Securing Land and Property Rights for All

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A community training excercie on how to use the STDM application; Mungule, Zambia. Photo ©UN-Habitat/John Gitau

 Zambia has dual land tenure system which is recognized and has legal provisions in the 1995 Land Act, namely Customary and Leasehold tenure systems.  Customary tenure covers about 94% of land in Zambia, while 6% of the Land is State-land under leasehold tenure.  These estimates are based on 1928 and 1947 assessments.

Customary Land is administered by the Chiefs using the Customary Laws applicable to different jurisdictions, and subject to Zambian Laws and natural justice.  The Town and Regional Planning Act enacted in August 2015 is applicable in Customary Land.  Rural areas have vast natural resources which results in competing interests between incoming investors and the rural communities over land.  The Government recognizes the need for a robust and responsive legal regime to enhance land rights and stimulate investment.

The Government’s commitment to land reform is driven by underlying objectives for promoting security of tenure for customary land in rural areas; preventing displacement of local communities by the urban elite or foreign investors in rural areas; promoting good governance, decentralization and transparency in land administration; eradicating inequalities amongst interested groups in gaining access to land in order to cater for the less privileged in districts; establishing a land audit commission to undertake a land audit countrywide in order to plan for sustainable use of land resources; and regularizing ownership of untitled properties in towns and cities.  The Government is following inclusive approaches in the land reform processes entailing the development of the National Land Policy and related legal framework.  Development Partners involved in the land sector are also coming together to support the land sector initiatives under Land Sector Working Group.


GLTN’s catalytic engagement

GLTN is working with stakeholders and partners to develop Zambia Country Implementation Plan which will articulate country priorities and identify relevant GLTN tools and approaches to provide value addition to country initiatives. GLTN will support country initiatives through sharing experiences on best practices, relevant land tools, and cooperating with partners who have developed goodwill and confidence of stakeholders and beneficiaries. 


Main areas of interventions

  1. GLTN will support the development of the National Land Policy within the technical leadership on UNECA-LPI through active participation in the consultative process; review and making inputs to draft documents; and sharing relevant information about land policies. GLTN will also actively support the land related aspects of the development of the National Urbanisation Policy.
  2. Land Administration - GLTN will support customary land certification initiatives, using experiences from Mungule Chiefdom in Chibombo District and assist in mapping of unplanned settlements, for purposes of speeding up the process of issuance of Land Record Cards through the use of relevant land tools. These interventions will investigate the applicability of fit for purpose approaches thus informing the development of legal framework to support Fit for Purpose Land Administration.
  3. Capacity Development - support the various capacity enhancement initiatives to ensure achievement of priorities in land sector and sustainability. GLTN will also actively participate in “Cooperating Partners Working Group Meeting on Land Issues” and advise the group as necessary, while at the same time encouraging inclusive engagement of all stakeholders in the land sector.

 More information:


Contact Info:

Location: Gigiri, UN Complex
Office: NOF South Wing Block 3
Telephone: +254 207623858
Email: gltn[at]

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