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A virtual guide to "the land of a thousand hills". Get an overview of Rwandan art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.
Beside a country profile with facts and figures, this page offers maps, statistics, weather information, and links to sources that provide you with information about this Central African nation: official web sites of Rwanda, addresses of Rwandan and foreign embassies, domestic airlines, local news, city- and country guides with travel and tourism information on accommodation, tourist attractions, events and more.

Rwanda's parliament building
Rwanda's parliament © Parliament of Rwanda
 

Republika y'u Rwanda

Country Profile



Rwanda's Flag
Flag of Rwanda

Background:
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

 
Where in Africa is Rwanda?
Official Name:
Republika y'u Rwanda
short form: Rwanda
int'l long form: Republic of Rwanda

ISO Country Code: rw

Time:
Local Time = UTC +2h
Actual Time: Sun-Mar-29  03:05

Country Calling Code: +250

Capital City: Kigali (est. pop. 850 000)

Other Cities: Gitarama, Butare, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi.

Government:
Type: Republic.
Independence: 1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship).
Constitution: 26 May 2003.

Geography:
Location: Central Africa, south of the Equator at the Great Lakes region, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Area: 26,338 kmĀ² (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).

People:
Nationality: Rwandan(s).
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.
Literacy: 65%

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)

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Rwanda

The Republic of Rwanda
The Rwanda Government.

President of the Republic of Rwanda
Official website of Rwanda's President H.E. Paul Kagame.

Parliament of Rwanda
Official website of Rwanda's Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Rwanda Development Gateway
Rwanda's Information Portal.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
Official website of the ministry.

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of Rwanda
Washington D.C.
Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda to Germany
The embassy provides also an address list of
Rwanda's Diplomatic Missions abroad.

Maps

Administrative Map of Rwanda
Administrative Map of Rwanda (until January 2006).
New Administrative Map of Rwanda
Administrative Map of Rwanda (since January 2006).
Political Map of Rwanda
Political map of Rwanda.
Google Earth Google Earth Rwanda
Searchable map and satellite view of Rwanda.
Google Earth Google Earth Kigali
Searchable map and satellite view of Rwanda's capital city.

Political Map of Africa
The 54 countries of Africa.
Map of Africa
A Relief Map of Africa.
 

News

Imvaho Nshya
News site (in Iryibanze and Amakuru language)
Newsupdate
Official News From the Government of Rwanda by the Department of Information (in Kinyarwanda language)
IRIN Rwanda
Rwanda related news and news archive
The Newtimes
Rwandas leading English newspaper.
Rwanda Information Exchange
Information on Rwanda from various sources.

Radio/TV
ORINFOR
Rwanda Office of Information.


Yahoo! News: Rwanda
 

Bookmark/share this page



 

Arts & Culture

National Museum of Rwanda
Has historical, ethnographic, artistic and archaeological collections.
 

 

Business & Economy

Banque Nationale du Rwanda
The Rwanda National Bank, Central Bank of Rwanda. (in French).

COOPAC Coffee Cooperative
Cooperative of Rwandan coffee farmers.

Transportation
Rwandair Express
The new national carrier.
 
 

Destination Rwanda - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover Rwanda: Lake Kivu, Akagera National Park, Nyungwe National Park, Virunga volcanos,
accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, biking, hiking, climbing, rainforest, volcano trekking, tours and much more.

Rwanda
Discover Rwanda, the official travel guide to Rwanda.

 

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

 

Education

Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda
The National Agricultural Research Institute.
Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management
The first public technological institute of higher learning in Rwanda.
National University of Rwanda
Founded in 1963; university home page (English/French)
 
 

Environment & Nature

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
Dedicated to the conservation and protection of the endangered mountain gorilla and its habitat in East Central Africa.

International Gorilla Conservation Programme:
The goal of IGCP is to ensure the conservation of mountain gorillas and their regional afromontane forest habitat in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 
Mountain Gorilla
Mountain Gorilla © Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

History

Frontline: the triumph of evil
A report on the Rwanda genocide and how the United Nations and the West ignored warnings.
Rwanda - A Historical Chronology
Rwanda in the XXth century.
History of a People
Rwandas history from Precolonial times until today.
Rwanda -- History
by African Studies Center.
Rwanda: How the genocide happened
BBC article about the genocide.



Issues Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
Recognizing that serious violations of humanitarian law were committed in Rwanda, and acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in 1994. The purpose of this measure is to contribute to the process of national reconciliation in Rwanda and to the maintenance of peace in the region.
RDR
Republican Rally for Democracy in Rwanda - RDR is a political organization whose aim is to establish a Rule of Law, Justice, Democracy, Republican values and Truth on the Rwandan tragedy.
Ghosts of Rwanda
How could it happen, that America and the West stood aside and did nothing to stop the slaughter of 800,000 human beings over 100 days.

 
Rwanda rainforest
Rwanda rainforest © rwandatourism.com
 Support UNICEF

Other Countries of Central Africa
Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dem. Rep. (Kinshasa), Congo, Rep. (Brazzaville)
Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe

Other Countries of Eastern Africa
Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique
Réunion, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe