Rwanda pilots electronic land transfer system

Rwanda is piloting an electronic land transfer system in an attempt to reduce the number of conflicts and delays that currently plague the process.

The users of the service report that the paper-based method of land title transfer takes a long time to complete, among other issues.

“Apart from the cost, which is also discouraging in the process of land transferring regardless of the size of the land it takes a long time. It can even go over one year to reach the final stage of the process. For instance, if one of the owners of the land is dead,” said Jean Aime Ngabitsinze, a resident of the Mugina sector in Rwamagana district.

Landowners can initiate a land transfer through voluntary sale through the Irembo network, according to officials, through the paperless pilot project of land transfer, called “Ubutaka,” which is underway in Gasabo district. The information entered in Irembo is then sent to Ubutaka, a database that notaries in the district can use to verify the identities of sellers and buyers. 

The procedure is set up so that the notary signs all related identity and purchase documents digitally using web-based Public Key Infrastructure software before transferring them to the Land Administration Information System, where the registrar reviews, approves, and signs using Public Key Infrastructure. 

After final approval, all transaction data, notary authorization, and registrar approval would be released as digital proofs for future auditing and irrefutable proof of transfer by all parties concerned.

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