The United States Agency for International Development (USAID/Rwanda) land project that has been operating in the country for the last four years has come to an end.
Today (Wednesday) in Kigali there was a ceremony to mark the conclusion of the project and major achievements were shared.
Gloria Jean Garland, the director office of democracy and governance at USAID, while addressing the press said the project focused on increasing understanding of land laws, policies, regulations, legal judgments on land-related issues by government officials and local civil society organizations (CSOs).
She added that the project enabled research institutes, citizens and increasing the capacity of local Rwandan institutions to generate high quality, evidence-based research on land-related issues and the government laws and policies.
The $ 9.4 million initiative has been funded by USAID and implemented by Chemonics. Rwanda land project's goal was to support, Rwanda in strengthening the resilience of Rwandan citizens, communities and institutions and their ability to adapt to land-related economic, environmental and social changes.
Among other achievements, Rwanda land project since 2012, Ailey Hughes land project said has built the capacity of four Rwandan universities, research institutes, and CSOs to carry out research that informed land-related policy and partnered with the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) and Esri Rwanda to develop Africa's first national land use planning portal where 1,700 cell-level land use maps were also disseminated.
Hughes explained that through Rwanda land project, a communications campaign was conducted which shaped the attitudes and mindsets of men and boys to embrace gender-equal rights to land. It also strengthened the capacity of legal assistance providers to implement the legal framework governing land and published an assessment of the gaps between gendered land policy and practice in partnership with the Gender Monitoring Office (GMO).
"Through this project, policy research briefs on expropriation, wetlands, land-based government revenues, protected areas, climate change adaptation, and the land rights of women in informal unions was also published," Hughes revealed.
"This project aimed at seeking Rwandans achieve a sustainable development through land. It has granted security of land tenure as well as promotion of gender equal land rights," Grace Nishimwe, the deputy director general of RNRA said.
USAID is a foreign assistance agency of the United States government; it provides $150 million of development assistance annually to Rwanda, with programs in health, economic development, education, and democracy and governance.