Recently, new community-level institutions have emerged in Zambézia province, Mozambique, through land rights registration. Numerous rural groups have delimited their acquired land rights and established community-level management systems. This paper assesses the rise of these ‘new’ institutions and whether they have replicated, replaced, or been added on to the existing pattern of state and nonstate institutions and processes. The paper examines the relationships between these micro-level processes of land delimitation and macro-level processes of decentralisation, and identifies some initial outcomes from a livelihoods perspective. The new communities have registered large swathes of land, but have had had a limited impact on development processes. They are not yet recognised by the state as legitimate actors in planning land and resource use, adjudicating disputes, or allocating rights. Existing traditional authorities and/or local government have largely maintained their roles and legitimacy, even in areas with new institutions. The new community groups face a dual challenge: from a state reluctant to deal with implications of devolution, and from their own constituents familiar with and respectful of traditional mechanisms.
Norfolk, S.; Nhantumbo, I.; Pereira, J.; Matsimbe, Z. The &#8216;New&#8217; Communities: Land Tenure Reform and theAdvent of New Institutions in Zambézia Province,Mozambique. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK (2003) 24 pp. [Sustainable Livelihoods in Southern Africa Research Paper 12]