Dancing Batwa/ Laurent de Walick via Flickr ; CC BY 2.0

Barriers to Batwa inclusion in Rwanda

Investigation structural barriers to historically marginalized people’s (Batwa) inclusion in development in Rwanda

Led by Prof. Morag Goodwin, Tilburg Law School, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

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About the research group

Historically a hunter-gatherer community, the Batwa are the most vulnerable social group in Rwanda. This community has been marginalized in Rwanda with respect to education, housing, health, labour and property ownership (including access to land). Land and resource grabbing by members of other communities (Hutu and Tutsi) have aggravated Batwa exclusion. This research project is investigating why in spite of official ac-knowledgement of Batwa vulnerability, attempts to remedy Batwa marginalization have not so far succeeded. The key research hypothesis is that the framing of Batwa identity by a variety of actors at the local, national, regional and international levels constitutes a barrier to Batwa participation in development processes and plays a determining role in their persistent marginality and disempowerment.

  • Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace (IRDP), Rwanda
  • Rwandese Community of Potters (COPORWA), Rwanda
Main question

How does the framing of Batwa identity contribute to their socio-economic marginalization and limit their ability to participate in development processes in Rwanda?

Country focus
  • Rwanda