Policy and Legal Framework at a Glance


1.    The Vision 2020
The Government of Rwanda embarks on proactively supporting the positive side of urbanization correlated to economic growth and has an ambitious objective targeting a percentage of urban population of 35% by 2020, in parallel to emphasizing well planned and efficiently laid out and serviced rural settlement.
2.    The Seven Years Government Program
The 7-years government program guides the principal activities until 2017. It emphasizes the target of infrastructure and utility provision and maintenance throughout the country and thus acknowledges the importance of access to infrastructure for people in order to lead a dignified life. The program further emphasizes on housing in rural and urban areas, affordability and environmental friendliness, and on collaboration with the private sector.
3.    The Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 2013-18 (EDPRS 2)
Urbanization is a fundamental part of the EDPRS2. The aim of priority areas 4 and 5 of the economic transformation pillar is to “transform the economic geography of Rwanda by facilitating urbanization and promoting secondary cities” as centres of non-agricultural economic activities, and to pursue a “green economy” approach to economic transformation by favouring the development of sustainable cities and villages.
4.    The Urbanization and Rural Settlement Sector Strategic Plan (2013-18)
The Sector Strategic Plan of the Urbanization and Rural Settlement Sector develops the objectives of good development management and of spatial distribution of growth, and translates them into two high level priorities to develop a good urban and rural settlement management cross-cutting all development sectors and to create a hierarchical network of urban and urbanizing centers providing services and attracting economic activities countrywide.
5.    National Land Policy
The National Land Policy from 2004 aims at establishing a land tenure system that guarantees tenure security for all Rwandans and giving guidance to the necessary land reforms with a view to good management and rational use of national land resources. A revision process has begun for the update of this policy.
6.    National Housing Policy
Adopted in March 2015, this policy has a vision of enabling everyone independent of income, base of subsistence, and location to access adequate housing in sustainably planned and developed areas reserved for habitation in Rwanda. It enables the private sector to satisfy the current and growing demand for housing in terms of quantity and access costs offered to clients and supports the purchasing power among population through savings, pooling of individual resources and support to financing models accessible to the full range of residents including low income levels. It combines land use and urban planning principles in order to achieve the efficient use of land and resources when developing housing.
7.    Construction Industry Policy
A Draft Construction Industry Policy is in adoption process and will be complementary to the above National Housing Policy.
8.    National Urbanization Policy
The National Urbanization Policy was adopted in December 2015 and sets the framework for the governmental, non-governmental and private interaction in the country’s urbanization process in support of sustainable development. It sets the principles for coordinated strategies and actions supported by urban planning documents, development of urban areas at high density, inclusive urban areas providing quality of life and conditions for economic growth.
9.    National Investment Strategy
The National Investment Strategy emphasizes the support of the private sector in infrastructure development. The consolidation of efforts of the Government and various development partners shall ensure the realization of sector programs. The development of urban Master Plans and the construction of basic infrastructure in planned human settlements support commercial and industrial investment, investment into touristic and recreational activities and in Economic Development Zones.
10.    Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy
In 2011, the National Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS) was adopted as a pathway which will lead Rwanda to a sustainable, secure future where the country is prepared for the risks associated with climate change, population growth and rising oil prices while managing the environment in a sustainable manner. The GGCRS addresses resource efficient, low carbon and climate resilient development for sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. This Strategy looks beyond 2020 to 2050 and recommends actions that Rwanda can take in the short to medium term to ensure its future stability and prosperity in a changing climate and uncertain energy future.
11.    Law N°10/2012 of 02/05/2012 Governing Urban Planning and Building in Rwanda
The law establishes the basis applicable to urban planning and building in Rwanda.
12.    Law N°20/2011 of 21/06/2011 Governing Human Habitation in Rwanda
The law governs land occupation and construction on land reserved for human habitation. It defines the human settlements and criteria of an area reserved for human settlement.
13.    The law No.43/2013 of 16/6/2013 Governing Land in Rwanda
The law determines modalities of allocating, acquisition, transfer, use and management of land in Rwanda..
14.    National Land Use and Development Master Plan (2011)
It provides general directives for sustainable land use development and presents guiding principles for the future development of the country in regards of socio-economics, infrastructure, environment and land administration. Based on its provisions, District Land Use and Development Plans were developed in 2014/15.
15.    The Kigali City Master Plan (2013)
A Detailed Master Plan has been adopted for the City of Kigali, comprising planning and land use strategies as well as zoning regulations for Kigali’s three Districts. It is integrated with the Land Administration Information System (LAIS) and the online building permitting system. 
16.    Local Physical Plans Detailed Plans
All 30 District have Local Urban Development Plans for portions of their main urban areas, and detailed physical plans are under finalization to support urban land management. Rural settlement layout plans are also being formulated as a prerequisite for new planned rural settlements.
17.    Implementation Orders of the Law Governing Urban Planning and Building in Rwanda
The orders in their co-existence support cross-sectoral coordination and integrate different types of planning and framework for the integration of civil concerns. They regulate local development based on clear procedures to support sustainable, integral and inclusive development, clear institutional framework and decentralization, local economic development, citizen participation and accountability mechanisms, which are all principles supported by government policy. Available orders include:
-    Presidential Order N°46/01 of 30/06/2015 determining procedures for formulation, approval, revision and publication of the master plan for land use management and urban planning
-    Prime Minister’s Order N° 104/03 of 06/05/2015 determining procedures for formulation, approval, publication and revision of the local land development plan
-    Prime Minister’s Order N° 114/03 of 19/06/2015 determining conditions for authorization to carry out real estate development operations
-    Ministerial Order determining procedures for formulation, approval, publication and revision of the Specific Land development plan (Adopted but not yet gazetted)
-    Ministerial Order N°06/Cab.M/015 of 08/06/2015 determining the instructions of categorization of buildings, conditions and procedure for application for and issuance of building permits
-    Ministerial Order N° 04/Cab.M/015 of 18/05/2015 determining urban planning and building regulations, annexed with the Urban Planning Code and Rwanda Building Code
-    Ministerial Order N° 05/Cab.M/015 of 21/05/2015 determining the contents of urban planning documents and procedures for investigation, initiation, organization and issuance of authorization to carry out urban planning operations


18.    Rwanda Building Code
The Rwanda Building Code is published as Annex 2 of the Ministerial Order N° 04/Cab.M/015 of 18/05/2015 Determining Urban Planning and Building Regulations. It is a performance based code, integrating any technology and material for use in construction when fulfilling minimum performance requirements. It establishes such minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, sanitation, lighting and ventilation, energy conservation, and safety to life and property from fire and other hazards attributed to the built environment, use and occupancy, location and maintenance of all buildings and structures in Rwanda. The Building Code makes reference to requisite national, regional and/or international standards and/or code of practice.
19.    Urban Planning Code
The Urban Planning Code is Annex 1 of the Ministerial Order N° 04/Cab.M/015 of 18/05/2015 Determining Urban Planning and Building Regulations. It lays out the principles for the sustainable development and management of land used for human settlement. It is binding for all categories of land within urban areas for any development and investment project, public institutions, tourist, public spaces, urban renewal and infrastructure servicing. It provides a basis for forward planning, development management and plan implementation
20.    The Prime Minister’s instructions No 004/03 of 13/11/2015 determining the conditions and procedures for obtaining government support for affordable housing projects
These instructions specify government support for affordable housing development and the conditions for such support. It refers to eligibility criteria, beneficiary profiles and public infrastructure standards. A National Affordable Housing Support Approval Committee is established to examine and decide about financial support in a defined procedure.
21.    The Prime Minister’s instructions No 002/03 of 05/05/2015 determining procedures for eradication of asbestos materials
These instructions require owners of building containing asbestos materials to remove such, and those who own otherwise situated asbestos materials to wrap them appropriately and wait for burial of the material. The instructions provide for procedures for eradication of asbestos materials, the burial site locations. Responsible for the management of asbestos burial is the Rwanda Housing Authority in collaboration with the concerned District.
22.    Prime Minister Instructions Nº001/03 of 11/07/2014 relating to the fire prevention in Rwanda.
The purpose of these instructions is to enforce fire safety and security measures aimed at protecting people and their property from fire outbreak.

RWANDA NATIONAL URBANIZATION POLICY 2015

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Ministerial order N° 04Cab.M015 of 18052015 on urban planning anad building

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LAW N° 26/2012 OF 29/06/2012 GOVERNING THE PROFESSIONS OF ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING AND ESTABLISHING THE INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS AND THE INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERS IN RWANDA

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MINISTERIAL CIRCULAR ON IMPLEMENTATION OF LAW GOVERNING ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS FINAL SIGNED GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS

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    MINISTERIAL CIRCULAR ON IMPLEMENTATION OF LAW GOVERNING ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS FINAL SIGNED PSF

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    MINISTERIAL ORDER No 01/cab.M/09 OF 27/07/2009 DETERMINING THE MODALITIES OF CONSTRUCTING BUILDINGS PROVIDING VARIOUS PUBLIC SERVICES TO EASE THE ACCESS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

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    LAW No 40/2010 OF 25/11/2010 ESTABLISHING THE RWANDA HOUSING AUTHORITY (RHA) AND DETERMINING ITS RESPONSABILITIES, ORGANISATION AND FUNCTIONING

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    LAW No 20/2011 OF 21/06/2011 GOVERNING HUMAN HABITATION IN RWANDA

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    OFFICIAL GAZETTE No SPECIAL OF 30.05.2012 IMITUNGANYIRIZE IMIJYI IMYUBAKIRE MU RWANDA