- The British Department of International Development (DFID) has committed £20 million that will support a land registration programme for Rwanda.
The five-year project will see million of Rwandans attain certified rights to land as well as create a data base of land ownership in the east African state.
According to a statement issued by DFID yesterday, the project will also contribute towards lessening violence in the country, as a result of land disputes.
"For the first time, men and women in Rwanda will be able to defend their land rights through the law courts, giving them the peace of mind to invest in their farms and build their businesses," said the International Development Minister Mike Foster.
He also said by getting legal rights to land, poor farmer's lives would be transformed as many Rwandans had no way to prove what they own, making it too easy for others to take land away from them.
The project which is scheduled to be completed by 2014, follows a three and half year pilot programme funded by DFID that tested the land registration method. During a trial, DFID said only five percent of land rights were disputed.
Rwanda, with a population of over 10 million experiences regular disputes over land, sometimes turning very violent. Some arguments have even been advanced that partly, land disputes contributed to the 1994 100 days genocide, where an estimated 800,000 people were killed in ethnic violence.
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