Republika y’u Rwanda
short form: Rwanda
int’l long form: Republic of Rwanda
ISO Country Code: rw
Local Time = UTC +2h
Country Calling Code: +250
Capital City: Kigali (est. pop. 850 000)
Other Cities: Gitarama, Butare, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi.
Independence: 1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship).
Constitution: 26 May 2003.
Location: Central Africa, south of the Equator at the Great Lakes region, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Area: 26,338 km² (10,169 sq. mi.)
Terrain: From Grasslands and rolling hills to areas of rugged mountains that extend southeast from a chain of volcanoes in the northwest.
Highest point: Volcano Karisimbi 4,519 m.
Climate: Mild and temperate, with two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January).
Population: 10.7 million (2011; Rwanda’s population density is among the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa).
Ethnic groups: Hutu 85%, Tutsi 14%, Twa 1%.
Religions: Christian 93.5%, traditional African 0.1%, Muslim 4.6%, 1.7% claim no religious beliefs.
Languages: French, English, Kinyarwanda.
Natural resources: Gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land.
Agriculture products: Coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock.
Industries: Cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes.
Exports partners: Germany 10.8%, China 6.3%,Malaysia 4.4%, Belgium 4.4% (2005)
Imports partners: Kenya 24%, Uganda 6.2%,Belgium 5.5%, Germany 5.3% (2005)
Currency: Rwandan Franc (RWF)
In 1959, three years before 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 the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the killing in July 1994, but approximately 2 million Hutu refugees – many fearing Tutsi retribution – fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). Since then most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda.
Despite substantial international assistance and political reforms – including Rwanda’s first local elections in March 1999 – the country continues to struggle to boost investment and agricultural output and to foster reconciliation. A series of massive population displacements, a nagging Hutu extremist insurgency, and Rwandan involvement in two wars over the past four years in the neighboring DROC continue to hinder Rwanda’s efforts.
(Source: CIA – The World Factbook)
for a more detailed history see: History of a People
border countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda