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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rwanda's Imidugudu Programme and Earlier Experiences with Villagisation and Resettlement in East Africa
Author:Leeuwen, Mathijs vanISNI
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Rwanda
return migration
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Development and Technology
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3557343
Abstract:Despite earlier, negative experiences in East Africa, notably Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia, in early 1997 the government of Rwanda embarked on an ambitious programme for villagization and resettlement, named Imidugudu. Initially, the programme was started as a reaction to the return of an estimated 2.5 million refugees, but soon after its inception, the government announced that the programme would be extended to the entire rural population. While the Rwandan authorities present the programme as entirely different from its predecessors in East Africa, a review of those and of the implementation of villagization and resettlement in Rwanda shows that this statement cannot hold. Nevertheless, the programme gets considerable support from international agencies. This article investigates how international agencies have accepted and upheld the 'narrative of difference' of the Rwandan authorities. It argues that, notwithstanding the claims of the government, lessons from the experiences with villagization in Mozambique, Ethiopia and Tanzania are relevant for the Rwandan case. Even though Imidugudu was partially successful, in particular in providing accommodation for the homeless, there are many indications that its country-wide application was problematic. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.