After the end of the civil war, which lasted 16 years, Mozambique entered a period of national reconstruction and investment. During the war, a significant portion of the population moved to urban areas. However, the rural population nonetheless accounts for 63% of the total.

The Constitution of 2004 recognizes the state as owner of the land and it gives all Mozambicans the right to use and enjoy land as a means for the creation of wealth. It recognizes the rights to land acquired through inheritance or occupation. In addition, the 1997 Land Law protects the customary rights of communities to their traditional territories and these rights are considered equivalent to rights granted by the government. The Rural Land Law Regulations of 1998 establishes the process for the identification, acquisition, registration and transfer of land.

As the registration of land rights is not required by the Land Law, land disputes generally arise because the state or investors fail to recognize the nature of community land rights and uses. Other causes for conflicts are related to boundary disputes, inheritance and intra-family rights and land transactions. A formal court system has jurisdiction over land disputes, although the process is usually lengthy and expensive, and courts are often corrupted.  As a consequence, the majority of the population uses informal mediation and conciliation processes to resolve disputes. 

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


    Latest News

    Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND)
    Sierra Leone

    The winners have been identified of a £3.65m Challenge Fund funded through DFID’s LEGEND (Land-Enhancing Governance for Economic Development) umbrella programme, to drive innovative and responsible investments in land, in particular agriculture. The fund, managed by KPMG LLP, seeks to improve the effects of land investments on communities in sub-Saharan Africa.


    By: Ray Mwareya

    Date: 5 July 2016

    Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

    Although the law gives men and women equal property rights, the reality is very different in eastern Mozambique, one of the country's poorest regions.

    In the Chikwidzire district of Manica province, which borders Zimbabwe, deeply patriarchal cultural traditions stipulate that a woman without sons must cede her land to relatives upon her husband's death.


    By: Anabel Lemos
    Date: March 2nd 2016
    Source: Truth Out

    This article was drawn from an interview with Anabela Lemos, and conducted, edited and condensed by Simone Adler.

    Anabela Lemos is cofounder, campaign coordinator and board member of Justiça Ambiental, the Mozambique branch of Friends of the Earth.

    Latest Blog

    The Sugar Rush in South Africa - land grabs, land rights, human rights, agriculture
    Southern Africa
    Sub-Saharan Africa

    By Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and the Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at Sussex

    The expansion of sugar production in southern Africa has been dramatic. From its early beginnings in Natal to the huge commercial estates across the region established during the colonial era, new investments are being planned. The land rush in southern Africa is often a sugar rush, with the ‘white gold’ promising riches to governments, local elites and large corporates alike.

    A land rights inauguration ceremony in Mozambique, by Lasse Krantz

    Despite certain progress in recent years a large proportion of the world’s rural population, especially in low and middle-income countries, still does not have statutory recognized rights to the agricultural land and other natural resources they have been using for generations and on which they depend for their livelihoods. They are, therefore, vulnerable to today’s escalating demand for land for large-scale commercial investments as well as to other external claims on their landed resources.

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    Displaying 1 - 6 of 402
    Journal Articles & Books
    June 2015

    Em 2015, Moçambique celebrou 40 anos desde a proclamação da sua independência. Ocorreram entretanto grandes mudanças positivas em diversas áreas, apesar de um período relativamente longo de 16 anos de guerra civil, de finais dos anos 70 a princípios dos anos 90. Entre outras realiza- ções, no período pós-guerra reduziu-se a insegurança alimentar de 56% em 2003 para 24% em 2015, isto é, 32 pontos percentuais em 17 anos. A desnutrição também foi reduzida de 48% em 2008 para 43%, em 2015, isto é, 6 pontos percentuais em 7 anos.

    Journal Articles & Books
    June 2002

    Este artigo junta-se aos esforços de muitos outros africanos, entendendo-se por pobreza não só os níveis de rendimento por dia por pessoa, mas também a pobreza como ausência de poder nas relações intra-familiares, entre estas e os demais actores e entre a sociedade no seu todo e os recursos naturais de que se dispõe no Continente Africano.

    Manuals & Guidelines
    March 2010

    Moçambique é um dos bons exemplos dos países Africanos que têm desenvolvido metodologias de delimitação das comunidades rurais e tem estado a implementar com sucesso a sua reforma da lei de terra. A nova lei de terra em Moçambique surgiu em 1997 e desde então um número significativo de comunidades rurais reforçou o seu direito de uso e aproveitamento da terra. Este é uma vitória, um marco social e histórico, digno de registo e apreciação, jamais visto na história contemporânea, desde a Conferência de Berlim onde o continente africano foi divido para melhor ocupar e governar.

    Manuals & Guidelines
    September 2007

    A Estratégia de Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional (ESAN II) resulta da evolução da
    ESAN I aprovada pelo Governo de Moçambique em 1998, através da Resolução Interna
    16/98. A ESAN I foi elaborada na sequência da Cimeira Mundial de Alimentação
    (CMA), realizada em Roma em 1996, quando os diversos países se comprometeram a
    reduzir a fome para metade até 2015. Este objectivo coincide com o Objectivo número
    um do Desenvolvimento do Milénio (ODM), aprovado na Cimeira do Milénio, em 2000.