By Aamon Butao 

Oxfam Malawi has expressed concern that unresolved land issues could affect Foreign Direct Investment into the country.

The remarks were made during Day 1 of a training workshop on inclusive and responsible large scale land-based investments in Lilongwe with the Large Scale Land-Based Investments Platform.

Speaking during the meeting, Oxfam Livelihoods Resilience Programme Manager Steve Kuliyazi said they decided to engage large-scale land-based investments to ensure that the investors are making profits while also respecting community land rights and encouraging good models for socio- economic growth in Malawi. 

He emphasized the need to civic educate members of the platform on inclusive and responsible large-scale land based investment principles and practices including the national legal, international and regional frameworks.

Kuliyazi said since Oxfam launched the large scale land program in 2016 after the enactment of the land law, over 2000 communities in some districts like Phalombe and Rumphi have benefited from the program.

According to Kuliyazi, Oxfam is engaging different stakeholders that are involved in land issues such as chiefs, investors and non-governmental organizations in making sure that there are no land wrangles and that everybody is aware of land laws. 

In her remarks, large–scale land based investments platform member from MCCCI, which is also the secretariat of the platform, Madalitso Kazembe said the aim to address age-long disagreements between investors and communities.

Making his input, Northern Region Commissioner for Lands, Timothy Mwale, said investors and communities land laws that were enacted in 2016 will protect all stakeholders.

Mwale said land laws have guidelines to end all land connected disagreements in the country.

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