Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked sovereign state in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Rwanda is a few degrees south of the Equator, bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Rwanda enjoys a temperate to subtropical climate, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year is in the African Great Lakes region. Rwanda’s topography is highly elevated and is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country.
The population is young and predominantly rural, with a very high density. Rwandans are drawn from just one cultural and linguistic group, the Banyarwanda, with three subgroups: the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa.
Official Languages: English, French, Kinyarwanda, Swahili
Rwanda Flag: Three horizontal bands of sky blue (top, double-width), yellow, and green, with a golden sun with 24 rays near the fly end of the blue band. Blue represents happiness and peace, yellow economic development and mineral wealth, green hope of prosperity and natural resources. The sun represents unity, as well as enlightenment and transparency from ignorance.
National symbol(s): Traditional woven basket with peaked lid.
National colors: blue, yellow, green
National anthem: Adopted in 2001, “Rwanda nziza” (Rwanda, Our Beautiful Country)
Government: Presidential Republic
President: Paul Kagame since 22nd April 2000
Independence: 1st July 1962 from Belgium
GDP: Total; $24,717, Per Capita; $2,090
The countries legislature is composed of Parliament, Upper house chamber- Senate, Lower house chamber- Chamber of Deputies.
President is directly elected by simple majority vote for a 5-year term. Constitutional amendments approved in December 2016 included one that reduced the presidential term from 7 to 5 years but included an exception that allowed President Kagame to serve another 7-year term in 2017.
The parliament has more female than male members.
Rwanda is a safe, stable, and secure county to visit. The World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda as the 9th safest country in 2017, ahead of Qatar, Luxembourg, Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Estonia, Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Netherlands, and Morocco.
Rwanda is the fifth-largest contributor of peacekeepers worldwide.
Crime levels are relatively low.
Corruption is not tolerated in Rwanda.
Administrative divisions: 4 provinces ( Western, Eastern, Northern, Southern) and 1 city (Kigali)
The nation’s public holidays include; 1st Feb Heroes day, 7th April-Genocide memorial day, 1st July- Independence Day, 4th July Liberation day, 15th Aug Assumption, 1st Oct Patriotism day.
Area: Total-26,338 sq km, Land area: 24,668 sq km, Water area: 1,670 sq km
Geographic coordinates: 9408°S, 29.8739°E
Time Zone: CAT/ UTC +2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Climate and temperate; the country has two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January), mild in the mountains with frost and snow. The evergreen country enjoys the cool tropical highland climate—ideal for visiting all year round.
Topography: mostly savannah grassland, uplands, and hills; relief are mountainous with altitude declining from west to east.
Mean elevation is 1,598 m, with the lowest point being Rusizi River 950m and the highest point Mt. Karisimbi Volcano 4,519 m
It incorporates five of the eight volcanoes. The highest peak being Mt Karisimbi within its borders. The others are Muhabura, Bisoke, Sabyinyo and Gahinga.
Rwanda has 28 lakes with the larger ones being Lake Kivu, Muhanzi, lhema, Bulera, Ruhondo and Mugasera.
There are few natural hazards with periodic droughts. Visoke Volcano (3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country’s only historically active volcano.
Rwanda is predominantly rural, with agriculture accounting for about 63% of export earnings and some mineral and agro-processing.
As much as Rwanda is a landlocked country, you can still relax, unwind and enjoy the white sandy beach and weather at Lake Kivu shoreline.
The 1994 genocide stalled the country’s ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy.
GDP has improved to a growth rate of 6.2% while inflation has reduced to single digits. In 2015, 39% of the population lived below the poverty line.
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. You can start and register a company in 48 hours.
Agriculture products include coffee, tea, pyrethrum, bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes, and livestock.
In 2012, Rwanda completed the first modern Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kigali to attract investment in all sectors, specifically in agribusiness, information and communications, trade and logistics, mining, and construction. The government has also launched an online system to give investors information about public land and its suitability for agricultural development.
Currency: Rwandan Franc (RWF)
Religion is dominated by Christians; Protestant 50.2%, Roman Catholic 44.3%, Muslim 2%, other 0.9% (includes traditionalist/animist), none 2.5%.
Rwanda is home to mountain gorillas that can safely visit. A Rwanda gorilla permit costs $1,500 per person.
The baby gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina, takes place every year on the 1st of September.
Jackie is a hospitality and tourism professional with a passion for writing. An event planner by day and a writer by night. She keeps up with the trends by writing research-based content on tourism, business, careers and more.