Does Land Registration Guarantee Access to Formal Capital for Investment?
||Abdulai, Raymond T.
||Does Land Registration Guarantee Access to Formal Capital for Investment?
||16th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Stockholm, Sweden
||The proposition that it is land registration, which determines accessibility to formal credit for investment is common knowledge. Such a proposition is premised on the argument that land registration enables owners of registered landed property to use their property as collateral for loans from financial institutions. A sequel to these arguments are the assertions that: (a) western nations are highly capitalised and developed due to the fact that they have comprehensive land registration systems; and (b) high level of poverty and underdevelopment exits in third world countries because it is an infinitesimal proportion of landed property ownership that is registered, which it is argued, impedes the ability of owners to use their property as collateral to access formal capital for investment and wealth creation. Based on the preceding commonly held views, developing countries, backed by international donor institutions like the World Bank, have been religiously pursuing land registration policies and programmes over the years. However, despite many years of the implementation of land registration programmes, poverty and underdevelopment still exists in pandemic proportions in the third world. Considering Africa, for example, research conducted by the World Bank in 2007 shows that the region is a critical development priority since it has some of the world's poorest countries and during the past two decades, the number of poor people in the continent has doubled to 300 million, which is more than 40 percent of the continent's population. It is against this background that this paper examines the extent to which land registration guarantees access to investment capital. It seeks to report the findings of a pilot research project, which is surveying five financial institutions – three in Ghana, a developing country and two in Britain, a developed country. The survey is currently in progress and will be completed in due course."
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