Most land in Ghana is held by communities under customary tenure. Government owns only about 20% of land in the country, most of this land having been acquired through a legal process of compulsory acquisition. Compulsory acquisition by the Government extinguishes all proprietary and jurisdictional rights, titles, or other interests vested in the stool (traditional authority) or any other person. Among other things, compulsory acquisition aims to provide land for public purposes, to correct economic and social inefficiencies in the use of land and also to deliver on broader goals of social justice and equity in the land sector through the redistribution of land. 

Most compulsory acquisition laws make provision for prompt payment of adequate compensation for those who are dispossessed. However, there has been recent public outcry against compulsory acquisition in Ghana (Kasanga & Kotey, 2001; Larbi, Antwi, & Olomolaiye, 2004; Myjoyonline, 2012b; Myjoyonline, 2011; Myjoyonline, 2012). 

This paper adopts the case study research method to research and analyse cases of compulsory acquisition and to assess the consequences of this process on urban land delivery. The chosen cases are situated in Tema and Kumasi, in Ghana. The study seeks to understand why the affected communities have recently used a variety of tactics to re-occupy land that was acquired from them through compulsory acquisition many years ago. The paper concludes that a review of the general policy on compulsory acquisition is indicated while the issue of the payment of compensation requires further detailed investigation.