Hajabakiga unveils land reform strategy

The Ministry of Lands and Environment has unveiled a new land reform strategy to ease the implementation process of the new Land Law.
Patricia Hajabakiga, the State Minister for Lands and Environment
Patricia Hajabakiga, the State Minister for Lands and Environment

The Ministry of Lands and Environment has unveiled a new land reform strategy to ease the implementation process of the new Land Law.

The strategy dubbed, ‘The Roadmap to Land Reform’, was presented early this week to various stakeholders at Hotel des Mille Collines in the City of Kigali.

It focuses on three major issues namely, new policy and legal framework, land management organisations and regularising tenure system.

The national land tenure reforms will be executed in four phases. The first phase started in 2005 with short term preparation. The next three phases, set to take twelve years, will focus on aspects of medium term implementation and five-year action plan.

While opening the workshop, Patricia Hajabakiga, the State Minister for Lands and Environment said that the strategy would help in sorting out land disputes among citizens.

“Land expropriation problems would be solved since land developers would be required to pay expropriated people a certain amount of money that is worth their land, depending on the prevailing price value of land,” she said.

She added that reforms would increase rural peoples’ wealth through rising land values, diversification of livelihoods by purchase, sale and rental of land.

Hajabakiga said that a preliminary test was carried out in the three districts of Gasabo, Karongi and Musanze in Kigali City, and Southern and Northern provinces, respectively. 
“The field evidence in particular has provided important insight into how we should proceed with the reform process,” she said.

She said that some citizens are eagerly waiting for the reforms and documentation. Some districts like Karongi have already started on the process, she added.

“The main target is to see how land can be appropriately used to effectively meet peoples’ needs,” she explained.

The minister said that proper land use will help enable the masses achieve the objectives of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS) targets.

The strategy, she said, would be presented to the lawmakers, government agencies and donors for validation.
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