Rwanda’s land registration system will serve as an example of best practice for the Ethiopian government in developing and improving its land policy, says an advisor contracted by Addis Ababa.
David W. Harris, the Chief Technical Advisor Land and Administration and Use Directorate, told The New Times this yesterday in an interview.
This was after conducting a one-week study tour of the department of Land registration at Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), which is implementing the ongoing registration programme.
“We came to Rwanda specifically to learn from the country’s experience. Rwanda has reached an advanced stage of implementing nationwide land registration,” he said.
He said that last year another delegation from Ethiopia came to Rwanda to find out how the country had developed the registration policy and were impressed with the progress made.
“This time, we came to learn at best practice, which we can apply in Ethiopia in the coming years because we are developing a similar nationwide programme of land registration,” said Harris who led a group of 13 people.
He said that the registration methods used by Rwanda are unique, modern, efficient and cheap. He said that Ethiopia has been applying a traditional method of land registration land, using rope for measurements.
Rwanda uses the digital land registration which saves time.
“We started our five-year project last year and next month we are going to start trials in Ethiopia using similar methodology to the one used in Rwanda, using aerial photographs as the best way of mapping land parcels,” he said.
The programme of land registration coordinated by RNRA is currently underway across the country and is set to be complete by December 2013.
Article 30 of the Organic Land Law stipulates that registration of land is obligatory. It allows the owners them to get legal documents and clarify their land rights, which increases their land tenure security.
Land demarcation and adjudication is set for completion by June next year and the issuance of land titles to be completed by December 2013.
Thierry Hoza Ngoga, Division Manager, Land Technical Operations at RNRA said that it is encouraging to receive experts from other countries who want to learn from Rwanda’s land registration system.
“It’s good to hear that we meet their expectations and this is encouraging to us. So far we have received a delegation from Burundi, Botswana, Nigeria and Ethiopia who came to borrow a leaf from us,” he said.
In 2004, the government established a national land policy that guarantees a safe and stable form of land tenure. Before 2004 Rwanda 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 consequently in 2009 the land registration process kicked off.