General Information about Rwanda

The official name is the Republic of Rwanda (Ripublique Rwandaise, Republic of Rwanda).

Located in East Africa. The area is 26.4 thousand km2, the population is 8.6 million people. (2002). The official languages are Kinyarwanda, French and English. The capital is the city of Kigali (400 thousand people, 2002). Public holiday – Independence Day July 1 (since 1962). The monetary unit is the Rwandan franc (equal to 100 centimes).

Member of the UN (since 1962), AU (since 1963), associate member of the EU, etc.

Geography of Rwanda

It is located between 29° and 30°54′ east longitude and 0°54′ and 2°43′ south latitude. Has no access to the sea. It borders in the northwest and southwest with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in the north with Uganda, in the east with Tanzania, in the south with Burundi. In the west it is washed by the waters of Lake Kivu. Rwanda is located in the western part of the East African Plateau with a height of 1500-2000 m. The Virunga mountain range extends in the northwest. The highest point in the country is the extinct Karisimbi volcano with a height of 4507 m. There are mineral reserves: cassiterite (tin-containing ore), wolframite (tungsten-containing ore), beryllium, colombo-tantalite, gold, methane, carbon dioxide, sapphires. Mountain red humus-ferrallitic soils are widespread. The climate is subequatorial. Average monthly temperatures are +17-21°С. Precipitation falls 100-1500 mm per year. The main river is the Kagera, source of the Nile. The largest lake is Kivu. Secondary savannahs predominate throughout the territory, forests cover the slopes of the Virunga. The animal world is not diverse. Chimpanzees, lions, rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, gorillas are preserved in national parks.

Population of Rwanda

Population density 326 people. per 1 km2. Average annual population growth 1.72% (2000-02). Birth rate 3.28%, death rate 21.39%. According to Countryaah, average life expectancy is 38.5 years (women 39, men 38). Sex and age structure: 0-14 years – 42% (ratio of men and women 1.01), 15-64 years – 55% (0.99), 65 years and older – 3% (0.66). The ratio of men and women in the entire population is 0.99. Among the adult population, 52% are illiterate (men – 49%, women – 55%).

Ethnic composition: Hutus – 84%, Tutsi – 15%, Pygmies Twa – 1%. Kinya-Rwanda, French, English, Swahili are widely spoken.

93.6% of the population professes Christianity (56.5% – Catholics, 26% – Protestants, 11.1% – Adventists), Sunni Muslims – 4.6%, 1.8% of the population adheres to traditional beliefs.

History of Rwanda

In the 1st floor. In the 2nd millennium, the territory of modern Rwanda was inhabited by Hutu tribes engaged in agriculture, and in the 16th century. Tutsi tribes of nomadic pastoralists. In the 16th century an early state formation was formed here, which reached a high level of development. In the 2nd floor. 19th century by the time the Europeans penetrated here, Rwanda was a feudal kingdom. In con. 19th century it was captured by Germany and in 1908 included in the territory of Ruanda-Urundi in German East Africa. During World War I, Ruanda-Urundi was occupied by Belgium and, by decision of the League of Nations in 1923, was transferred to its mandate. Since 1946 Ruanda-Urundi has been a Trust Territory of Belgium. Rise in con. 1950s The national liberation movement in the country accelerated the adoption of a UN decision to eliminate the Belgian guardianship over Rwanda. On July 1, 1962, the independent Republic of Rwanda was proclaimed. In the early years of independence, political power in the country was exercised by President G. Kayibanda and the ruling Republican Democratic Movement (RDM) party, also known as the Hutu Emancipation Party. In July 1973, a military coup took place, power passed into the hands of the Committee for Peace and National Unity, General J. Khabyarinana was elected president (a Hutu representative, was elected to this post in 1983 and 1988, died in April 1993 in a plane crash). The RDD was dissolved, the Constitution of 1978 established a one-party system. The only and ruling party in the country was the National Revolutionary Movement for Development (NRDR), founded in 1975. This situation continued until the beginning of 1990s.

The long stay in power of the Hutus led to the intensification of inter-ethnic contradictions, the beginning of a civil war that continued in 1990-94. The conflict between Hutus and Tutsis has a long history. The development of the country was constantly complicated by the confrontation between the Hutu ethnic groups, who make up the majority of the population, and the Tutsis. The aggravation of ethnic conflicts led to uprisings in 1959, 1963-65, 1972-73, 1993, as a result of which hundreds and thousands of people died, part of the population left Rwanda and found refuge in neighboring countries. In 1987, Rwandan Tutsi refugees created the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), which in July 1994 prepared an invasion of the territory of Rwanda, where since April there has been a massacre between Hutus and Tutsis and 800 thousand people died.

People of Rwanda