Young Changemakers using tech to solve land corruption

Fifteen bright young minds from Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe came together recently to brainstorm innovative solutions to combat land corruption affecting their communities.

Participants were brought to South Africa for an intensive three-day workshop, where they were mentored by leading social entrepreneurs and encouraged to develop solutions to boost integrity in the land sector, with an emphasis on cross-border collaboration. The four best projects to come out of this initiative will win seed grants to so they can be developed further. 



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. 

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.

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.

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!

Land Policy in Africa: Southern Africa Regional Assessment

Also available in

Southern Africa is one of the most well endowed regions in the continent in terms of mineral and natural resources. However, the region is facing serious environmental challenges such as land degradation, deforestation and water stress in specific areas.

Resource information

December 2010
Land Policy Initiative

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

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


Best Practice in Poverty Analysis : Malawi Human Resources and Poverty - Profile and Priorities for Action, November 1995

Also available in

The report requested by the government
of Malawi updates the poverty assessment completed in March
1990. It will guide policy and investment priorities, and
inform the design of programs intended to improve living
conditions and increase incomes of the people in Malawi. A
greater understanding of the magnitude and the profile of
poverty will also make it easier to implement a monitoring
system to evaluate the effects of programs and track the

Resource information

August 2012
World Bank Group

Malawi - Institutionalizing Traditional Community-Based Natural Resource Management

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Malawi, a landlocked country in
southern, central Africa, depends on its natural resources,
especially the agriculture sector, to meet the demands of a
population of about 11 million people. The country has
developed a remarkable fishing industry, keeping in mind
that about 20 percent of the area is covered by water,
including the famous Lake Malawi (called Lake Nyasa by the
riparian states, Mozambique and Tanzania). Lake Malawi/Nyasa

Resource information

August 2012
World Bank Group

Malawi : Rural Energy and Institutional Development

Also available in

This study reviews Malawi's
policies in the biomass, rural electrification, and
non-biomass renewable energy sub-sectors to identify
problems and constraints to progress and to propose
policies, initiatives, and institutional structures to
overcome those problems and constraints. The main
recommendations of this report to the Government of Malawi
are as follows: 1) reform the present legislative and

Resource information

April 2014
World Bank Group