State of Land Information in Mozambique: An Open Data Assessment

December 2023
S. Norfolk, A. Pinheiro and C-T. Bayer. (Land Portal.)

This State of Land Information (SOLI) report from the Land Portal assesses the state of land data in Mozambique against principles of land data openness, land information availability and accessibility, and overall good land governance. The report is one of a series produced by the Land Portal, featuring in-depth analysis of the country level land information system, legal frameworks and data accessibility. The authors outline the complex landscape of land information in Mozambique, making recommendations for targeted interventions to improve compliance with international open data standards. Local communities in Mozambique can claim customary ownership rights of land they have used and managed with oral testimony sufficient to back their claims. Since Mozambique’s Land Law was passed in 1997, government land administrators have prioritised the registration of commercial land for investors. As a result, there is little available data on customarily owned land. Since 2013, Mozambique’s government has been making efforts to systematically register all land, but progress has been slow, but land information and land governance in general has been relatively high on the political agenda. On the other hand, much data is not available publicly and that which is goes out of date due to lack of maintenance and updating of records. The authors’ report that Mozambique’s last Open Data Inventory (ODIN) assessment was done in 2022, when it scored37/100 overall and ranked 151st worldwide. In the Global Data Barometer land module assessment last done in 2021, Mozambique scored 9/100, compared to a global average of 25/100. It scored 1/100 for the openness of its land tenure data, 17/100 for its land use data and 14.100 for its gender and inclusion uses of data. Overall, land governance data and information in Mozambique is found to be only slightly open, and the report makes several recommendations for improvement.