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Large-scale land acquisitions, displacement and resettlement in Zambia

PLAAS | November 2015

Policy Brief 41: Large-scale land acquisitions, displacement and resettlement in Zambia
 
by Jessica Chu, Kathleen Young , Dimuna Phiri, Zambia Land Alliance in 2015

Policy Brief 41 Zambia
 
Zambia is currently experiencing a rise in land-based investments by local and foreign investors.These take the form of large-scale and long-term leases and concessions on customary and statutory land for commercial ventures in agriculture and mining, as well as in infrastructure, manufacturing and industrial development. While such investments can bring significant benefits to the Zambian economy as a whole, they can also intensify poverty for those displaced from their land in favour of such investments. These displacements can be categorised as development-induced displacements, and occur as a result of the insecure status of land tenure among Zambia’s poorest communities who hold their land under customary tenure. Without land tenure security, communities are faced with the prospect of being displaced and are likely to lose out in obtaining resettlement packages. Zambia, through a number of new policy and legal reforms, now has the opportunity to establish new frameworks to govern land rights and land-based investments. As well as a new Customary Land Bill, which is to provide legal recognition of customary tenure rights and stipulate how these are to be governed, the National Resettlement Policy (NRP) will provide guidance on the resettlement of displaced communities and individuals. These reforms need to be cognisant of the ways and means in which communities have been displaced and resettled in recent cases of land-based investments, and learn lessons from them.

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