Land Laws Pilot Sites

New Land Laws Pilots

The key land law which underpins the country’s Land Reform Programme and current piloting of the five new land laws is the Customary Land Act 2016 (CLA). The Act is bringing in a new arrangement of customary land administration and management from a decentralized approach. This is the arrangement which necessitate the establishment of new structures to support and carry out various activities that will ensure a smooth implementation and effecting of the new law. In summation, the CLA is providing for the creation of Customary Estates which will be a product of conversion of customary land rights to private land rights upon a systematic adjudication, demarcation and registration of the land parcel. The piloting of the CLA includes the establishment of the following structures;

  1. 50-50 gender-balanced Customary Land Committees at Group Village level,
  2. Land Tribunals at TLMA, District and Central levels,
  3. Land Clerks in all TLMAs who will be serving the Customary Land Committees as Secretariat,
  4. Adjudication and demarcation of TLMA boundaries,
  5. Systematic adjudication and demarcation of individual and household land parcel boundaries,
  6. District Land Registries in pilot districts and Issuing of customary land certificates and maps to rights holders.

These activities, therefore, will be/are being carried out in the pilot districts under different initiatives or projects that are supporting and requiring the implementation of the CLA. Stakeholder interventions in their respective undertakings are being aligned to the requirements of the CLA and its implementation plan. The five key land laws, with the CLA on the spotlight, are therefore being tested under the following projects or initiatives in the pilot districts and other sporadic GVHs;

  1. Agricultural Commercialization (AGCOM) Project;
  2. Shire Valley Transformation Project;
  3. Strengthening Land Governance Systems for Smallholder Farmers in Malawi;
  4. Support to Implementation of Land laws in Malawi;
  5. Technical Cooperation to Strengthen Capacity in Implementing Land Policies and Laws Efficiently and Effectively; and
  6. ASWAP-SP lands Sub-Component.

These initiatives and projects are at different implementation levels under support from the Malawi Government and various development partners including the World Bank, European Union and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. It should also be noted that there are three Departments in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development that are key in implementing the new land laws through provision of technical guidance towards the land reform process.