Promoting Land Tenure and Property Rights in Zambia

The majority of land in developing countries is not documented, impacting the ability of millions of households to make long-term investments in their property. Countries where property rights are perceived as insecure are also less attractive for investors and more reliant on donor funding. USAID recognizes that strengthening rights to land and natural resources is central to achieving a broad range of development goals on the journey to self-reliance. Through the Integrated Land and Resource Governance (ILRG) program, USAID provides both short  and long term assistance across a range of land and property rights issues including natural resource management, inclusive economic growth, agricultural productivity, and women’s economic empowerment.

Learn more about USAID’s ILRG program in Zambia in the series of short videos below:

Women’s Empowerment
Through partnerships, USAID is building self-sufficient and sustainable organizations to achieve key development goals in Zambia such as food security, conflict mitigation, and improved governance.

“The support that has come from USAID is very critical because it helps COMACO [Community Markets for Conservation] to drive these programs to the communities.

Women with strong inheritance rights and land in their own name are likely to be more prosperous and have healthier families. In eastern Zambia, USAID is working with traditional leaders and local partners to put women at the center of the land certification process.

“I can plant anything I want to put on my land. I am free because I am confident it is really mine.”

Land and Agriculture
Tradition and Tenure
Without access to recognized and secure property rights, farmers in Zambia face barriers to long term investments in their land. USAID is working with farmers to document their land through low-cost, locally available tools, as well as teaching techniques to improve agricultural productivity.

Customary land tenure traditions in Zambia are not locked in time. Rather, they are adapting to new needs and finding new technologies to help communities. USAID is supporting tradition leaders with low cost processes to document land rights of their people. USAID and its partners have already helped traditional leaders generate more than 15,000 customary land certificates.