Land Based Investments in Mozambique: Challenges in Community Rights Protection, Participation and Benefit Sharing

Alda Isabel Aníbal Salomão

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


The interest in the governance of land and other resources in developing countries has intensified over the past two decades in response to the increased pressures registered due to land-based investments. These pressures derived from global interests to remedy the food and energy crisis of the 80s but were also a result of public and private interests at national level involving large extensions of land in different sectors. The manner in which these interests and investments have been addressed, has fuelled concerns both at the national and international levels due to negative social and environmental impacts. In general, land-based investments have failed to respect and protect citizens’ and community rights. Citizens and communities are often marginalized from decision-making processes, loose their land rights permanently or see them substantially restricted in both size and quality, and rarely share any meaningful benefits. This thesis analysed this reality using the Republic of Mozambique as a case study, due to its reputation as a country with a progressive policy and legal framework that balances community and investors’ land rights so that citizens can effectively benefit from land-based investments. While thanks to these provisions the Mozambican 1997 Land Law has been described as one of the best in Africa, based on the research findings, the main conclusion of this thesis is that there are good elements in the Mozambican legal framework for participatory and inclusive land governance but in practice community rights protection, participation and benefit sharing do not actually materialize and, so far, neither procedural nor distributive justice objectives have been achieved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Zoomers, Annelies, Primary supervisor
  • van Noorloos, Femke, Co-supervisor
  • van der Haar, G., Co-supervisor, External person
Award date26 Jun 2020
Place of PublicationUtrecht
Print ISBNs9789463013024
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2020


  • Mozambique
  • land rights
  • land governance
  • investments
  • state
  • communities
  • participation
  • benefit-sharing
  • procedural justice
  • distributive justice


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