By Elita Soko:
A platform on Large-Scale Land- Based Investments (LSBIs) is on a mission to improve collaboration between stakeholders in land-related matters to do away with conflicts arising from misunderstanding.
Led by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI), civil society organisations (CSOs), traditional leaders and companies formed the platform on LSBIs and Community Land Rights in 2018.
On Thursday, stakeholders met in Salima District to among other things review strides achieved this far.
According MCCCI Chief Executive Officer, Chancellor Kaferapanjira, the goal is to ensure that stakeholders, particularly investors and communities have a common understanding.
“We already have examples of challenges where sometimes you have investors, maybe doing the right thing, but the community does not understand why the investors are there. So, our job is to make sure that communities understand the role of the community,” Kaferapanjira said.
Kaferapanjira gave an example of Kasungu, where various estates are idle but families that have stayed in those areas for a long time lack land.
He said the platform intends to explore ways of resolving such challenges by bringing together communities and investors.
Traditional Authority Mankhambera of Nkhata Bay District hailed the initiative, with hope that investor-community conflicts would be resolved amicably.
Through the initiative, stakeholders intend to engage the government on the existence of the platform, roping in more members from the private sector and developing and distributing information, education and communication materials on laws and issues concerning land ownership.
In addition, the platform will facilitate capacity-building initiatives for members, companies and investors and other stakeholders, on LSLBIs and land issues in general.
They are also planning field visits to areas with outstanding land problems, to get a better understanding of the root of the problems and identify possible solutions.
Other interests include supporting the development of digital documentation of land records at district level.
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