Monday, January 2, 2012

Rwanda's Problems as Property Problem

The National Geographic Magazine recently ran an article on Africa's Albertine Rift that describes the property angle that swirls around the tragedy in Rwanda:

By the mid-1980s every acre of arable land outside the parks was being farmed. Sons were inheriting increasingly smaller plots of land, if any at all. Soils were depleted. Tensions were high. Belgian economists Catherine André and Jean-Philippe Platteau conducted a study of land disputes in one region in Rwanda before the genocide and found that more and more households were struggling to feed themselves on little land. Interviewing residents after the genocide, the researchers found it was not uncommon to hear Rwandans argue that "war is necessary to wipe out an excess of population and to bring numbers into line with the available land resources."

Steve Clowney

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Frankly speaking, the very fact that 1.6 million Rwandan children go to school every day shows that schools sometimes can promote peace because they bring together children from different backgrounds. The Reconciliation Commission has also eliminated all discrimination related to entry exams, which are now based on qualifications only. The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission now teaches people peace throughout the country. They are also going to introduce peace education in our curriculum.

Posted by: Andrea | Apr 12, 2012 2:03:44 AM

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