UN-Habitat projects in Rwanda


Planned City Extension for Rubavu and Nyagatare



This project seeks to improve the existing master plans for the urban area in Rubavu District and proposes a Planned City Extension based on UN-Habitat’s principles for Sustainable Urban Development. A Planned City Extension concept plan has been prepared and approved for Rubavu, and also for Nyagatare. A guideline to support secondary city authorities in city planning has also been developed.

Implementing partners: Ministry of Housing and Construction, Rubavu Local Government



Lake Victoria Region Water and Sanitation Initiative PHASE II - Training and Capacity Building Component



Objective of the project

  1. To provide efficient and timely implementation of programme activities
  2. To enhance community participation in ownership of programme activities, thereby empowering them for sustainability of the programme facilities and outcome/benefits
  3. To ensure the financial and operational sustainability of the programme investments
  4. To ensure that the poverty reduction and public health benefits of the programme are fully realized


The project is developed around the following methodologies:  

  1. Programme management to ensure local stakeholder participation, timely and efficient delivery of programme outputs and an effective monitoring, quality assurance and evaluation system.
  2. Institutional capacity of service providers to ensure the efficient delivery of water, sanitation and refuse collection and disposal services and the long term sustainability of programme investments.
  3. Hygiene promotion and sanitation to maximize the public health benefits of the programme, strengthen local structures to manage public sanitation programmes and promote options for financing mechanisms for accessing to household sanitation.
  4. Urban catchment management to reduce environmental degradation and contribute to the long term sustainability of water resources.
  5. Monitoring and evaluation system to ensure gender mainstreaming in water and sanitation programmes and provision of services to the poor.

Service sectors covered by the project include:Water, Sanitation, Solid Waste management, and Environment.

  • Duration:April 2011 to December 2016
  • Value: USD 4,244,443
  • Donor:African Development Bank
  • Implementing Partners:UN-Habitat, East Africa Community through the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Governments of Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda through respective ministries.



Hands on training on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for youth empowerment


Project Location:Kigali,Rwanda .

Objective of the Project

To involve the youth in the green economy that is contributing to climate change mitigation.Modules covered include:

  • Conducting energy audits
  • Green building and passive building designs
  • Tubular biogas digester systems
  • Improved cook stoves and gasifier stoves
  • Sustainable charcoal briquette production to substitute charcoal and firewood
  • Assembling and installation of solar bulb lights

Service sectors covered by the project include: energy access, buildings, academia, policy and legislation, housing finance.

  • Duration: As need arises– on going
  • Value: in- kind (staff time)
  • Donor: UN-Habitat,
  • Implementing Partners: UN-Habitat Urban energy Unit



Promoting Energy Efficiency in Building in Eastern Africa



Objective of the project

 The project seeks to mainstream energy efficiency into the existing legislation; and, to build on ongoing initiatives and develop an energy efficiency regulatory system for new and existing buildings. The project will also focus on green architecture, with the emphasis on effective policies, regulations and standards that integrate energy efficiency into building design.

Service sectors covered by the project include: energy access, buildings, academia, policy and legislation, housing finance.

The methodology:The project is developed around the following methodologies: Establishment of a benchmarking on energy use in building, capacity building of practitioners and professionals of the building industry; review of the building regulations and standards; development of tools and establishment of financial mechanism for promotion sustainable building design. Working with the national and local governments as well as training institutions and the private sector.

  • Duration: August 2011 to December 2016
  • Value: USD 15,276,288

    (Global Environment Facilities (GEF) USD 2,793,000; UN-Habitat (in kind) USD 400,000; Governments (in kind) USD 12,083,288)

  • Donor:Global Environment Facilities, and UN-Habitat,
  • Implementing Partners: UN-Habitat, UNEP and Governments of Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda through respective ministries.



Rapid Planning



This project is located in Kigali. Its objective is to develop a rapid trans-sectoral urban-regional planning methodology with a focus on urban basic services, specifically targeting supply and disposal infrastructure. The service sectors covered by the project include energy, water, waste water, solid waste and urban agriculture. The methodology will help to address the city’s challenges in the following areas: phasing urban development; preparing a 30 year plan for the city; promoting city density; addressing inadequate housing; and financing large amounts of low-cost housing. For more information click here.

  • Duration: September 2014-December 2019
  • Value:$538,611
  • Donor:German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
  • Implementing Partners:City of Kigali



Water and Sanitation Trust Fund Implementation of Training and Capacity Building Activities Under the Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Programme Phase II (East African Regional Project)



Water and Sanitation Trust Fund Implementation of Training and Capacity Building Activities Under the Lake Victoria Water Supply and Sanitation Programme Phase II (East African Regional Project)

  • Duration: December 2011 – December 2016
  • Value: US$4,244,445
  • Donor: African Development Bank
  • Implementing Partners: East African Community (EAC); African Development Bank (AfDB); Government of Burundi; Government of Tanzania; Government of Rwanda; Government of Kenya; Government of Uganda;



Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme



This programme is being implemented with a focus on the development and adoption of inclusive policies and strategies for slum upgrading . The Programme also aims to strengthen community, city and national key stakeholders’ capacities in participatory slum upgrading in Rwanda, particularly in the City of Kigali, Musanze District and Muhanga District. More sepcifically, the Country Team particularly aims to contribute to the ongoing elaboration of the National Urban Policy, the implementation of the National Urbanization Sector Strategy as prescribed in the Rwanda’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2) and specific local urban/city development plans.

  • Implementation Phase: Phase II
  • Duration: November 2013 – December 2015
  • Value: US$120,000
  • Donor: European Commission and, the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Secretariat
  • Implementing Partners: UN-Habitat and the Ministry of Infrastructure
  • Profile cities/ location: City of Kigali, Musanze District and Muhanga District



Population (2018)
12.5 million
Total value of projects
US$ 1,034,330
No. of projects (2014 - 2019)
Total: 6

Rwanda has the highest population density in Africa, in which approximately 16.52% of the population lives in urban areas, almost half of it is concentrated in Kigali, the capital city, with about 1.1 million inhabitants. Fast economic and demographic growth puts pressure on the limited land resources, ultimately rendering citizens to live in urban areas. Bearing in mind the topographic nature of the country coupled with the significant demographic shifts towards urban areas, Rwanda needs to develop its own, unique urban model while balancing both rural and urban development.

Support the development of National Urbanization policy and Smart city Rwanda masterplan
Support in the design of a city-wide unplanned and underserviced settlements upgrading strategies for the city of Kigali
Support youth empowerment through entrepreneurship program, vocational program, ICT program, Health Program where the total of 324,276 youth were engaged.
Urban numbers
61.3 percent of the urban population in Rwanda live in informal settlements
Gap between demand and offer in terms of affordable housing is still huge
Poverty is still a big challenge

“Our plan is to make the City of Kigali the center of urban excellence in Africa and we welcome the contribution/support and partnership of important organization like UN-Habitat”

Fidel Ndayisaba , Mayor of the city of Kigali (2015)

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

Through the elaboration of the citywide  informal settlement upgrading strategy and other various shelters projects for returnees and people relocated from high-risk zones, UN-Habitat was ensuring access to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home with freedom from forced eviction.

Human rights icon

Men and women, boys and girls experience cities in very different ways, and face various challenges and needs that cities have to address. UN-Habitat promotes the stronger commitment of national and local governments as well as other relevant stakeholders to work towards the realization of a world in which men and women are recognized as equal partners in development and enjoy equal human rights so that economically productive, socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable cities and other human settlements can be achieved more rapidly, completely and sustainably.

Gender icon

With UN-Habitat support, 5204 youth were trained in vocation skills and entrepreneurship in Kimisagara One stop Youth/Kigali Center. The program reached the total of 324,276 youth

Children icon

Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

Disability icon

Donors and partners

In order to create activities and projects that are meaningful and have a full impact in the country, it is notable the role of successful partnerships, especially with national government and local authorities. Un-Habitat Rwanda works with several local and international partners, which provide the inclusion of the New Urban Agenda principles in the development of the country. In addition, through the inclusion of the civil society and communities in the processes, it is possible to guarantee the support to social inclusion and the eradication of poverty in cities.


Catherine Kalisa
Country program manager a.i
Un-Habitat Rwanda
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