Understanding Informal Urban Land Market Functioning in Peri-urban Areas of Secondary Towns of Rwanda: Case Study of Tumba Sector, Butare Town | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2012
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
Rwanda LAND (Research) - 46
Copyright details: 
National University of Rwanda

Since mid-1970s, a great number of rural-urban migrants are converging towards Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and secondary towns, putting strain on land, especially of urban fringes. This is the case of Tumba Sector, a suburb of Butare Town, which attracts many people searching land for various uses. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the land market process in Tumba Sector. Data used in this paper were collected through desk study, survey and from non-structured interview held with the Tumba Land Bureau Officer. Findings revealed land-owned was acquired through informal purchase and land sellers were mainly native people who acquired land through inheritance. Size of land to be sold is frequently fixed unilaterally by the seller. Land demarcation is done with indigenous plants. Land price is negotiable and varies greatly based on the land size and its specific location and is higher than the reference land price. Land right transfer is evidenced by a simple “sale contract”. All informal land purchases are not reported to the Land Bureau though the process is very easy, clear and cheap. Land buyers are primarily local tradespeople, and secondarily civil servants. Great involvement of tradespeople in land purchase and high price suggest that there is land speculation in the area. Though informal land market benefits to the land seller and the buyer, it can be detrimental the client. Informal land market develops as a response to the failure of formal land provision which leads people not to apply to Huye District/Tumba Sector for land provision. Therefore it is important for the District and the Sector be empowered to be land provider and enforce rules and the law governing land, especially in peri-urban areas.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Emmanuel Twarabamenye


Description of the Centre

The Centre for Conflict Management (CCM), College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), at the University of Rwanda (UR) was created in 1999 with financial support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) through its “Trust Fund” for Rwanda. CCM mandate rises from particular challenges raised in the post-genocide context. It is both an answer to a research need to inspire policies and an opportunity to generate native knowledge on the deep causes of conflicts and potential strategies for the development of sustainable peace in our country.

Data provider

The LAND Project is a five year program supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Its primary goal is strengthening the resilience of Rwandan citizens, communities and institutions and their ability to adapt to land-related economic, environmental and social changes.

Geographical focus

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