The honey from the apiary association provide valuable additional income
Photo: Klas Palm
Land rights in Mozambique
When investors in agricultural land and other arable land turn their gaze to Africa, land rights are a key issue. Many Africans have lived on and cultivated the same land for generations, without having registration of ownership or legal right to it. In 1997 a new land law was implemented in Mozambique, with Swedish support, which recognizes traditional local householders' associations' right to land that they can demonstrate has been cultivated by them for the last ten years. Through the project ITC (Iniciativa para Terras Comunitárias), local householders' associations receive support in forming cooperative associations, surveying their boundaries and legalizing their right to cultivate the land. The programme also includes service and support for setting up various rural development projects (based on the village's shared land). These may relate to beekeeping, ecotourism or other ways of both preserving important natural resources and reducing poverty by increasing income.
Legalization also means that it is easier for investors to consult the local inhabitants ahead of various commercial projects. The initiative has been in place in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Gaza and Manica since April 2006. Since 2009, similar projects have been set up in Nampula, Niassa and Zambézia. The project donors have come to an agreement with the Mozambiquan Government with regard to the creation of a national programme in 2014 in order to secure rights to land and natural resources and link this to rural development.
The Community Land Initiative ITC is managed by the firm of consultants KPMG in cooperation with the Natural Resource Institute and Centro Terra Viva, among others. The initiative is funded by several different countries and agencies including Sida and the British DFID.
Up until 2011, Sida has funded the land rights programme with SEK 4.5 million. Decisions will be made for additional funding of 40 million for the period 2011-2013.
- By March 2010, 94 local householders' associations had received help in forming cooperative associations and 32 villages had had their land surveyed.
- A total of 163 villages had gained access to education and services through ITC and 171, 000 people living in 221 villages have in different ways benefited from the initiative.
- A total of 67 rural development projects have been set up which will lead to increased economic development.
- Seven partnerships have been entered into with the private sector and other organizations specialized in social entrepreneurship and local economic development.
- A total of 343 employees within the service sector and in various organizations have received relevant technical training in order to deliver various services within the programme. They have been trained in ITC's practices and procedures. Among the suppliers are civil society organizations, local voluntary organizations, consultants from the private sector and other technical personnel in provincial and regional governments.
- Women constitute 20-30 per cent of the participants at village level. One of the objectives in the next phase of the programme is to increase women's participation.
- Good relationships have been developed with the county administrative boards and regional governments within the project.