like Accra, had compounded existing social and environmental problems, and had left access to land a preserve for wealth Ghana,” he added.
Nii Mills said despite the rich natural resource base of Ghana, land sector issues, especially difficulties in accessing land and insecurity of land tenure, have hampered INVESTMENT , and had become a drag on Ghana's economic growth and development.
However, he stressed the need for an efficient land management and administration system to improve confidence among INVESTORS , and provide security of tenure to all users and occupiers of land.
The Minister, therefore, said there was the need for efficient land management and administration system which was critical to building a strong and sustainable economy.
“The long-term economic goal of the government of Ghana is to develop an agriculture and industry-driven economy,” he said.
The event brought together developers, researchers, experts from the academia, policy makers, industry giants and stakeholders, to exchange ideas and experiences.
Nii Mills said it was refreshing that Ghanaian fishermen were using mobile phones with global positioned systems in their fishing expeditions, while farmers on the other hand could read the weather through innovative applications in their handsets.
“For the first time, satellite imagery can now be considered as both a global complement and a viable alternative to aerial imagery,” he added.
The 2015 Forum is on the theme: “G-Tech Powering Ghana's Growth.”
The Land Administration Project of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources under the auspices of the Second Ghana Land Administration Project (LAP-2) jointly organizing it with Geospatial Media Communications of South Africa.
The forum featured plenary sessions, panel discussions and seminars on topics like, ‘Spatial data infrastructure: The Road Ahead,’ ‘Evolving Dimensions of Geospatial Technology and Environmental and Natural Resource Management’, the statement said.
Presentations were made by experienced and industry experts from across the West African sub-region, on the application of Geospatial Technology in Land Administration and Management.
Electricity and Power Generation and Distribution, Agricultural Production and Management, Location-Based Services and Mobile Geographic Information Systems were delved into by experts.
The forum was characterized with exhibition by global manufacturers and industrial giants, to showcase some of the latest and state-of-the-art technologies in the geospatial world.
The First and Second Ghana Geospatial Fora were held in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Ghana is rated as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, and is noted as a prolific user of geospatial technology in construction and infrastructure, utilities, defense, city management and planning, cadastral and land registration, mining and exploration, telecommunications and the water resources industries.
The focus of the Ghana Geospatial Forum is to ensure that strides in the application and use of geospatial technology are taken to the next level through industry synergy.