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Rwanda Country Guide

Explore Rwanda in Africa

Rwanda with the capital city Kigali is located in Africa (Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo). It covers some 26,339 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Maryland) with 10,186,000 citizens.

Map of the area of  in

The topography includes mostly grassy uplands and hills with relief being mountainous with altitude declining from west to east. The average density of population is approximately 387 per km². The notable climate conditions in Rwanda can be described as temperate with two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January), mild in mountains with frost and snow possible. Possible natural disasters include periodic droughts or the volcanic Virunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo.

To reach someone in Rwanda dial +250 prior to a number. There are 33,500 installed telephones. And there are 2,429,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900 Mhz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".rw". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Rwanda

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 symbolizes unity, as well as enlightenment and transparency from ignorance.

In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, 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 up to a million 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. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and former Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF did in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there, and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009. In January 2013, Rwanda assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, Uganda
Capital: Kigali
Size 26,338 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 10,169 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Maryland
Population 10,186,000
Currency Name: Franc, Currency Code: RWF
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .rw
Telephone Country Prefix +250
Mobile Phone Connections 2,429,000
Landline Phone Connections 33,500

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 26,338 (sq km) 149

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 12,012,589 73
Population growth rate 2.70 (%) 21
Birth rate 35.49 (births/1,000 population) 25
Death rate 9.41 (deaths/1,000 population) 58
Net migration rate 0.95 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 57
Maternal mortality rate 340.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 34
Infant mortality rate 61.03 (deaths/1,000 live births) 24
Life expectancy at birth 58.85 (years) 196
Total fertility rate 4.71 (children born/woman) 26
Health expenditures 10.50 (% of GDP) 25
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 2.90 (%) 25
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 170,000 31
HIV/AIDS - deaths 4,100 43
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 4.30 (%) 170
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 11.70 (%) 62
Education expenditures 4.80 (% of GDP) 81


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 15,740,000,000 140
GDP - real growth rate 7.70 (%) 21
GDP - per capita (PPP) 1,500 202
Labor force 4,446,000 85
Distribution of family income - Gini index 47 32
Investment (gross fixed) 22.10 (% of GDP) 71
Taxes and other revenues 24.8 (% of GDP) 125
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -1.70 (% of GDP) 81
Public debt 21.80 (% of GDP) 127
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 8.50 (%) 187
Central bank discount rate 11.25 (%) 20
Commercial bank prime lending rate 17.40 (%) 26
Stock of narrow money 673,200,000 156
Stock of broad money 1,536,000,000 157
Stock of domestic credit 711,000,000 164
Industrial production growth rate 7.50 (%) 33
Current account balance -657,800,000 102
Exports 358,100,000 178
Imports 1,414,000,000 172
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 1,198,000,000 131
Debt - external 937,200,000 160
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 591,900,000 96
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 13,000,000 89


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 240,200,000 (kWh) 177
Electricity - consumption 301,400,000 (kWh) 174
Electricity - exports 2,000,000 (kWh) 85
Electricity - imports 80,000,000 (kWh) 96
Electricity - installed generating capacity 56250 (kW) 180
Electricity - from fossil fuels 53.3 (% of total installed capacity) 150
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 46.2 (% of total installed capacity) 46
Electricity - from other renewable sources 0.4 (% of total installed capacity) 79
Refined petroleum products - consumption 5,245 (bbl/day) 167
Refined petroleum products - imports 5,125 (bbl/day) 156
Natural gas - proved reserves 56,630,000,000 (cu m) 65
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 869,400 (Mt) 170


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 38,900 167
Telephones - mobile cellular 4,446,000 112
Internet hosts 1,447 168
Internet users 450,000 118


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 7 167
Roadways 14,008 (km) 126


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 1.30 (% of GDP) 108

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

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