Tuesday, February 04, 2014
PUBLICATION: Land Tenure Regularization in Rwanda The Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development
A Working Paper from the Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development:
This paper deals with a paradox of one of the most ambitious attempts to secure land rights for a predominantly rural population: the 2007 Rwandan Land Tenure Regularization Program (LTRP). The LTRP is a national land registration program—the first of its kind in Rwanda—that aims to title every plot of land in the country within the terms set out in Rwanda’s 2005 Organic Land Law, which has now been replaced by the 2013 Land Law. The general goals of the LTRP are threefold: to decrease gender inequality with regards to access to land; to optimize land use and economic growth through property ownership and security; and to provide a clear institutional legal frameworks for land ownership (Kairaba and Simmons 2010). Yet, despite its well-planned design and institutionalization of women’s equal access to land, implementation of the LTRP has not reduced disputes over land. In fact, the LTRP does not have an internal component to address new disputes as they arise. This problem raises a series of questions that guide our research: What are the gaps between the aims of the LTRP as a legal framework, and its implementation on the ground? To what extent is Abunzi (local mediators) included in the LTRP’s implementation? How are women affected by the LTRP? How do other groups, especially under represented rural populations understand land reform, and how are they served by the new laws?