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  Rwanda   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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 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. 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 tried in 1990. Despite substantial international assistance and political reforms - including Rwanda's first local elections in March 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in August and September 2003 - the country continues to struggle to boost investment and agricultural output, and ethnic reconciliation is complicated by the real and perceived Tutsi political dominance. Kigali's increasing centralization and intolerance of dissent, the nagging Hutu extremist insurgency across the border, and Rwandan involvement in two wars in recent years in the neighboring DRC continue to hinder Rwanda's efforts to escape its bloody legacy.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.15 cu km/yr (24%/8%/68%)
per capita: 17 cu m/yr (2000)

Total renewable water resources:
5.2 cu km (2003)

Land boundaries:
total: 893 km
border countries: Burundi 290 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 217 km, Tanzania 217 km, Uganda 169 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Climate:
temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

Map references:
Africa

Geographic coordinates:
2 00 S, 30 00 E

Natural resources:
gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m
highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m

Terrain:
mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east

Geography - note:
landlocked; most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural

Area:
total: 26,338 sq km
land: 24,948 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km

Location:
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland

Irrigated land:
90 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching

Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)

Natural hazards:
periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo

Land use:
arable land: 45.56%
permanent crops: 10.25%
other: 44.19% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
5.31 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
5.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
250,000 (2003 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 49.76 years
male: 48.56 years
female: 51 years (2008 est.)

Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2008)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 70.4%
male: 76.3%
female: 64.7% (2003 est.)

Net migration rate:
2.29 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%

People - note:
Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa

Median age:
total: 18.7 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.9 years (2008 est.)

Population:
10,186,063
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
3.8% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
2.779% (2008 est.)

Languages:
Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers

Death rate:
14.46 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 83.42 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 88.53 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 78.16 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
22,000 (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 9 years
male: 8 years
female: 9 years (2005)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 41.9% (male 2,143,479/female 2,124,588)
15-64 years: 55.7% (male 2,826,557/female 2,842,020)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 99,721/female 149,698) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
39.97 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7% (2001)

Nationality:
noun: Rwandan(s)
adjective: Rwandan

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador W. Stuart SYMINGTON
embassy: 2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie, Kigali
mailing address: B. P. 28, Kigali
telephone: [250] 596-400
FAX: [250] 596-591

National holiday:
Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Government type:
republic; presidential, multiparty system

Political pressure groups and leaders:
IBUKA (association of genocide survivors)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador James KOMONYO
chancery: 1714 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 232-2882
FAX: [1] (202) 232-4544

International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, CEPGL, COMESA, EAC, EADB, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MINURCAT, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of Senate (26 seats; 12 members elected by local councils, 8 appointed by the president, 4 by the Political Organizations Forum, 2 represent institutions of higher learning; to serve eight-year terms) and Chamber of Deputies (80 seats; 53 members elected by popular vote, 24 women elected by local bodies, 3 selected by youth and disability organizations; to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - members appointed as part of the transitional government (next to be held in 2011); Chamber of Deputies - last held 15 September 2008 (next to be held September 2013)
election results: percent of vote by party - RPF 78.8%, PSD 13.1%, PL 7.5%; seats by party - RPF 42, PSD 7, PL 4, additional 27 members indirectly elected

Legal system:
based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
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

Independence:
1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Republic of Rwanda
conventional short form: Rwanda
local long form: Republika y'u Rwanda
local short form: Rwanda
former: Ruanda, German East Africa

Political parties and leaders:
Centrist Democratic Party or PDC [Alfred MUKEZAMFURA]; Democratic Popular Union of Rwanda or UDPR [Adrien RANGIRA]; Democratic Republican Movement or MDR [Celestin KABANDA] (officially banned); Islamic Democratic Party or PDI [Andre BUMAYA]; Liberal Party or PL [Protais MITALI]; Party for Democratic Renewal (officially banned); Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF [Paul KAGAME]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Vincent BIRUTA]

Capital:
name: Kigali
geographic coordinates: 1 57 S, 30 04 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
new constitution passed by referendum 26 May 2003

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Bernard MAKUZA (since 8 March 2000)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: President elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held 25 August 2003 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: Paul KAGAME elected president in first direct popular vote; Paul KAGAME 95.05%, Faustin TWAGIRAMUNGU 3.62%, Jean-Nepomuscene NAYINZIRA 1.33%

Administrative divisions:
4 provinces (in French - provinces, singular - province; in Kinyarwanda - intara for singular and plural) and 1 city* (in French - ville; in Kinyarwanda - umujyi); Est (Eastern), Kigali*, Nord (Northern), Ouest (Western), Sud (Southern)

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court; High Courts of the Republic; Provincial Courts; District Courts; mediation committees

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
China 8.9%, Germany 6.8%, US 4.9%, Hong Kong 4.8% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
234.6 million kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
12.5% (31 December 2007)

Electricity - imports:
130 million kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$220 million (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$1.4 billion (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate:
NA%

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$900 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
22.5% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$209.2 million (31 December 2005)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$8.909 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$4.027 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
46.8 (2000)

Exchange rates:
Rwandan francs (RWF) per US dollar - 550 (2008 est.), 585 (2007), 560 (2006), 610 (2005), 574.62 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
$233.6 million (31 December 2005)

Labor force:
4.6 million (2000)

Imports - partners:
Kenya 19.6%, Uganda 6.9%, Germany 6.2%, Belgium 5.9%, China 5% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
9.5% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 35%
industry: 22.1%
services: 42.9% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
5,597 bbl/day (2005)

Exports:
$219 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
Rwandan franc (RWF)

Economy - overview:
Rwanda is a poor rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture. It is the most densely populated country in Africa and is landlocked with few natural resources and minimal industry. Primary foreign exchange earners are coffee and tea. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and eroded the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels, although poverty levels are higher now. GDP has rebounded and inflation has been curbed. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, requiring food imports. Rwanda continues to receive substantial aid money and obtained IMF-World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative debt relief in 2005-06. Rwanda also received Millennium Challenge Account Threshold status in 2006. The government has embraced an expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty by improving education, infrastructure, and foreign and domestic investment and pursuing market-oriented reforms, although energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap growth.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material

Industries:
cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes

Electricity - exports:
10 million kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
60% (2001 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
15.84% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$227.4 million (31 December 2005)

Electricity - production:
134 million kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$759 million f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 90%
industry and services: 10% (2000)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
56.63 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$657 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
5,320 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Currency code:
RWF

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 38.2% (2000)

Exports - commodities:
coffee, tea, hides, tin ore

Economic aid - recipient:
$576 million (2005)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 2.3%
hydro: 97.7%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $902.2 million
expenditures: $1.032 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
100,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
23,100 (2007)

Televisions:
NA; probably less than 1,000 (1997)

Internet country code:
.rw

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 8 (two main FM programs are broadcast through a system of repeaters, three international FM programs include the BBC, VOA, and Deutchewelle), shortwave 1 (2005)

Radios:
601,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
635,100 (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
2 (2004)

Telephone system:
general assessment: small, inadequate telephone system primarily serves business and government
domestic: the capital, Kigali, is connected to the centers of the provinces by microwave radio relay and, recently, by cellular telephone service; much of the network depends on wire and HF radiotelephone; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density is only about 7 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 250; international connections employ microwave radio relay to neighboring countries and satellite communications to more distant countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) in Kigali (includes telex and telefax service)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
2 (2002)

Internet hosts:
2,363 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Waterways:
Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft (2008)

Ports and terminals:
Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2007)

Roadways:
total: 14,008 km
paved: 2,662 km
unpaved: 11,346 km (2004)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 3 (2007)

Airports:
9 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2008)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,430,469
females age 16-49: 2,392,933 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,404,066
females age 16-49: 1,403,700 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Rwandan Defense Forces: Army, Air Force

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 111,791
female: 112,131 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.9% of GDP (2006 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
fighting among ethnic groups - loosely associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces in Great Lakes region transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda - abated substantially from a decade ago due largely to UN peacekeeping, international mediation, and efforts by local governments to create civil societies; nonetheless, 57,000 Rwandan refugees still reside in 21 African states, including Zambia, Gabon, and 20,000 who fled to Burundi in 2005 and 2006 to escape drought and recriminations from traditional courts investigating the 1994 massacres; the 2005 DROC and Rwanda border verification mechanism to stem rebel actions on both sides of the border remains in place

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 46,272 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,400 (Burundi) (2007)

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