NYARUGENGE - The United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) has given Rwanda £20m (Rwf19bn) grant for land reforms, a move that closely follows the announcement of a huge three-year budget support package.
The support will facilitate land regularization through which every landholder will receive a land title and 7.9 million plots will be mapped countrywide.
Receiving the grant on behalf of government, Minister of Finance, James Musoni expressed optimism that the support will increase agricultural productivity and help create resources needed for poverty reduction and consolidate peace and social cohesion.
“The provision of this grant is a result of British government’s efforts on commitment to assist Rwanda speed up the poverty reduction process,” Musoni said.
DFID said land tenure regularization will help resolve many long standing disputes and protect property rights of all land holders in Rwanda.
“Land tenure regularization is fundamental to unlocking fair and sustainable economic growth in Rwanda,” said Martin Leach, DFID country representative.
Land titles will be used as collaterals for loans and will build confidence for investments in economic development and combat land degradation.
The grant comes as the second phase of the initial £3 million that was disbursed in 2003 to mainly cater for legislation on land issues.
“We believe that this project is ground-breaking in its approach and represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate how land tenure regularisation can be done,” said Leach.
Dr. Emmanuel Nkurunzinza, the Director General of National Land Centre, said that the programme has a package of $55 million for a period of five years from different development partners with the government contributing $15 million.
Nkurunzinza said that currently, land registration is ongoing in Bugesera and Nyamagabe districts.
Recently the UK approved a combined sectoral and direct budget support of Rwf 153 billion (£160 million) to finance Rwanda's expenditure programmes for the next three years.