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

  • E Twarabamenye
  • E Nyandwi
Keywords: land market, beneficiaries, land disputes, 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 landowned 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.

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print ISSN: 2305-2678