OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Rwanda
CAPITAL: Kigali
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic with Transitional Government
AREA: 26,338 Sq Km (10,169 Sq Mi)
ESTIMATED 2000 POPULATION: 9,266,100


Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Rwanda is a landlocked country located in East Central Africa. It is bound by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) and Lake Kivu to the west. The country is divided into six topographical regions from west to east. (1.) The Great Rift Valley and Lake Kivu. (2.) The volcanic Virunga Mountains and the high lava plains of the northwest. (3.) The Condo-Nile divide and the central plateaux east of the mountains. (4.) The savannas and swamps of the east and southeast. (5.) The central plain and (6.) the arid desert like area of the southeast. The country's nine largest lakes are the Ruhondo, Muhazi, Mugasera, Ihema, Rwanye, Burera, Rugwero, Cyohoha and Kivu while the principal rivers are the Kagera, Ruzizi and the Nyabarongo with its tributaries. Major Cities (pop. est.); Kigali 237,800, Ruhengeri 29,600, Butare 28,600, Gisenyi 21,900 (1991). Land Use; forested 22%, pastures 18%, agricultural-cultivated 48%, other 12% (1992).


CLIMATE: Rwanda has a tropical climate influenced by altitude. There are two dry seasons, a short dry season from January to February and a long dry season from June to September, as well as two wet seasons, one from October to December and the other from March to May. Rainfall is heaviest in the west and decreases in the central uplands and to the north and east. Average annual precipitation in Kigali is 1,000 mm and average temperature ranges are from 19 degrees Celsius (67 degrees Fahrenheit) in January to 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) in July.


PEOPLE: The principal ethnic group are the Hutu who account for 90% of the population, followed by the Tutsi who account for 9%. The smallest ethnic group are the Twa who are Pygmies and account for 1% of the population. The ethnic alien groups include Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs and Belgians.


DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 284 persons per sq km (737 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 5.4% urban, 94.6% rural (1991). Sex Distribution; 49.4% male, 50.6% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 46.9 years male, 50.2 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 49% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 14% 30 to 44, 7.5% 45 to 59, 3% 60 to 74, 0.5% 75 and over (1990). Birth Rate; 51.2 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 17.2 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 34.0 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 122.0 per 1,000 live births (1990).


RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians with 65% of the population Roman Catholic while 9% are Protestant. Around 17% of the population follow local native tribal beliefs and 9% are Muslims.


LANGUAGES: The official languages are French and Kkinyarwanda (Rwandan), with the latter a Bantu language which is spoken by the majority of the population while Swahili is also widely spoken.


EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 76.9%, incomplete primary 16.8%, incomplete and complete secondary 2.0%, higher 0.3% (1978). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 50.2% (1990).


MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: In 1946 Ruanda-Urundi was administered by Belgium under a UN trusteeship. In 1959 the Hutu revolted and abolished the Tutsi monarchy and in 1961, the people of Rwanda voted to make their country a republic. Subsequently, Ruanda-Urundi became the two independent countries of Rwanda and Burundi on July 1, 1962 with Gregoire Kayibanda as Rwanda's first President. In 1973 the military led by Gen. Juvenal Habyarimana ousted Kayibanda, dissolved the nation's legislature and took control of the government. During the 1970's Pres. Habyarimana gradually replaced most of the military members of the ruling party with civilians. In 1978 Rwanda returned to a constitutional government and in 1988 ethnic tensions in Burundi resulted in around 38,000 Hutu refugees seeking exile in Rwanda. Additionally, around 300,000 Tutsi also emigrated to Uganda. In 1983 Pres. Habyarimana was re-elected and again in 1989. In Sept. and Oct. 1990 the Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR) which consists of between 5,000 and 10,000 exiled Tusti in the Ugandan army invaded Rwanda in an attempt to regain Tutsi control of the country. Pres. Habyarimana appealed to Belgium and France, who sent in paratroopers to help repel the rebels. In late Oct. 1990 a cease-fire was negotiated and talks were undertaken with Uganda in Nov. 1990 regarding the Tutsi's future, although the Rwandan government maintained that there was no land left for the Tutsi refugees. In Jan. 1991 the rebels launched further incursions into the country from Uganda before government forces repelled them. In Feb. 1991 a meeting held at Zanzibar in Tanzania resulted in Pres. Habyarimana and Pres. Museveni of Uganda agreeing to a cease-fire although fighting continued throughout the year. In Apr. 1991 Pres. Habyarimana announced that a multiparty political system would be introduced in June 1991. On June 10, 1991 the new constitution which provided for multiparty politics and separate legislative, executive and judicial divisions of the government became law. On Dec. 30, 1991 Prime Minister Sylvestre Nsanzimana nominated a transitional government, most of which were representatives of the National Republican Movement for Democracy and Development (MRNDD). Following which opposition parties refused nomination unless the Prime Minister was appointed from outside of the MRNDD. On March 14, 1992 three opposition parties signed a pact of understanding with the MRNDD. On April 2, 1992 Pres. Habyarimana replaced Prime Minister Nsanzimana with Dismas Nsengiyaremye of the Republican Democratic Movement (MDR) and on April 19, 1992 announced a 19-member transitional government with representation from five parties. In June 1992 representatives of the government and the FPR met in Paris, France and agreed to a cease-fire, although violations of the truce continued. In Oct. 1992 further talks resulted in an agreement that involved the FPR in a transitional Cabinet that would share power with the President. In Jan. 1993 Pres. Habyarimana refused to recognize the power-sharing agreement shortly after it had been signed that led to further clashes between the rebels and government forces. In Feb. 1993 some one million people had been affected from the escalating violence while France took measures to protect its 400 nationals living in Rwanda by reinforcing existing troops. In July 1993 Pres. Habyarimana appointed Agathe Uwilingiyimana of the MDR as the country's new Prime Minister. On Aug. 4, 1993 Pres. Habyarimana and Col. Alex Kanyarengwe of the FPR signed a peace accord that would be implemented within the constitution and allowed for FPR involvement in a transitional government and the repatriation of some 650,000 refugees. In Nov. 1993 a UN peacekeeping force arrived to oversee the implementation of the peace accord.


CURRENCY: The official currency is the Franc (RF) divided into 100 Centimes.


ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $1,499,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $835,800,000 (1993). Imports; RF 38,474,500,000 (1991). Exports; RF 11,971,200,000 (1991). Tourism Receipts; USD $2,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; RF -17,729,000,000 (1992). Economically Active Population; 3,649,000 or 50.2% of total population (1991). Unemployed; N/A.


MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the USA, Belgium, Germany and Kenya.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Bananas, Beans and Peas, Cassava, Cassiterite, Cattle, Coffee, Ground Nuts, Goats, Potatoes, Pyrethrum, Pigs, Sheep, Sorghum, Sweet Potatoes, Tea, Timber, Tin, Tungsten, Wolfram.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Food Processing, Forestry, Mining, Processing of Hides and Skins.

MAIN EXPORTS: Coffee, Hides and Skins, Metal Ores, Pyrethrum, Tea.


TRANSPORT: Railroads; nil. Roads; length 13,173 km (8,185 mi) (1990). Vehicles; cars 8,135 (1989), trucks and buses 8,500 (1989). Merchant Marine; nil. Air Transport; N/A.


COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; nil. Radio; receivers 650,000 (1992). Television; nil. Telephones; units 11,800 (1993).


MILITARY: 5,200 (1994) total active duty personnel with 96.2% army, 0.0% navy and 3.8% air force while military expenditure accounts for 8.0% (1993) of the Gross National Product (GNP).


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