Rwanda (GPS: 2 00 S, 30 00 E) is located in Central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, north of Burundi. The country’s area measurements are total: 26,338 sq km; land: 24,668 sq km, water: 1,670 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than Maryland. The total irrigated land is 96 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Rwanda: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). Most of the country is savanna grassland, with the population predominantly rural.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Kigali’s GPS coordinates are 1 57 S 30 03 E. Kigali’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2.
In 1959, three years before Belgium’s independence, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed over 800,000 of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population.
The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda joined the Commonwealth in late 2009. President Paul KAGAME won the presidential election in August 2017 after changing the constitution in 2016 to allow him to run for a third term.
Rwanda’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Rwanda, conventional short form: Rwanda, local long form: Republika y’u Rwanda, local short form: Rwanda, former: Ruanda, German East Africa, etymology: the name translates as “domain” in the native Kinyarwanda language. The name translates as “domain” in the native Kinyarwanda language.
Rwanda’s terrain is typically mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east. The country’s mean elevation: 1,598 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m, highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m.
The general climate in the country; temperate: two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January): mild in mountains with frost and snow possible.
The total number of border countries is 4, Burundi 315 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 221 km, Tanzania 222 km, Uganda 172 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Rwanda’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: (Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 74.5%; arable land 47%; permanent crops 10.1%; permanent pasture 17.4%; forest: 18%; other: 7.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Rwanda 12,187,400 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 28.8% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: KIGALI (capital) 1.257 million (2015), while Rwanda has N/A. Their spoken languages are: Kinyarwanda only (official language, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, Kinyarwanda and other languages (s) 6.2%, French (official language) and other languages (s) 0.1%, English (official language) and other languages (s) 0.1%, Swahili (or Kiswahili, used in commercial centers) 0.02%, other 0.03%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 estimate). Main religions in Rwanda are Roman Catholic 49.5%, Protestant 39.4% (includes Adventist 12.2% and other Protestant 27.2%), other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 1.8%, animist 0.1%, other 0.6%, none 3.6% (2001), unspecified 0.5% (2002 estimate). The nation uses mixed legal system of civil law, based on German and Belgian models, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 1 July (1962).
Economic overview for the country: Rwanda is a rural, agricultural country with agriculture accounting for about 63% of export earnings, and with some mineral and agro-processing. Population density is high but, except for the capital Kigali, is not concentrated in large cities. Its 12 million people are spread out on a small amount of land (smaller than the state of Maryland). Tourism, minerals, coffee, and tea are Rwanda’s main sources of foreign exchange. Despite Rwanda’s fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with demand, requiring food imports.
Energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap private sector growth. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda’s fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and temporarily stalled its ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy well beyond pre-1994 levels. GDP has rebounded with an average annual growth of 6%-8% since 2003, and inflation has been reduced to single digits.
In 2015, 39% of the population lived below the poverty line, according to government statistics, compared to 57% in 2006. The government has embraced an expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty by improving education, infrastructure, and foreign and domestic investment. Rwanda consistently ranks well for ease of doing business and transparency. The Rwandan Government is seeking to become a regional leader in information and communication technologies and aims to reach middle-income status by 2020 by leveraging the service industry. In 2012, Rwanda completed the first modern Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kigali. The SEZ seeks to attract investment in all sectors, specifically in agribusiness, information and communications, trade and logistics, mining, and construction. In 2016, the government launched an online system to give investors information about public land and its suitability for agricultural development.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Rwanda: Periodic droughts, the volcanic Virunga Mountains are in the northwest along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congovolcanism: Visoke (elevation 3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country’s only historically active volcano, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue feveranimal contact disease: rabies (2016). Also, note that Rwanda faces the following environmental issues: Deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel, Overgrazing, Land degradation, Soil erosion, A decline in soil fertility (soil exhaustion), wetland degradation, and loss of biodiversity, widespread poaching.