Union of Cooperatives and Agricultural Associations of Lichinga-UCA was formally approved as Lichinga district association in 1991. UCA is especially renowned in the province for their abilities to inform, mobilize and defend the interests of their constituency. The province is sparsely populated and mostly covered by forests and fields that make it attractive for the development of agro-forestry.
Lake Niassa (Malawi), which borders the province, offers business opportunities in tourism, while the recent discovery of coal has attracted coal mining and extraction business. In the northern part of the Lake District gold has been found and illegal mining is going on. These activities pose a potential threat to the ecosystem and biodiversity in the province. Serious conflicts already exist between influential private investors and the local societies that have lost fertile agricultural land and access to water.