Tuesday, February 14, 2012

LandNet Rwanda Chapter Consultative Meeting on Land Lease and Land Taxation - Meeting Declaration

9TH-10TH February 2012 at UMUBANO Hotel, Kigali


We, participants gathered in Kigali, at Umubano Hotel, February 9-10, 2012 at the LandNet Rwanda Chapter consultative meeting on Property taxation and land lease, aiming at providing dialogue between the grassroots, civil society, local administration and policy-makers on the best procedures for the land lease and property taxation in Rwanda, affirm a collective commitment to put in place appropriate coordination mechanisms to bridge existing information gaps and misunderstandings between the population and policy-makers on property taxation and land lease.

We affirm with great appreciation the continued commitment of the Government of Rwanda in supporting and welcoming the dialogue with civil society and providing open space for addressing the land issue in the country, which is very critical in the implementation of land reform in a post-conflict setting.

We acknowledge that the existing land laws and policies are protective of citizens’ land rights and are in line with the Government’s economic development policy; therefore land should generate revenue like any other property to foster national development.

We affirm that the current national discussion about property taxation and land lease is a public concern, and should be addressed accordingly.

We therefore come up with the following recommendations:

1. The government of Rwanda together with LandNet Rwanda Chapter should put in place effective mechanisms to raise public awareness and to insure adequate information of the population in regards to property taxation and land lease fees. This should include wide public awareness campaigns on the importance of land lease and property taxation, capacity building of relevant actors in understanding relevant legal provisions, as well as constant monitoring of the process through documentation and research.

2. Effective measures should be taken by the Government of Rwanda to find social balanced solutions for the lease fee on land belonging to vulnerable people who cannot afford to pay.

3. As Rwanda is still dependent on agricultural economy and given the land scarcity, no piece of land should remain undeveloped.

4. Given the gaps in understanding of land lease and taxation including the fixed rates and categories by both public and local leaders, there is a need for more deep studies and research.

Done in Kigali, February 10th, 2012

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