Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Political Science, Comparitive Politics

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Jean-Germain Gros


Joyce Mushaben

Ruth Iyob

Kenny Thomas


In 2000, President Paul Kagame introduced a plan to alleviate poverty as well as to maintain political control over the policy process through a decentralized bureaucracy. Since adoption of Vision 2020 in 2000, Rwanda has been reforming its rural sector to commercialize agriculture, reduce pressures on land, and move the country into middle income status by the year 2020. In order to achieve the goals outlined in Vision 2020, the Government of Rwanda (GoR) adopted a policy of administrative decentralization in 2001 to facilitate the transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture. I am addressing two related questions: 1) How has Vision 2020 been implemented in rural Rwanda? 2) Is administrative decentralization inhibiting or facilitating implementation? I am studying the challenges of implementing Vision 2020 among a population that has a shared memory of civil war and genocide as well as a history of conflict over land rights and use. Included in the analyses are discussions of the evolution of land laws, changes in the agricultural economy, and administrative structures established to facilitate development. The dissertation will focus on the policies of villagization and agricultural commercialization to illustrate how 21st century agrarian policy is being implemented in Rwanda.

OCLC Number