Rwanda LAND Policy Brief: The Implementation of Rwanda’s Expropriation Law and Outcomes on the Population

By Andrews Kananga, Hadley Rose, Frank Mugisha, Clarise Munezero, Jean Baptiste Nyarwaya, Zacharie Ndayishimiye, with assistance and advice from Dr. Daniel Clay

This Policy Brief contains a synthesis of the findings and recommendations drawn from a research project conducted by the Legal Aid Forum on the Implementation of Rwanda’s Expropriation Law and its Outcomes on the Population. The research was funded by the USAID-funded LAND Project as a component of a broader research agenda developed in early 2014 through a multi-stakeholder consultative process in Rwanda supported by the LAND Project.

The current Expropriation Law was adopted in 2007, as legislation implementing the 2005 Organic Land Law. The Organic Land Law was replaced in 2013 by an ordinary law regulating land. The 2013 Land Law reaffirms the right to private property ownership that is subject to expropriation in the public interest. The 2007 Expropriation Law created the procedures and regulations by which the government could expropriate private property in the public interest.

Rwanda’s ambitious development plans have led to much growth and prosperity in Rwanda, but those plans have often required the expropriation of property from its citizens. Prior to this research, no systematic, comprehensive empirical review had been conducted on the extent of expropriation in Rwanda, the valuation and compensation processes for expropriated properties, and the impacts of expropriation on the expropriated population. In order to estimate a baseline number of households impacted by expropriation, the research team visited all 30 Districts in Rwanda to obtain numbers of expropriated households, and also to identify more detailed numbers and lists of names of expropriated people in the 15 sampled Districts. From this two-stage listing process, the team was able to estimate that 30,050 households have been affected by expropriation since the 2007 Expropriation Law was adopted. This policy brief presents the key findings and recommendations derived from this study.

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