Over the course of a year, newspapers report on a broad range of topics reflecting the issues that rise to the surface of public discourse. Conflict, court cases, and scandals are among the most common narratives reaching the papers, but these are also complemented by positive development gains around new infrastructure, public and private investment, or victories in longstanding challenges. Because of the centrality of land to urban and rural livelihoods, tenure security is a major topic of interest that arises almost daily. Over the course of 2019, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Integrated Land and Resource Governance Program (ILRG) documented 721 newspaper articles that referenced tenure security and governance of land and other natural resources. These articles were then classified across a range of issues and between state and customary land areas. This analysis tracks these issues both across specific stories that continue throughout the year, as well as trends that are seen between different parts of the country. The review follows four major papers, the Daily Mail, Times of Zambia, the Nation, and Mast. An appendix to this report provides a short summary of each article that was reviewed.
The report demonstrates the broad range of challenges within the sector, particularly around boundary disputes, corruption, deforestation, displacements, encroachments, illegal allocation of land, land policy,mining, poaching, succession wrangles, titling, and the protection of natural resources.