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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Renewed Land Debate and the 'Cargo Cult' in Mozambique
Author:Hanlon, JosephISNI
Year:2004
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Volume:30
Issue:3
Period:September
Pages:603-625
Language:English
Geographic term:Mozambique
Subjects:land law
1997
communal lands
investments
rural development
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4133911
Abstract:Land is again the subject of debate in Mozambique. The 1997 Land Law was passed following widespread consultation in one of the most democratic processes in Mozambique in the 1990s, and the law won praise for protecting peasant rights while creating space for outside investment. This balance is now being questioned. The law gives communities the right to delimit and register their land; once registered, potential investors need to negotiate with communities rather than merely consult them. About 100 communities have had land delimitations approved, but so far there have been no negotiations with investors. The international community and senior government officials argue that development in Mozambique will only come from private investors, mainly large foreign investors. They want greater emphasis on improving conditions for would-be investors, including speeding-up the consultation process, and less stress on peasant land delimitation. Pressure to change the constitution to allow land privatization has been rejected, but debate continues on permitting land 'titles' (effectively, leases) to be sold and mortgaged. This article argues that the land debate is actually a proxy for a debate about rural development. A minority see the need to actively promote some form of peasant-based development. However, most of the Mozambican Úlite and the international community have become adherents of a 'cargo cult' which believes that development is something that flies in from outside - from the World Bank and foreign investors. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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