Rwanda has an area of 26,338 km2 with a population of 10,762,085 million. Rwanda is known as the most densely populated sub- Saharan African Country with its population density of 407 inhabitants per km.
Land as a valuable resource is stated as one of the important pillar for sustainable development of our country in the national document, VISION 2020. It is surely a priority for agricultural development and a springboard in the fight against poverty. Whoever owns the land controls access to it, determines the use to which it is put, decides the economic, social and political beneficiaries of production on it, and how the wealth below it is to be exploited.
The Land sub-sector is one of the five sub-sectors that constitute the Environment
and Natural Resources Sector. The objective of this sub-sector is to develop appropriate policies for land use and to ensure that all land resources are recorded and classified adequately and, that laws and appropriate land tenure systems are applied’.
Land is one of the three main factors of production. Its finite nature makes it a very valuable natural resource and it is in this context that its use and management need to be carried out in a sustainable and rational manner.
Before 2004, apart from a few scattered land regulations, most of which date back to the colonial period, Rwanda had never had a proper land policy nor had it ever had a land law, a situation that enhanced the duality between the very restrictive written law and the widely practiced customary law, giving rise to insecurity, instability and precariousness of land tenure.
The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for addressing issues of policy, in particular through Ministerial orders and/or instructions that set out laws and procedures for the administration, planning and allocation of land.
The Ministry of Natural Resources therefore, found it compelling and necessary to establish a national land policy that would guarantee a safe and stable form of land tenure, and bring about a rational and planned use of land while ensuring sound land management and an efficient land administration. This policy was adopted in 2004.