Swedish support to the land sector in Mozambique

Since 1991 a stable peace has prevailed in Mozambique. Democracy is functioning well and two general elections have been held (1994 and 1999). The country has embarked on a market oriented economic policy and the development is quite fast. During 1999 the GNP growth was about 10 %. The country has a number of natural resources, many of which have not yet been used. Mozambique receives a significant amount of foreign aid every year.

Land policy
In 1995 a Land Policy was adopted by the government. The main development objective of it is to provide security of tenure as a stimulus to poverty alleviation and promotion of sustainable economic development. 

Land legislation
To achieve the objective of the Land Policy a revision of the Land Law and accompanying legislation was made between 1997-2000. Land in Mozambique is owned by the state. Long-term use rights can be obtained through occupation by communities, through occupation in good faith for at least 10 years or through a land allocation procedure, where the state can give use right title for various kinds of investment projects.

Land administration
In rural areas and most of the urban areas The National Directory for Geography and Cadastre (Dinageca) is responsible for implementing the land allocation procedure, controlling land use and building up and maintaining the national land cadastre as well as a general public geographical data bank. Dinageca is also responsible for collecting the annual land use tax ,which title holders have to pay. In the larger cities these tasks are handled by the Municipal Councils. 

Dinageca has also a supervising role regarding land allocation and cadastral issues. 
Dinageca fulfils its tasks through a head office in Maputo and regional offices in all of the ten provinces. Dinageca and its regional offices are within the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER).

Land Management
The government programme for the land sector sets the milestones for land management. The current programme is for the period 2000-2005.

Within the urban areas, land management is the responsibility of the Municipal Councils. 
The State, through its governors and district administrators in each province and through the different sector ministries, executes land management in other areas. New land use rights are decided by the governor or, in the case of very large areas, by the Government. 

PROAGRI is the name of a 5 year programme for MADER for development of the rural and agriculture sector inMozambique. It started in 1999. It has different components. One is the Land Component, which is oriented towards the following basic principles in order to implement the Land Policy and the government programme for the land sector:

  • Elaboration and implementation of the land legislation
  • Protection of land rights
  • Participation by the communities in land management
  • Information system for land and natural resources
  • Institutional development and capacity building including decentralisation of land management
  • Inter-sector co-operation and establishment of an efficient system for monitoring and evaluation


Dinageca and its regional offices are among those institutions which implement the PROAGRI program. Another important institution is MachavaTechnicalSchoolwhere surveying technicians at medium level are educated. As the land issue is not only an agricultural and rural matter the inter-sectorial Land Commission within MADER, with the aim to co-ordinate land issues between all the ministries, has an important role in development of land policies, land administration and land management in Mozambique.

Swedesurvey in Mozambique
Swedesurvey has implemented Swedish support to Mozambique within the land sector since it started in 1991. From the beginning it was directed to capacity building at Dinageca and Machava Technical School.

A new programme was implemented between 1997 and 2001, National Program for the Development of DINAGECA, an institutional co-operation between Dinageca and Swedesurvey, with the aim to support the necessary institutional development and capacity building of Dinageca and its provincial offices. Special attention was paid to assist in human resource development, organisational matters and in development of legislative support and procedures for land allocation and land and property registration and mapping. Two long term consultants have worked as advisers to the management of the Mozambican organisations in general and technical matters. A number of short term consultancies regarding specific tasks have been conducted as well.

Apart from implementing Swedish support to the land sector Swedesurvey has also been involved in a specific study regarding the urban land sector. In 1998 and 1999 Swedesurvey made a comparative study of the real and documented land use and land occupation and the legal support to urban land management. The study was made for areas in the capitalMaputo and was financed by the World Bank.