Supporting a strategy to modernise Rwanda’s national mapping operations

Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) has a national-level responsibility to provide geospatial information including topographic, thematic and geological maps.

Rwanda began a Land Tenure Regularisation Project (LTRP) in January 2008, which successfully registered all its 10.3 million land parcels for the first time.

Following this, Ordnance Survey International (OSI) did a scoping study to provide RNRA with strategic advice for the continuous updating and maintenance of geospatial information. This includes the newly captured land parcel boundaries, which are fundamental to the Land Administration System.

What were the challenges?

- The need for location information to help support government transformation and national economic growth agendas in developing countries.

- Policy makers or users of location information not fully understanding the complexities of establishing a robust location information capability at national level.

- The rapid technological developments needed to meet growing customer demand in public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

- With RNRA, there was no clear strategy or capability for reviewing and updating mapping or for addressing current limitations such as scales, resolution, levels of detail, content and currency.

- Specific advice was needed on boundaries acceptance criteria for recording parcel information. This is particularly relevant in areas where there is rapid development and/or rising land prices, in line with principles established in the Fit-for-Purpose Land Administration approach.

What was the solution?

We hope to learn from OS’s experience of developing and implementing a national location strategy to inform our own approach to strengthening surveying expertise in Rwanda.

— Rhona Nyakurama, Land Administration Program Manager for RNRA (Rwanda Natural Resources Authority).
- The UK used its G8 presidency in 2013 to place security of land tenure (LT) high on the agenda. Leaders agreed implementation of globally negotiated guidelines on LT to support regional processes such as the Land Policy initiative of the African Union (AU).

- The UK Department for International Development (DFID), through The Investment Facility for Utilising UK Specialist Expertise (IFUSE), supports land governance policy and programmes as an essential building block to sustainable economic developments.

- OSI’s information management experts took part in an in-country scoping study to establish a common understanding between the Government of Rwanda, RNRA and OSI.

What was the outcome?

OSI authored a 64-page mission report, delivered in December 2014, detailing vision, strategy and a set of prioritised recommendations and options on how RNRA could move forwards, including:

- A high-level delivery plan for the modernisation of national mapping Rwanda, to help RNRA fulfil its role as the official national mapping organisation.

- Estimating length of programme, cost and effort.

What are the benefits?

- Having current data that will improve cross-government business process, transparency and wider governance issues across areas such as spatial planning, inward/local investment and development in Rwanda.

- A clear mapping strategy and framework for geospatial data management means future requirements can be identified and planned for.

- Ability for RNRA to develop a viable business and operations model, with potential funding models.

- Ultimately, the report helps RNRA move forward in its vision to be at the forefront of sustainable development, economic growth and prosperity of Rwanda through an efficient, transparent and equitable system of land management and land administration.

How can we help you?

Ordnance Survey International provides consultancy services in a wide range of areas including data modelling, strategy and vision, geomaturity assessments, geospatial information system roadmaps and providing support for major national events.

To find out more, please contact: or call +44 (0)3456 050505.

We can also offer a geospatial maturity assessment to help you understand how mature your organisation is and where you need to be.