The entire area of land known generally as Achimota lands was compulsorily acquired by the Gold Coast colonial government by certificates of title dated December 16, 1921, and May 17, 1927, under the Public Lands Ordinance of 1876 for the establishment of the Prince of Wales College (now Achimota School).

The land was acquired from the Owoo Family of Osu and compensation of £4000 was paid in connection therewith.

A section of the land was constituted into a forest reserve to provide among others, a buffer between the college and the city of Accra, and also to provide cheap fuelwood for the college. That is what is currently known as Achimota Forest Reserve, and comprised a much larger expanse than we have currently.

The current size of the forest reserve is approximately 360 hectares after it lost a sizeable swathe of 135 hectares of its original size to various projects including the establishment of the Greenhill campus (GIMPA).

By petitions dated August 14, 2006, and September 25, 2007, respectively and addressed to the President of the Republic, the Owoo family (pre-acquisition owners) prayed for the release of unused portions of the acquired land back to them.

By a letter dated September 11, 2013, the government through the Forestry Commission, approved the request of the Owoo Family’s repeated petitions and agreed to grant them a leasehold interest of 99 years in the peripheral areas of the forest amounting to 118 acres.

the government also has intentions of developing portions of the area into an ecotourism/green park through a public-private partnership.

Due to the zoning of the area as a forest reserve, the released portions cannot be used for purposes not in line with the zoning. This caused the Owoo family to apply for a rezoning of the area to make it suitable for the intended development purposes of its grantees.

The current notice is not a sale of Achimota forest reserve lands but rather, a notice that the area is no longer zoned as a Forest Reserve.

The actual “sale” if it is proper to refer to it as such, was done by the government as far back as September 2013 when government released parts of the land to the Owoo Family. What has been done now is only consequent upon the said release.

Before we jump on issues and sensationalise them, it is prudent that we take a minute to seek some minimum information. Government has not done anything wrong or untoward. At least not this government.

My ten cents!