Global Programs
May 2017 Field Study
Student Blogs

Ghana map and flag
Taylor Winn


Taylor Winn

Aggie Law Class of 2019

Land Use Conflicts and Access to Justice

Interviewing Government Officials
by Taylor Winn

Ghana: Winn, Adu-Kusi, HernandezBlogger 2L Taylor Winn with Mr. Kwabena Adu-Kusi, head partner of the Law Bureau, a law firm in Ghana, and 2L Kevin Hernandez.

One of the more interesting things we did when studying Ghanaian property law was to interview several government entities associated with property, which involved sitting down with a series of questions and picking the mind of these officials who work in the land system every day. This opportunity allowed us to see the inner workings of the system and get a behind-the-scenes perspective of the function and purpose of the law and how that was carried out.

Our questions ranged from what the law entailed, to how it was applied and whether it was effective. Questioning these experts and professionals allowed us to dig deep into the subject matter and get a good grasp on the land systems.

Something thing that I did notice regarding these discussions was how welcoming and available these officials were. They went above and beyond to ensure that we were given ample time out of their busy day to have these interviews, and made sure that we were comfortable and treated well. I don’t know that you would get that with an American official, but it definitely stood out in Ghana how accessible and welcoming their officials were.

Another interesting takeaway was the mindset of these officials and the information they seemed willing to give up. Most seemed to think that their system worked very well and that the people were accepting of the system and how it worked.

However, when we spoke with attorneys and other people in the land owning business, those same feelings were not expressed. I do not know if that is due to the government officials desire to look like they are doing a good job, or if they actually believe that the system is a good one. Either way, there seems to be some disconnect between the government and the people that they govern, probably not too unlike the American system.

Finally, the most valuable part of the experience in my opinion was the practice and learning done by meeting with very important people. The opportunity to meet with government officials does not come around often, so having this chance to be around them and get the feel for the proper etiquette and manners was very valuable. The feeling in a meeting like that is much different than meeting with a professor or even an attorney that you might meet with. The setting of the meetings is different than any setting I have met in before.

This trip provided many first-time opportunities that could not be duplicated, and I am thankful for every one of them.

Ghana COLANDEF groupThe students met with Dr. Kwakye Ameyaw (on left in navy) with the Forestry Commission, Mrs. Nama Ama Yirrah, founder of COLANDEF (back row, middle, ​in red), and Mr. Hugh Brown (back row in purple) with the Forestry Commission.
rural construction site in Ghana​New construction in rural Ghana.
Ghanan Lands Commission 2017-05-26Meeting with attorneys for the Ghanan Lands Commission: Mr. John Zida, Mrs. Enyonam Ametepe and Ms. Edna Adabayeri.
Ghana La Palace Chief 05-22-17At La Traditional Council Palace with Nii Kpobi Tette Tsu, Paramount Chief of the La Traditional area (front row, center).
Ghana La Traditional CouncilThe four men in the front holding the Texas A&M School of Law banner are the La Traditional Council at the Customary Land Secretariat. Their role is to advise Chief Nii Kpobi Tette Tsu on matters involving the La land.

(Left) At La Traditional Council Palace with Nii Kpobi Tette Tsu, Paramount Chief of the La Traditional area (front row, center).