Land office issues 8.4 million titles

The Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) has issued 8.4 million land titles despite the fact that 2.7 million title deeds remain unclaimed, according to a senior official.
Although titles can now be got at district level, about 2.7 million of them remain unclaimed. The New Times/ File.
Although titles can now be got at district level, about 2.7 million of them remain unclaimed. The New Times/ File.

The Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) has issued 8.4 million land titles despite the fact that 2.7 million title deeds remain unclaimed, according to a senior official.

Eng. Didier Sagashya, the Deputy Director General for Land and Mapping, told The New Times yesterday that the exercise went on as scheduled but the remaining challenge is poor turn-up of people who come to collect their land titles.

The deadline for issuance of title deeds is December.

“We have transferred the titles to the district level. People who have not collected their titles should go to their districts for them,” he said.

The demarcation and adjudication of land all over the country was completed in June last year with 10.3 million land parcels recorded.

“Out of 10.3 million, only 8.4 million titles were issued because the remaining land parcels do not have clear information regarding the ownership, so we are waiting for the owners to give us all the details before we issue titles,” Sagashya explained.

Ministerial Decree


In 2004, the government enacted an organic law on land to guarantee a safe and stable form of land tenure. Before that, the country never had a proper land policy.

In order to define and decide how the land registration process should be carried out, a Ministerial Decree determining modalities of registration was enacted in 2008 and a year later, land registration process kicked off.

Article 30 of the Land Law stipulates that registration of land any person owns is obligatory.  It allows owners to get legal documents and clarify their land rights, which increases their land tenure security

Sagashya noted that out of 10.3 million parcels registered, 11,840 families with land wrangles were recorded in a book dedicated to land disputes.

“The conflicts are being solved at the local level and the complicated ones have been taken to courts,” he said.

Most of the land disputes encountered are largely among family members who fail to agree on sharing their land, especially in polygamous families.

One of the benefits of land registration is efficient, transparent and equitable system of land administration where people use their own land as security to acquire loans from banks.

The RNRA official said that the Authority, in partnership with Rwandan Development Board, has created an interfaced land administration system that works as a data bank for all land transactions in the country.

He appealed to people to always make land transfers after selling their plots to change ownership from the original holder to the new one.

According to Willy Ndizeye, the Mayor of Gasabo District, people are increasingly collecting their land titles, and more than 90 per cent of the title deeds have been claimed.

“To make the process faster, the land titles have been transferred further to the village and cell levels where people can collect them at their convenience,” he said.

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