Malawi

Malawi

English

Malawi is a small and landlocked country whose economy is mainly based on agriculture. 49% of the total land is agricultural land, 81% of the total population is rural and the majority of the agricultural sector is made up of farmers cultivating small plots of land for their own consumption.   

The constitution of Malawi establishes that all land belongs to the state and that every citizen has the right to property and use land for economic activities.  There are several laws governing land tenure in terms of recognition of types of land tenure, conversion of customary land for agricultural development and means of land dispute resolution over customary land, title registration system and the prohibition for non-citizens to purchase land. The 2002 Land Policy has as main objectives to ensure tenure security and equitable access to land without discrimination, to define rules for land allocation and market transactions, to promote the decentralization of land administration, to create a new land registration system and encourage the community management of natural resources. However, more specific laws to enforce the provisions established in the Land Policy have never been passed. Customary law still regulates land allocation, use and transfer; it has been recognized by the Land Policy of 2002, which calls for the incorporation of traditional customary land structure in the formal land-administration structure.

Land disputes in Malawi generally occur over land transactions, land access and inheritance land rights. The majority of these disputes are resolved by traditional leaders and courts that are recognized by the Constitution. 

Source of the narrative

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Indicators

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Mapping

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Infographics

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. The indicators of this dataset assess national laws against Section 16 of the VGGT standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement.

Each indicator relates to a principle established in the VGGTs.

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.

Media

Latest News

Land: Enhancing Governance for Economic Development (LEGEND)

DFID’s LEGEND programme announces winners of £3.65m challenge fund

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.

African Women lobby leaders on land rights

By: Luke Bisani

Date: 18 September 2016

Source: Malawi24

Women across Africa have been mobilised to call on leaders on the continent to address land rights issues as one way of achieving sustainable development.

The call comes at time when women in rural areas of Africa are seen as having no piece of land, a development that has brought hiccups on food production on the continent.

The Farmer Calling for Equal Land Rights for Women in Malawi

Date: August 26, 2016 
Source: Action Aid press release

In Malawi, women’s land rights are often governed by customary laws, which are unwritten and lead to the marginalisation of women. Incredibly, women own just 1% of Africa’s land. In the village of Chikojo in Malawi, Maureen Adson is taking a stand.
Find out how you can support women like Maureen here!

Malawi: 'New Land Laws to Empower Chiefs, People '

By: Malawi News Agency
Date: August 1st 2016
Source: AllAfrica.com / Malawi News Agency

The recent budget sitting passed land administration related bills which have raised controversy and at times outright misinformation. The Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education, PATRICIA KALIATI, provides some insights into the pieces of legislation and other related matters.

Excerpts:

Latest Blog

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

The sugar rush in southern 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.

Library

Displaying 1 - 6 of 115

Many actors, little coordination

As with other countries, agricultural extension and advisory services (EAS) in Malawi are provided by public, private, and non-profit organisations. While it has become commonplace to refer to this collection of actors as a system, this claim is only valid in the loosest of terms, as many of the component parts do not functionally interact with others in an operational sense, tending rather to function as independent sub-networks within larger national, and international spheres of exchange.

Resource information

March 2014

Women’s Land Rights in Southern Africa: Consolidated Baseline Findings from Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Full citation: Kachika, T., "Women's Land Rights in Southern Africa: Consolidated Baseline Findings from Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe," NIZA & ACTIONAID REPORT (October 2009).

Resource information

December 2009

Women and Land: Securing Rights for Better Lives - Women and Land. Securing Rights for Better Lives

"This book focuses on recent findings from sub Saharan Africa on women and land. It finds:
• Participation-oriented research methods are much more likely to bring about immediate benefits than other, more traditional research methods.
• Merely passing legislation is of little effect without the necessary resources for implementation, without informing and educating all relevant actors on the provisions of the legislation, without monitoring the reforms, and without effective sanctions on failure to implement.

Resource information

December 2011