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Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a
landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship. A country may be an independent sovereign s ...
in the
Great Rift Valley The Great Rift Valley is a series of contiguous geographic trenches, approximately in total length, that runs from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon Lebanon (), officially known as the Lebanese Republic,''Republic of Lebanon'' is the most co ...

Great Rift Valley
, where the
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drai ...

African Great Lakes
region and
East Africa East Africa, Eastern Africa, or East of Africa is the eastern sub-region A subregion is a part of a larger region or continent and is usually based on location. Cardinal directions, such as south or southern, are commonly used to define a subr ...
converge. Located a few degrees south of the
Equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

Equator
, Rwanda is bordered by
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic ba ...

Uganda
,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
,
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
, and the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
. It is highly elevated, giving it the soubriquet "land of a thousand hills", with its geography dominated by mountains in the west and
savanna A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland A woodland () is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood (or in the U.S., the ''plurale tantum'' woods), a low-density forest forming open habitats ...

savanna
to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. Rwanda has a population of over 12.6 million living on of land, and is the most densely populated mainland
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
n country. A million people live in the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
and largest city
Kigali Kigali () is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercas ...

Kigali
. The population is
young Young may refer to: * Offspring, the product of reproduction of a new organism produced by one or more parents * Youth, the time of life when one is young, often meaning the time between childhood and adulthood Music * The Young, an American rock ...
and predominantly rural; Rwanda has one of the youngest populations in the world, with the average age being 19 years. Rwandans are drawn from just one cultural and linguistic group, the
Banyarwanda The Banyarwanda ( Kinyarwanda: plural: ''Abanyarwanda'', singular: ''Umunyarwanda''; literally "those who come from Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great ...
. However, within this group there are three subgroups: the
Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured ha ...

Hutu
,
Tutsi The Tutsi (; ), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake ...
and
Twa The Twa (also Batwa or Cwa) are a group of indigenous African Pygmy (Central African foragers) tribes. Overview Twa, also called Batwa, one of the best-known of the many Pygmy groups scattered across equatorial Africa. Like all other Af ...
. The Twa are a forest-dwelling
pygmy people In anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowin ...
and are often considered descendants of Rwanda's earliest inhabitants. Scholars disagree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi; some believe differences are derived from former social
caste Caste is a form of social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the ability and activity to recognize shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience of the ...
s within a single people, while others believe the Hutu and Tutsi arrived in the country separately, and from different locations. Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the principal language is
Kinyarwanda Kinyarwanda () is an official language An official language, also called state language, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...
, spoken by most Rwandans, with English and French serving as additional official languages. The
sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relatio ...
of Rwanda has a
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in s ...
of government. The president is
Paul Kagame Paul Kagame (; born 23 October 1957) is a Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It ...

Paul Kagame
of the
Rwandan Patriotic Front The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF–Inkotanyi, french: Front patriotique rwandais, FPR) is the ruling political party in Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...
(RPF), who has served continuously since 2000. Today, Rwanda has low levels of corruption compared with neighbouring countries, although human rights organisations report suppression of opposition groups, intimidation and restrictions on freedom of speech. The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times; there are five
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

provinces
delineated by borders drawn in 2006. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world with a female majority in the national parliament, the two other countries being
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
and
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
.
Hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s settled the territory in the
Stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...

Stone
and
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
s, followed later by
Bantu peoples Bantu peoples are the speakers of Bantu languages, comprising several hundred Indigenous peoples of Africa, indigenous List of ethnic groups of Africa, ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa, spread over a vast area from Central Africa across the Af ...
. The population coalesced first into
clans A clan is a group of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously applying logic Logic ...
and then into kingdoms. The
Kingdom of Rwanda The Kingdom of Rwanda was a List of kingdoms in pre-colonial Africa, pre-colonial Bantu kingdom in East Africa which survived with some of its autonomy intact under German East Africa, German and Ruanda-Urundi, Belgian colonial rule until its mo ...
dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power and later enacting anti-Hutu policies.
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of
German East Africa German East Africa (german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) (GEA) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later ...

German East Africa
, followed by
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
, which invaded in 1916 during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. Both European nations ruled through the kings and perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy. The Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and ultimately established an independent, Hutu-dominated republic in 1962 led by President Grégoire Kayibanda. A 1973 military coup overthrew Kayibanda and brought
Juvénal Habyarimana Juvénal Habyarimana (; ; 8 March 19376 April 1994) served as the second president of Rwanda, from 1973 until 1994. He was nicknamed "Kinani", a Kinyarwanda word meaning "invincible". Habyarimana was a dictator, and electoral fraud was suspecte ...
to power, who retained the pro-Hutu policy. The Tutsi-led
Rwandan Patriotic Front The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF–Inkotanyi, french: Front patriotique rwandais, FPR) is the ruling political party in Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...
launched a
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
in 1990. Habyarimana was
assassinated Assassination is the act of deliberately killing a prominent or important person, such as heads of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state Foakes, pp. 110–11 " he head of state ...
in April 1994. Social tensions erupted in the
Rwandan genocide The Rwandan genocide occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's governme ...
that followed, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Tutsi and Hutu in the span of one hundred days. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory in July 1994. Rwanda's developing economy suffered heavily in the wake of the 1994 genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on
subsistence agriculture Subsistence agriculture occurs when farmer A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, se ...
. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export.
Tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...
is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which
mountain gorilla The mountain gorilla (''Gorilla beringei beringei'') is one of the two subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physica ...

mountain gorilla
s can be visited safely, and visitors pay high prices for gorilla tracking permits. Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture, particularly drums and the highly choreographed ''intore'' dance. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, including ''
imigongo Imigongo () is an art form popular in Rwanda traditionally made by women using cow dung. Often in the colors black, white and red, popular themes include spiral and geometric designs that are painted on walls, pottery, and canvas. The images are ...
'', a unique cow dung art. Rwanda has been governed as a
unitary Unitary may refer to: * Unitary construction, in automotive design a common term for unibody (unitary body/chassis) construction * Lethal Unitary Chemical Agents and Munitions (Unitary), as chemical weapons opposite of Binary * Unitarianism, in Chr ...
presidential system A presidential system, or single executive system, is a form of government in which a head of government (President (government title), president) leads an Executive (government), executive branch that is separate from the legislative branch in s ...
with a
bicameral parliament Bicameralism is the practice of having a legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, ...
ruled by the
Rwandan Patriotic Front The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF–Inkotanyi, french: Front patriotique rwandais, FPR) is the ruling political party in Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...
since 1994. The country is a member of the
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
, the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
, the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
,
COMESA The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area with twenty-one member states stretching from Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in nort ...
, OIF and the
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
.


History

Modern human settlement of what is now Rwanda dates from, at the latest, the last glacial period, either in the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
period around 8000 BC, or in the long humid period which followed, up to around 3000 BC. Archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of sparse settlement by
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s in the late
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
, followed by a larger population of early
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
settlers, who produced dimpled
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="g ...

pottery
and iron tools. These early inhabitants were the ancestors of the
Twa The Twa (also Batwa or Cwa) are a group of indigenous African Pygmy (Central African foragers) tribes. Overview Twa, also called Batwa, one of the best-known of the many Pygmy groups scattered across equatorial Africa. Like all other Af ...
, aboriginal
pygmy In anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, incl ...
hunter-gatherers who remain in Rwanda today. Between 700 BC and 1500 AD, a number of
Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured hair#Styling, Bantu knots, a type of African hairstyle *Blac ...
groups migrated into Rwanda, clearing forest land for agriculture. The forest-dwelling Twa lost much of their habitat and moved to the mountain slopes. Historians have several theories regarding the nature of the Bantu migrations; one theory is that the first settlers were
Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu Bantu may refer to: *Bantu languages, constitute the largest sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages *Bantu peoples, over 400 peoples of Africa speaking a Bantu language *Afro-textured ha ...

Hutu
, while the
Tutsi The Tutsi (; ), or Abatutsi, are an ethnic group of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include Lake ...
migrated later to form a distinct racial group, possibly of Nilo-hamitic origin. An alternative theory is that the migration was slow and steady, with incoming groups integrating into rather than conquering the existing society. Under this theory, the Hutu and Tutsi distinction arose later and was a class distinction rather than a racial one. The earliest form of social organisation in the area was the
clan A clan is a group of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and being a part of ...
(''ubwoko''). The clans were not limited to genealogical lineages or geographical area, and most included Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa. From the 15th century, the clans began to coalesce into kingdoms; by 1700 around eight kingdoms existed in present-day Rwanda. One of these, the
Kingdom of Rwanda The Kingdom of Rwanda was a List of kingdoms in pre-colonial Africa, pre-colonial Bantu kingdom in East Africa which survived with some of its autonomy intact under German East Africa, German and Ruanda-Urundi, Belgian colonial rule until its mo ...
, ruled by the Tutsi Nyiginya clan, became increasingly dominant from the mid-eighteenth century. The kingdom reached its greatest extent during the nineteenth century under the reign of King Kigeli Rwabugiri. Rwabugiri conquered several smaller states, expanded the kingdom west and north, and initiated administrative reforms; these included , in which Tutsi patrons ceded cattle, and therefore privileged status, to Hutu or Tutsi clients in exchange for economic and personal service, and , a
corvée Corvée () is a form of unpaid, forced labour Unfree labour, or forced labour, is any work relation, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, ...

corvée
system in which Hutu were forced to work for Tutsi chiefs. Rwabugiri's changes caused a rift to grow between the Hutu and Tutsi populations. The Twa were better off than in pre-Kingdom days, with some becoming dancers in the royal court, but their numbers continued to decline. The
Berlin Conference The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, also known as the Congo Conference (german: Kongokonferenz) or West Africa Conference (), regulated European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the gl ...
of 1884 assigned the territory to
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
as part of
German East Africa German East Africa (german: Deutsch-Ostafrika) (GEA) was a German colonial empire, German colony in the African Great Lakes region, which included present-day Burundi, Rwanda, the Tanzania mainland, and the Kionga Triangle, a small region later ...

German East Africa
, marking the beginning of the colonial era. The explorer
Gustav Adolf von Götzen Gustav Adolf Graf von Götzen (12 May 1866 – 2 December 1910) was a Germany, German explorer and Governor of German East Africa. He came to Rwanda in 1894 at the head of a troop of 620 soldiers, becoming the second European to set foot in Rwanda, ...

Gustav Adolf von Götzen
was the first European to significantly explore the country in 1894; he crossed from the south-east to Lake Kivu and met the king. The Germans did not significantly alter the social structure of the country, but exerted influence by supporting the king and the existing hierarchy and delegating power to local chiefs.
Belgian Belgian may refer to: * Something of, or related to, Belgium Belgium, ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a contine ...

Belgian
forces took control of Rwanda and
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
in 1916, during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, beginning a period of more direct colonial rule. Belgium ruled both Rwanda and Burundi as a
League of Nations mandate A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I World War I or the First World War, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, was a global ...
called
Ruanda-Urundi Ruanda-Urundi () was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign (World War I), East African Campaign o ...
. The Belgians also simplified and centralised the power structure, and introduced large-scale projects in education, health, public works, and agricultural supervision, including new crops and improved agricultural techniques to try to reduce the incidence of famine. Both the Germans and the Belgians promoted Tutsi supremacy, considering the Hutu and Tutsi different races. In 1935, Belgium introduced identity cards labelling each individual as either Tutsi, Hutu, Twa or Naturalised. While it had previously been possible for particularly wealthy Hutu to become honorary Tutsi, the identity cards prevented any further movement between the classes. Belgium continued to rule
Ruanda-Urundi Ruanda-Urundi () was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, which was ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign (World War I), East African Campaign o ...
(of which Rwanda formed the northern part) as a UN trust territory after the
Second World War World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, with a mandate to oversee eventual
independence Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or Sovereign state, state in which residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory. The opposite of independe ...
. Tensions escalated between the Tutsi, who favoured early independence, and the Hutu emancipation movement, culminating in the 1959
Rwandan Revolution The Rwandan Revolution, also known as the Social Revolution or Wind of Destruction ( rw, muyaga), was a period of ethnic violence in Rwanda from 1959 to 1961 between the Hutu The Hutu (), also known as the Abahutu, are a Bantu peoples, Ban ...
: Hutu activists began killing Tutsi and destroying their houses, forcing more than 100,000 people to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. In 1961, the suddenly pro-Hutu Belgians held a referendum in which the country voted to abolish the monarchy. Rwanda was separated from Burundi and gained independence on 1 July 1962, which is commemorated as Independence Day, a national holiday. Cycles of violence followed, with exiled Tutsi attacking from neighbouring countries and the Hutu retaliating with large-scale slaughter and repression of the Tutsi. In 1973,
Juvénal Habyarimana Juvénal Habyarimana (; ; 8 March 19376 April 1994) served as the second president of Rwanda, from 1973 until 1994. He was nicknamed "Kinani", a Kinyarwanda word meaning "invincible". Habyarimana was a dictator, and electoral fraud was suspecte ...
took power in a military coup. Pro-Hutu discrimination continued, but there was greater economic prosperity and a reduced amount of violence against Tutsi. The Twa remained marginalised, and by 1990 were almost entirely forced out of the forests by the government; many became beggars. Rwanda's population had increased from 1.6 million people in 1934 to 7.1 million in 1989, leading to competition for land. In 1990, the
Rwandan Patriotic Front The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF–Inkotanyi, french: Front patriotique rwandais, FPR) is the ruling political party in Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...
(RPF), a rebel group composed of nearly 500,000 Tutsi refugees, invaded northern Rwanda from their base in Uganda, initiating the
Rwandan Civil War The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's government, and the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) from 1October 1990 to 18 July 1994. The war arose f ...
. The group condemned the Hutu-dominated government for failing to democratize and confront the problems facing these refugees. Neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage in the war, but by 1992 it had weakened Habyarimana's authority; mass demonstrations forced him into a coalition with the domestic opposition and eventually to sign the 1993 Arusha Accords with the RPF. The cease-fire ended on 6 April 1994 when Habyarimana's plane was shot down near Kigali Airport, killing him. The shooting down of the plane served as the catalyst for the
Rwandan genocide The Rwandan genocide occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's governme ...
, which began within a few hours. Over the course of approximately 100 days, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed in well-planned attacks on the orders of the interim government. Many Twa were also killed, despite not being directly targeted. The Tutsi RPF restarted their offensive, and took control of the country methodically, gaining control of the whole country by mid-July. The international response to the genocide was limited, with major powers reluctant to strengthen the already overstretched UN peacekeeping force. When the RPF took over, approximately two million Hutu fled to neighbouring countries, in particular
Zaïre Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (french: République du Zaïre, link=no, ), was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that was previously and is now again known as the Democratic Republic of the Co ...
, fearing reprisals; additionally, the RPF-led army was a key belligerent in the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
Second Congo War The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession fr ...
s. Within Rwanda, a period of reconciliation and justice began, with the establishment of the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR; french: Tribunal pénal international pour le Rwanda; rw, Urukiko Mpanabyaha Mpuzamahanga Rwashyiriweho u Rwanda) was an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nation ...
(ICTR) and the reintroduction of , a traditional village court system. Since 2000 Rwanda's economy, tourist numbers, and
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and ot ...
have grown rapidly; between 2006 and 2011 the poverty rate reduced from 57% to 45%, while
life expectancy Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live, based on the year of its birth, its current age, and other demographic Demography (from prefix ''demo-'' from Ancient Greek Ancien ...

life expectancy
rose from 46.6 years in 2000 to 65.4 years in 2021.


Politics and government

The
president of Rwanda This article lists the presidents of Rwanda since the creation of the office in 1961 (during the Rwandan Revolution The Rwandan Revolution, also known as the Social Revolution or Wind of Destruction ( rw, muyaga), was a period of ethnic viol ...
is the
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
, and has broad powers including creating policy in conjunction with the Cabinet of Rwanda, exercising the
prerogative of mercy In the Kingdom of England, English and United Kingdom, British tradition, the royal prerogative of mercy is one of the historic royal prerogatives of the British monarch, by which he or she can grant pardons (informally known as a royal pardon) ...
, commanding the Rwandan Defence Forces, armed forces, negotiating and ratifying treaties, signing presidential orders, and declaring war or a state of emergency. The president is elected by popular vote Elections in Rwanda, every seven years, and appoints the Prime Minister of Rwanda, prime minister and all other members of the Cabinet. The incumbent president is
Paul Kagame Paul Kagame (; born 23 October 1957) is a Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It ...

Paul Kagame
, who took office upon the resignation of his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, in 2000. Kagame subsequently won elections in 2003 Rwandan presidential election, 2003 and 2010 Rwandan presidential election, 2010. although human rights organisations have criticised these elections as being "marked by increasing political repression and a crackdown on free speech". Article 101 of the Constitution of Rwanda, constitution had previously limited presidents to two terms in office, but this was changed in a 2015 Rwandan constitutional referendum, 2015 referendum, which had been brought following receipt of a petition signed by 3.8 million Rwandans. Through this change in the constitution, Kagame could stay on as president until 2034. Kagame was elected for a third term in 2017 Rwandan presidential election, 2017 with 98.79% of the vote. The constitution was adopted following a national referendum in 2003, replacing the transitional constitution which had been in place since 1994. The constitution mandates a multi-party system of government, with politics based on democracy and elections. However, the constitution places conditions on how political parties may operate. Article 54 states that "political organizations are prohibited from basing themselves on race, ethnic group, tribe, clan, region, sex, religion or any other division which may give rise to discrimination". The government has also enacted laws criminalising genocide ideology, which can include intimidation, defamatory speeches, genocide denial and mocking of victims. According to Human Rights Watch, these laws effectively make Rwanda a one-party state, as "under the guise of preventing another genocide, the government displays a marked intolerance of the most basic forms of dissent". Amnesty International is also critical; in its 2014/15 report, Amnesty said that laws against inciting insurrection or trouble among the population had been used to imprison people "for the legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of association or of expression". The Parliament of Rwanda, Parliament consists of two Legislative chamber, chambers. It makes legislation and is empowered by the constitution to oversee the activities of the president and the Cabinet. The lower chamber is the Chamber of Deputies (Rwanda), Chamber of Deputies, which has 80 members serving five-year terms. Twenty-four of these seats are reserved for women, elected through a joint assembly of local government officials; another three seats are reserved for youth and disabled members; the remaining 53 are elected by universal suffrage under a proportional representation system. Following the Rwandan parliamentary election, 2018, 2018 election, there are 49 female deputies, down from 51 in 2013; , Rwanda is one of only three countries with a female majority in the national parliament. The upper chamber is the 26-seat Senate (Rwanda), Senate, whose members are selected by a variety of bodies. A mandatory minimum of 30% of the senators are women. Senators serve eight-year terms. (See also Gender equality in Rwanda.) Rwanda's legal system is largely based on Law of Germany, German and Law of Belgium, Belgian Civil law (legal system), civil law systems and customary law. The judiciary is independent of the executive branch, although the president and the Senate are involved in the appointment of Supreme Court judges. Human Rights Watch have praised the Rwandan government for progress made in the delivery of justice including the abolition of the death penalty, but also allege interference in the judicial system by members of the government, such as the politically motivated appointment of judges, misuse of prosecutorial power, and pressure on judges to make particular decisions. The constitution provides for two types of courts: ordinary and specialised. Ordinary courts are the Supreme Court of Rwanda, Supreme Court, the High Court of Rwanda, High Court, and regional courts, while specialised courts are military courts and a system of commercial courts created in 2011 to expedite commercial litigations. Between 2004 and 2012, a system of Gacaca court, ''Gacaca'' courts was in operation. , a Rwandan traditional court operated by villages and communities, was revived to expedite the trials of genocide suspects. The court succeeded in clearing the backlog of genocide cases, but was criticised by human rights groups as not meeting legal fair standard. Rwanda has low corruption levels relative to most other African countries; in 2014, Transparency International ranked Rwanda as the fifth cleanest out of 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and 55th cleanest out of 175 in the world. The constitution provides for an ombudsman, whose duties include prevention and fighting of corruption. Public officials (including the president) are required by the constitution to declare their wealth to the ombudsman and to the public; those who do not comply are suspended from office. The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has been the dominant political party in the country since 1994. The RPF has maintained control of the presidency and the Parliament in national elections, with the party's vote share consistently exceeding 70%. The RPF is seen as a Tutsi-dominated party but receives support from across the country, and is credited with ensuring continued peace, stability, and economic growth. Human rights organisation Freedom House claims that the government suppresses the freedoms of opposition groups; in its 2015 report, Freedom House alleged that the RPF had "prevented new political parties from registering and arrested the leaders of several existing parties, effectively preventing them from fielding candidates" in elections. Amnesty International also claims that the RPF rules Rwanda "without any meaningful opposition". Rwanda is a member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
,
African Union The African Union (AU) is a continental union A continental union is a regional organization which facilitates pan-continental integration. Continental unions vary from collaborative intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organiza ...

African Union
, La Francophonie, Francophonie,
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
, and the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
. For many years during the Habyarimana regime, the country maintained close ties with France, as well as Belgium, the former colonial power. Under the RPF government, however, Rwanda has sought closer ties with neighbouring countries in the East African Community and with the English-speaking world. Diplomatic relations with France were suspended in 2006 following the indictment of Rwandan officials by a French judge, and despite their restoration in 2010, relations between the countries remain strained. Relations with the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
were tense following Rwanda's involvement in the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
Second Congo War The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession fr ...
s; the Congolese army alleged Rwandan attacks on their troops, while Rwanda blamed the Congolese government for failing to suppress Hutu rebels in North Kivu, North and South Kivu provinces. In 2010, the United Nations released a report accusing the Rwandan army of committing wide scale human rights violations and crimes against humanity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
Second Congo War The second (symbol: s, abbreviation: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the indefinite continued sequence, progress of existence and event (philosophy), events that occur in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession fr ...
s, charges denied by the Rwandan government. Relations soured further in 2012, as Kinshasa accused Rwanda of supporting the M23 rebellion, an insurgency in the eastern Congo. , peace has been restored and relations are improving. Rwanda's relationship with
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic ba ...

Uganda
was also tense for much of the 2000s following a 1999 clash between the two countries' armies as they backed opposing rebel groups in the Second Congo War, but improved significantly in the early 2010s. In 2019, relations between the two countries deteriorated, with Rwanda closing its borders with Uganda. The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) is the national army of Rwanda. Largely composed of former Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) soldiers, it includes the Rwanda Land Force, Rwanda Air Force and specialised units. After the successful conquest of the country in 1994 in the aftermath of the
Rwandan genocide The Rwandan genocide occurred between 7 April and 15 July 1994 during the Rwandan Civil War The Rwandan Civil War was a large-scale civil war in Rwanda which was fought between the Rwandan Armed Forces, representing the country's governme ...
, the
Rwandan Patriotic Front The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF–Inkotanyi, french: Front patriotique rwandais, FPR) is the ruling political party in Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...
decided to split the RPF into a political division (which retained the RPF name) and the RDF, a military division which was to serve as the official army of the Rwandan state. Defence spending continues to represent an important share of the national budget, largely due to continuing security problems along the frontiers with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
and lingering concerns about Uganda's intentions towards its former ally.


Administrative divisions

Rwanda has been governed by a strict hierarchy since precolonial times. Before colonisation, the List of kings of Rwanda, king () exercised control through a system of provinces, districts, hills, and neighbourhoods. The current constitution subdivisions of Rwanda, divides Rwanda into
provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

provinces
(), Districts of Rwanda, districts (), cities, municipalities, towns, Sectors of Rwanda, sectors (), cells (), and villages (); the larger divisions, and their borders, are established by Parliament. The five provinces act as intermediaries between the national government and their constituent districts to ensure that national policies are implemented at the district level. The Rwanda Decentralisation Strategic Framework developed by the Ministry of Local Government assigns to provinces the responsibility for "coordinating governance issues in the Province, as well as monitoring and evaluation". Each province is headed by a governor, appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. The districts are responsible for coordinating public service delivery and economic development. They are divided into sectors, which are responsible for the delivery of public services as mandated by the districts. Districts and sectors have directly elected councils, and are run by an executive committee selected by that council. The cells and villages are the smallest political units, providing a link between the people and the sectors. All adult resident citizens are members of their local cell council, from which an executive committee is elected. The city of
Kigali Kigali () is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercas ...

Kigali
is a provincial-level authority, which coordinates urban planning within the city. The present borders were drawn in 2006 with the aim of decentralising power and removing associations with the old system and the genocide. The previous structure of twelve provinces associated with the largest cities was replaced with five provinces based primarily on geography. These are Northern Province, Rwanda, Northern Province, Southern Province, Rwanda, Southern Province, Eastern Province, Rwanda, Eastern Province, Western Province, Rwanda, Western Province, and the Municipality of Kigali in the centre.


Geography

At , Rwanda is the world's 149th-largest country, and the fourth smallest on the African mainland after Gambia, Eswatini, and Djibouti. It is comparable in size to
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
, Haiti and Albania. The entire country is at a high altitude: the List of countries by lowest point, lowest point is the Rusizi River at above sea level. Rwanda is located in Central/Eastern Africa, and is bordered by the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
to the west,
Uganda Uganda (Ugandan Languages: Yuganda), officially the Republic of Uganda ( sw, Jamhuri ya Uganda), is a landlocked A landlocked country is a country that does not have territory connected to an ocean or whose coastlines lie on endorheic ba ...

Uganda
to the north,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
to the east, and
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
to the south. It lies a few degrees south of the equator and is landlocked. The capital, Kigali, is located near the centre of Rwanda. The Congo-Nile Divide, watershed between the major Congo Basin, Congo and Nile Basin, Nile drainage basins runs from north to south through Rwanda, with around 80% of the country's area draining into the Nile and 20% into the Congo via the Rusizi River and Lake Tanganyika. The country's longest river is the Nyabarongo River Wetlands, Nyabarongo, which rises in the south-west, flows north, east, and southeast before merging with the Ruvubu River, Ruvubu to form the Kagera River, Kagera; the Kagera then flows due north along the eastern border with Tanzania. The Nyabarongo-Kagera eventually drains into Lake Victoria, and its source in Nyungwe Forest is a contender for the as-yet undetermined overall Source (river or stream), source of the Nile. Rwanda has many lakes, the largest being Lake Kivu. This lake occupies the floor of the Albertine Rift along most of the length of Rwanda's western border, and with a maximum depth of , it is one of the twenty List of lakes by depth, deepest lakes in the world. Other sizeable lakes include Lake Burera, Burera, Lake Ruhondo, Ruhondo, Lake Muhazi, Muhazi, Lake Rweru, Rweru, and Lake Ihema, Ihema, the last being the largest of a string of lakes in the eastern plains of Akagera National Park. Mountains dominate central and western Rwanda and the country is sometimes called "" in French ("Land of a thousand hills"). They are part of the Albertine Rift Mountains that flank the Albertine branch of the East African Rift, which runs from north to south along Rwanda's western border. The highest peaks are found in the Virunga Mountains, Virunga volcano chain in the northwest; this includes Mount Karisimbi, Rwanda's highest point, at . This western section of the country lies within the Albertine Rift montane forests ecoregion. It has an elevation of . The centre of the country is predominantly rolling hills, while the eastern border region consists of
savanna A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland A woodland () is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood (or in the U.S., the ''plurale tantum'' woods), a low-density forest forming open habitats ...

savanna
, plains and swamps.


Climate

Rwanda has a temperate Tropical climate, tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than are typical for equatorial countries because of its high elevation. Kigali, in the centre of the country, has a typical daily temperature range between , with little variation through the year. There are some temperature variations across the country; the mountainous west and north are generally cooler than the lower-lying east. There are two rainy seasons in the year; the first runs from February to June and the second from September to December. These are separated by two dry seasons: the major one from June to September, during which there is often no rain at all, and a shorter and less severe one from December to February. Rainfall varies geographically, with the west and northwest of the country receiving more precipitation annually than the east and southeast. Global warming has caused a change in the pattern of the rainy seasons. According to a report by the Strategic Foresight Group, change in climate has reduced the number of rainy days experienced during a year, but has also caused an increase in frequency of torrential rains. Both changes have caused difficulty for farmers, decreasing their productivity. Strategic Foresight also characterise Rwanda as a fast warming country, with an increase in average temperature of between 0.7 °C to 0.9 °C over fifty years.


Biodiversity

In prehistoric times montane forest occupied one-third of the territory of present-day Rwanda. Naturally occurring vegetation is now mostly restricted to the National parks of Rwanda, three national parks, with Terrace (agriculture), terraced agriculture dominating the rest of the country. Nyungwe Forest, Nyungwe, the largest remaining tract of forest, contains 200 species of tree as well as orchids and begonias. Vegetation in the Volcanoes National Park is mostly bamboo and moorland, with small areas of forest. By contrast, Akagera has a
savanna A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland A woodland () is, in the broad sense, land covered with trees, or in a narrow sense, synonymous with wood (or in the U.S., the ''plurale tantum'' woods), a low-density forest forming open habitats ...

savanna
ecosystem in which acacia dominates the flora. There are several rare or endangered plant species in Akagera, including ''Markhamia lutea'' and ''Eulophia guineensis''. The greatest diversity of large mammals is found in the three national parks, which are designated conservation areas. Akagera contains typical savanna animals such as giraffes and elephants, while Volcanoes is home to an estimated one-third of the worldwide
mountain gorilla The mountain gorilla (''Gorilla beringei beringei'') is one of the two subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physica ...

mountain gorilla
population. Nyungwe Forest boasts thirteen primate species including common chimpanzees and Black-and-white colobus, Ruwenzori colobus arboreal monkeys; the Ruwenzori colobus move in groups of up to 400 individuals, the largest troop size of any primate in Africa. Rwanda's population of lions was destroyed in the aftermath of the genocide of 1994, as national parks were turned into camps for displaced people and remaining animals were poisoned by cattle herders. In June 2015, two South African parks donated seven lions to Akagera National Park, reestablishing a lion population in Rwanda. The lions were held initially in a fenced off area of the park, and then collared and released into the wild a month later. There are 670 List of birds of Rwanda, bird species in Rwanda, with variation between the east and the west. Nyungwe Forest, in the west, has 280 recorded species, of which 26 are endemic to the Albertine Rift; endemic species include the Rwenzori turaco and handsome spurfowl. Eastern Rwanda, by contrast, features savanna birds such as the black-headed gonolek and those associated with swamps and lakes, including storks and crane (bird), cranes. Recent entomological work in the country has revealed a rich diversity of praying mantises, including a new species ''Dystacta tigrifrutex'', dubbed the "bush tiger mantis". Rwanda contains three terrestrial ecoregions: Albertine Rift montane forests, Victoria Basin forest-savanna mosaic, and Ruwenzori-Virunga montane moorlands. The country had a 2019 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 3.85/10, ranking it 139th globally out of 172 countries.


Economy

Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 genocide, with widespread loss of life, failure to maintain infrastructure, looting, and neglect of important cash crops. This caused a large drop in GDP and destroyed the country's ability to attract private and external investment. The economy has since strengthened, with per-capita GDP (Purchasing power parity, PPP) estimated at Geary–Khamis dollar, $825 in 2019, compared with $127 in 1994. Major export markets include China, Germany, and the United States. The economy is managed by the central National Bank of Rwanda and the currency is the Rwandan franc; in December 2019, the exchange rate was 910 francs to one United States dollar. Rwanda joined the East African Community in 2007, and has ratified a plan for monetary union amongst the five member nations, which could eventually lead to a common East African shilling#Second East African shilling, East African shilling. Rwanda is a country of few natural resources, and the economy is based mostly on
subsistence agriculture Subsistence agriculture occurs when farmer A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, se ...
by local farmers using simple tools. An estimated 90% of the working population farms, and agriculture constituted an estimated 32.5% of GDP in 2014. Farming techniques are basic, with small plots of land and steep slopes. Since the mid-1980s, farm sizes and food production have been decreasing, due in part to the resettlement of displaced people. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, and food imports are required,But in recent years, with the growth of agriculture, the situation has improved. Subsistence crops grown in the country include matoke (green bananas), which occupy more than a third of the country's farmland, potatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, cassava, wheat and maize. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export, with the high altitudes, steep slopes and volcanic soils providing favourable conditions. Reports have established that more than 400,000 Rwandans make their living from coffee plantation. Reliance on agricultural exports makes Rwanda vulnerable to shifts in their prices. Animals raised in Rwanda include cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chicken, and rabbits, with geographical variation in the numbers of each. Production systems are mostly traditional, although there are a few intensive dairy farms around Kigali. Shortages of land and water, insufficient and poor-quality feed, and regular disease epidemics with insufficient veterinary services are major constraints that restrict output. Fishing takes place on the country's lakes, but stocks are very depleted, and live fish are being imported in an attempt to revive the industry. The industrial sector is small, contributing 14.8% of GDP in 2014. Products manufactured include cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles and cigarettes. Rwanda's mining industry is an important contributor, generating US$93 million in 2008. Minerals mined include cassiterite, wolframite, gold, and coltan, which is used in the manufacture of electronic and communication devices such as mobile phones. Rwanda's service sector suffered during the late-2000s recession as bank lending, foreign aid projects and investment were reduced. The sector rebounded in 2010, becoming the country's largest sector by economic output and contributing 43.6% of the country's GDP. Key tertiary contributors include banking and finance, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, transport, storage, communication, insurance, real estate, business services and public administration including education and health.
Tourism Tourism is travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical location In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...
is one of the fastest-growing economic resources and became the country's leading foreign exchange earner in 2007. In spite of the genocide's legacy, the country is increasingly perceived internationally as a safe destination. The number of tourist arrivals in 2013 was 864,000 people, up from 504,000 in 2010. Revenue from tourism was US$303 million in 2014, up from just US$62 million in 2000. The largest contributor to this revenue was
mountain gorilla The mountain gorilla (''Gorilla beringei beringei'') is one of the two subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physica ...

mountain gorilla
tracking, in the Volcanoes National Park; Rwanda is one of only three countries in which
mountain gorilla The mountain gorilla (''Gorilla beringei beringei'') is one of the two subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physica ...

mountain gorilla
s can be visited safely; the gorillas attract thousands of visitors per year, who are prepared to pay high prices for permits. Other attractions include Nyungwe Forest, home to chimpanzees, Ruwenzori colobus and other primates, the resorts of Lake Kivu, and Akagera, a small savanna reserve in the east of the country.


Media and communications

The largest radio and television stations are state-run, and the majority of newspapers are owned by the government. Most Rwandans have access to radio; during the 1994 genocide, the radio station Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines broadcast across the country, and helped to fuel the killings through anti-Tutsi propaganda. , the state-run Radio Rwanda is the largest station and the main source of news throughout the country. Television access is limited, with most homes not having their own set. The government rolled out digital television in 2014, and a year later there were seven national stations operating, up from just one in the pre-2014 analogue era. The press is tightly restricted, and newspapers routinely self-censor to avoid government reprisals. Nonetheless, publications in Kinyarwanda, English, and French critical of the government are widely available in Kigali. Restrictions were increased in the run-up to the Rwandan presidential election of 2010, with two independent newspapers, ''Umuseso'' and ''Umuvugizi'', being suspended for six months by the High Media Council (Rwanda), High Media Council. The country's oldest telecommunications group, Rwandatel, went into liquidation in 2011, having been 80% owned by Libyan company LAP Green. The company was acquired in 2013 by Liquid Telecom, a company providing telecommunications and fibre optic networks across eastern and southern Africa. , Liquid Telecom provides landline service to 30,968 subscribers, with mobile operator MTN Rwanda serving an additional 15,497 fixed line subscribers. Landlines are mostly used by government institutions, banks, Non Government Organisation, NGOs and embassies, with private subscription levels low. , mobile phone penetration in the country is 72.6%, up from 41.6% in 2011. MTN Rwanda is the leading provider, with 3,957,986 subscribers, followed by Tigo with 2,887,328, and Bharti Airtel with 1,336,679. Rwandatel has also previously operated a mobile phone network, but the industry regulator revoked its licence in April 2011, following the company's failure to meet agreed investment commitments. Internet penetration is low but rising rapidly; in 2015 there were 12.8 internet users per 100 people, up from 2.1 in 2007. In 2011, a fibre-optic telecommunications network was completed, intended to provide broadband services and facilitate electronic commerce. This network is connected to SEACOM (African cable system), SEACOM, a Submarine communications cable, submarine fibre-optic cable connecting communication carriers in southern and eastern Africa. Within Rwanda the cables run along major roads, linking towns around the country. Mobile provider MTN also runs a wireless internet service accessible in most areas of Kigali via pre-paid subscription. In October 2019, Mara Corporation launched the first African made smartphone in Rwanda.


Infrastructure

The Rwandan government prioritised funding of water supply development during the 2000s, significantly increasing its share of the national budget. This funding, along with donor support, caused a rapid increase in access to safe water; in 2015, 74% of the population had access to safe water, up from about 55% in 2005; the government has committed to increasing this to 100% by 2017. The country's water infrastructure consists of urban and rural systems that deliver water to the public, mainly through standpipes in rural areas and private connections in urban areas. In areas not served by these systems, hand pumps and managed springs are used. Despite rainfall exceeding annually in most of the country, little use is made of rainwater harvesting, and residents are forced to use water very sparingly, relative to usage in other African countries. Access to Water supply and sanitation in Rwanda, sanitation remains low; the United Nations estimates that in 2006, 34% of urban and 20% of rural dwellers had access to improved sanitation. Kigali is one of the cleanest cities in Africa. Government policy measures to improve sanitation are limited, focusing only on urban areas. The majority of the population, both urban and rural, use public shared pit latrines. Rwanda's electricity supply was, until the early 2000s, generated almost entirely from hydroelectric sources; power stations on Lakes Lake Burera, Burera and Lake Ruhondo, Ruhondo provided 90% of the country's electricity. A combination of below average rainfall and human activity, including the draining of the Rugezi wetlands for cultivation and grazing, caused the two lakes' water levels to fall from 1990 onwards; by 2004 levels were reduced by 50%, leading to a sharp drop in output from the power stations. This, coupled with increased demand as the economy grew, precipitated a shortfall in 2004 and widespread loadshedding. As an emergency measure, the government installed diesel generators north of Kigali; by 2006 these were providing 56% of the country's electricity, but were very costly. The government enacted a number of measures to alleviate this problem, including rehabilitating the Rugezi wetlands, which supply water to Burera and Ruhondo and investing in a scheme to extract methane gas from Lake Kivu, expected in its first phase to increase the country's power generation by 40%. Only 18% of the population had access to electricity in 2012, though this had risen from 10.8% in 2009. The government's Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2013–18 aims to increase access to electricity to 70% of households by 2017. The government has increased investment in the Transport in Rwanda, transport infrastructure of Rwanda since the 1994 genocide, with aid from the United States, European Union, Japan, and others. The transport system consists primarily of the road network, with paved roads between Kigali and most other major cities and towns in the country. Rwanda is linked by road to other countries in the East African Community, namely Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Kenya, as well as to the eastern Congolese cities of Goma and Bukavu; the country's most important trade route is the road to the port of Mombasa via Kampala and Nairobi, which is known as the Northern Corridor. The principal form of public transport in the country is the minibus, accounting for more than half of all passenger carrying capacity. Some minibuses, particularly in Kigali, operate an unscheduled service, under a share taxi, shared taxi system, while others run to a schedule, offering express routes between the major cities. There are a smaller number of large buses, which operate a scheduled service around the country. The principal private hire vehicle is the motorcycle taxi; in 2013 there were 9,609 registered motorcycle taxis in Rwanda, compared with just 579 taxicabs. Coach (vehicle), Coach services are available to various destinations in neighbouring countries. The country has an Kigali International Airport, international airport at Kigali that serves several international destinations, the busiest routes being those to JKIA, Nairobi and Entebbe International Airport, Entebbe; there is one domestic route, between Kigali and Kamembe Airport near Cyangugu. In 2017, construction began on the Bugesera International Airport, to the south of Kigali, which will become the country's largest when it opens, complementing the existing Kigali airport. The national carrier is RwandAir, and the country is served by seven foreign airlines. the country has no railways, but there is a project underway, in conjunction with Burundi and Tanzania, to extend the Tanzanian Central Line (Tanzania), Central Line into Rwanda; the three countries have invited expressions of interest from private firms to form a public private partnership for the scheme. There is no public water transport between the port cities on Lake Kivu, although a limited private service exists and the government has initiated a programme to develop a full service. The Ministry of Infrastructure (Rwanda), Ministry of Infrastructure is also investigating the feasibility of linking Rwanda to Lake Victoria via shipping on the Akagera River.


Demographics

, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda estimates Rwanda's population to be 11,262,564. The 2012 census recorded a population of 10,515,973. The population is young: in the 2012 census, 43.3% of the population were aged 15 and under, and 53.4% were between 16 and 64. According to the CIA ''World Factbook'', the annual birth rate is estimated at 40.2 births per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015, and the death rate at 14.9. The life expectancy is 67.67 years (69.27 years for females and 67.11 years for males), which is the 26th lowest out of 224 countries and territories. The overall sex ratio of the country is 95.9 males per 100 females. At , Rwanda's population density is amongst the highest in Africa. Historians such as Gérard Prunier believe that the 1994 genocide can be partly attributed to the population density. The population is predominantly rural, with a few large towns; dwellings are evenly spread throughout the country. The only sparsely populated area of the country is the savanna land in the former province of Umutara Province, Umutara and Akagera National Park in the east. Kigali is the largest city, with a population of around one million. Its rapidly increasing population challenges its infrastructural development. According to the 2012 census, the second largest city is Gisenyi, which lies adjacent to Lake Kivu and the Congolese city of Goma, and has a population of 126,000. Other major towns include Ruhengeri, Butare, and Muhanga, all with populations below 100,000. The urban population rose from 6% of the population in 1990, to 16.6% in 2006; by 2011, however, the proportion had dropped slightly, to 14.8%. Rwanda has been a unified state since pre-colonial times, and the population is drawn from just one cultural and linguistic group, the
Banyarwanda The Banyarwanda ( Kinyarwanda: plural: ''Abanyarwanda'', singular: ''Umunyarwanda''; literally "those who come from Rwanda Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the African Great ...
; this contrasts with most modern African states, whose borders were drawn by Colonisation of Africa, colonial powers and did not correspond to ethnic boundaries or pre-colonial kingdoms. Within the Banyarwanda people, there are three separate groups, the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The CIA ''World Factbook'' gives estimates that the Hutu made up 84% of the population in 2009, the Tutsi 15% and Twa 1%. The Twa are a pygmy people who descend from Rwanda's earliest inhabitants, but scholars do not agree on the origins of and differences between the Hutu and Tutsi. Anthropologist Jean Hiernaux contends that the Tutsi are a separate race, with a tendency towards "long and narrow heads, faces and noses"; others, such as Villia Jefremovas, believe there is no discernible physical difference and the categories were not historically rigid. In precolonial Rwanda the Tutsi were the ruling class, from whom the kings and the majority of chiefs were derived, while the Hutu were agriculturalists. The current Government of Rwanda, government discourages the Hutu/Tutsi/Twa distinction, and has removed such classification from identity cards. The 2002 census was the first since 1933 which did not categorise Rwandan population into the three groups.


Education

Prior to 2012, the Rwandan government provided free education in state-run schools for nine years: six years in primary and three years following a common secondary programme. In 2012, this started to be expanded to 12 years. A 2015 study suggests that while enrollment rates in primary schools are "near ubiquity", rates of completion are low and repetition rates high. While schooling is fee-free, there is an expectation that parents should contribute to the cost of their children's education by providing them with materials, supporting teacher development and making a contribution to school construction. According to the government, these costs should not be a basis for the exclusion of children from education, however. There are many private schools across the country, some church-run, which follow the same syllabus but charge fees. From 1994 until 2009, secondary education was offered in either French or English; because of the country's increasing ties with the
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
and the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth, only the English syllabi are now offered. The country has a number of institutions of tertiary education. In 2013, the public University of Rwanda (UR) was created out of a merger of the former National University of Rwanda and the country's other public higher education institutions. In 2013, the gross enrollment ratio for tertiary education in Rwanda was 7.9%, from 3.6% in 2006. The country's literacy rate, defined as those aged 15 or over who can read and write, was 71% in 2009, up from 38% in 1978 and 58% in 1991.


Health

The quality of healthcare in Rwanda has historically been very low, both before and immediately after the 1994 genocide. In 1998, more than one in five children died before their fifth birthday, often from malaria. President Kagame has made healthcare one of the priorities for the Vision 2020 (Rwanda), Vision 2020 development programme, boosting spending on health care to 6.5% of the country's gross domestic product in 2013, compared with 1.9% in 1996. The government has devolved the financing and management of healthcare to local communities, through a system of health insurance providers called ''mutuelles de santé''. The ''mutuelles'' were piloted in 1999, and were made available nationwide by the mid-2000s, with the assistance of international development partners. Premiums under the scheme were initially United States dollar, US$2 per annum; since 2011 the rate has varied on a sliding scale, with the poorest paying nothing, and maximum premiums rising to US$8 per adult. , more than 90% of the population was covered by the scheme. The government has also set up training institutes including the Kigali Health Institute (KHI), which was established in 1997 and is now part of the University of Rwanda. In 2005, President Kagame also launched a program known as ''The Presidents' Malaria Initiative''. This initiative aimed to help get the most necessary materials for prevention of malaria to the most rural areas of Rwanda, such as mosquito nets and medication. In recent years Rwanda has seen improvement on a number of key health indicators. Between 2005 and 2013, life expectancy increased from 55.2 to 64.0, under-5 mortality decreased from 106.4 to 52.0 per 1,000 live births, and incidence of tuberculosis has dropped from 101 to 69 per 100,000 people. The country's progress in healthcare has been cited by the international media and charities. ''The Atlantic'' devoted an article to "Rwanda's Historic Health Recovery". Partners In Health described the health gains "among the most dramatic the world has seen in the last 50 years". Despite these improvements, however, the country's health profile remains dominated by communicable diseases, and the United States Agency for International Development has described "significant health challenges", including the rate of maternal mortality, which it describes as "unacceptably high", as well as the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, travelers to Rwanda are highly recommended to take preventive malaria medication as well as make sure they are up to date with vaccines such as yellow fever. Rwanda also has a shortage of medical professionals, with only 0.84 physicians, nurses, and midwives per 1,000 residents. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is monitoring the country's health progress towards Millennium Development Goals 4–6, which relate to healthcare. A mid-2015 UNDP report noted that the country was not on target to meet goal 4 on infant mortality, despite it having "fallen dramatically"; the country is "making good progress" towards goal 5, which is to reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio, while goal 6 is not yet met as HIV/AIDS in Rwanda, HIV prevalence has not started falling.


Religion

The largest faith in Rwanda is Catholic Church in Rwanda, Catholic Christianity, but there have been significant changes in the nation's religious demographics since the genocide, with many conversions to evangelical Christianity, and, to a lesser degree, Islam in Rwanda, Islam. According to the 2012 census, Roman Catholic Christians represented 43.7% of the population, Protestants (excluding Seventh-day Adventists) 37.7%, Seventh-day Adventists 11.8%, and Muslims 2.0%; 0.2% claimed no religious beliefs and 1.3% did not state a religion. Traditional religion, despite officially being followed by only 0.1% of the population, retains an influence. Many Rwandans view the God in Christianity, Christian God as synonymous with the traditional Rwandan God ''Imana''.


Languages

The country's principal language is
Kinyarwanda Kinyarwanda () is an official language An official language, also called state language, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...
, which is spoken by nearly all Rwandans. The major European languages during the colonial era were German language, German, though it was never taught or widely used, and then French language, French, which was introduced by Belgium from 1916 and remained an official and widely spoken language after independence in 1962. Dutch language, Dutch was spoken too. The return of English-speaking Rwandan refugees in the 1990s added a new dimension to the country's linguistic diversity. Kinyarwanda, English, French, and Swahili are all official languages. Kinyarwanda is the national language while English is the primary medium of instruction in secondary and tertiary education. Swahili language, Swahili, the lingua franca of the
East African Community The East African Community (EAC) is an intergovernmental organisation composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in an ...

East African Community
, is also spoken by some as a second language, particularly returned refugees from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and those who live along the border with the DRC. In 2015, Swahili was introduced as a mandatory subject in secondary schools. Inhabitants of Rwanda's Nkombo Island speak Mashi language, Mashi, a language closely related to Kinyarwanda.


LGBT

Homosexuality is generally considered a taboo topic, and there is no significant public discussion of this issue in any region of the country.Spartacus International Gay Guide, p. 1216. Bruno Gmunder Verlag, 2007. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in Rwanda, and some cabinet-level government officials have expressed support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people. No special legislative protections are afforded to LGBT citizens, and same-sex marriages are not recognized by the state, as the Constitution of Rwanda, constitution provides that "[o]nly civil monogamous marriage between a man and a woman is recognized". LGBT Rwandans have reported being harassed, blackmailed, and even arrested by the police under various laws dealing with public order and morality.


Culture

Music of Rwanda, Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan ceremonies, festivals, social gatherings and storytelling. The most famous traditional dance is a highly choreographed routine consisting of three components: the ''umushagiriro'', or cow dance, performed by women; the ''intore'', or dance of heroes, performed by men; and the drumming, also traditionally performed by men, on drums known as ''ingoma''. The best known dance group is the National Ballet of Rwanda, National Ballet. It was established by President Habyarimana in 1974, and performs nationally and internationally. Traditionally, music is transmitted orally, with styles varying between the social groups. Drums are of great importance; the royal drummers enjoyed high status within the court of the King (''Mwami''). Drummers play together in groups of varying sizes, usually between seven and nine in number. The country has a growing popular music industry, influenced by African Great Lakes, Congolese, and American music. The most popular genre is hip hop, with a blend of dancehall, rap, ragga, R&B and dance-pop. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, although most originated as functional items rather than purely for decoration. Woven baskets and bowls are especially common, notably the basket style of the agaseke. ''Imigongo'', a unique cow dung art, is produced in the southeast of Rwanda, with a history dating back to when the region was part of the independent Gisaka kingdom. The dung is mixed with natural soils of various colours and painted into patterned ridges to form geometric shapes. Other crafts include pottery and wood carving. Traditional housing styles make use of locally available materials; circular or rectangular mud homes with grass-thatched roofs (known as ''nyakatsi'') are the most common. The government has initiated a programme to replace these with more modern materials such as corrugated iron. Rwanda does not have a long history of written literature, but there is a strong oral tradition ranging from poetry to folk stories. Many of the country's moral values and details of history have been passed down through the generations. The most famous Rwandan literary figure was Alexis Kagame (1912–1981), who carried out and published research into oral traditions as well as writing his own poetry. The Rwandan Genocide resulted in the emergence of a literature of witness accounts, essays and fiction by a new generation of writers such as Benjamin Sehene. A number of films have been produced about the Rwandan Genocide, including the Golden Globe-nominated ''Hotel Rwanda'', ''100 Days (2001 film), 100 Days'', ''Shake Hands with the Devil (2007 film), Shake Hands with the Devil'', ''Sometimes in April'', and ''Shooting Dogs'', the last four having been filmed in Rwanda and having featured survivors as cast members. Fourteen regular public holidays in Rwanda, national holidays are observed throughout the year, with others occasionally inserted by the government. The week following Genocide Memorial Day on 7 April is designated an official week of mourning. The victory for the RPF over the Hutu extremists is celebrated as Liberation Day on 4 July. The last Saturday of each month is ''umuganda'', a national morning of mandatory community service lasting from 8am to 11am, during which all able bodied people between 18 and 65 are expected to carry out community tasks such as cleaning streets or building homes for vulnerable people. Most normal services close down during ''umuganda'', and public transportation is limited.


Cuisine

The cuisine of Rwanda is based on local staple foods produced by subsistence agriculture such as bananas, plantains (known as ''ibitoke''), pulse (legume), pulses, sweet potatoes, beans, and cassava (manioc). Many Rwandans do not eat meat more than a few times a month. For those who live near lakes and have access to fish, tilapia is popular. The potato, thought to have been introduced to Rwanda by German and Belgian Second European colonization wave (19th century–20th century), colonialists, is very popular. Ugali, locally known as ''Ubugari'' (or ''umutsima'') is common, a paste made from cassava or maize and water to form a porridge-like consistency that is eaten throughout the African Great Lakes. ''Isombe'' is made from mashed cassava leaves and served with dried fish. Lunch is usually a buffet known as ''mélange'', consisting of the above staples and sometimes meat. Brochettes are the most popular food when eating out in the evening, usually made from goat but sometimes tripe, beef, or fish. In rural areas, many bars have a brochette seller responsible for tending and slaughtering the goats, skewering and barbecue, barbecuing the meat, and serving it with grilled bananas. Milk, particularly in a fermented yoghurt form called ''ikivuguto'', is a common drink throughout the country. Other drinks include a traditional beer called Ikigage made from sorghum and ''urwagwa'', made from bananas, which features in traditional rituals and ceremonies. The major drinks manufacturer in Rwanda is Bralirwa, which was established in the 1950s, a Heineken partner, and is now listed on the Rwandan Stock Exchange. Bralirwa manufactures soft drink products from The Coca-Cola Company, under license, including Coca-Cola, Fanta, and Sprite (soft drink), Sprite, and a range of beers including Primus beer, Primus, Mützig beer, Mützig, Amstel Brewery, Amstel, and Turbo King. In 2009 a new brewery, Brasseries des Mille Collines (BMC) opened, manufacturing Skol beer and a local version known as Skol Gatanu; BMC is now owned by Belgian company Unibra. East African Breweries also operate in the country, importing Guinness, Tusker (beer), Tusker, and Bell (beer), Bell, as well as whisky and Distilled beverage, spirits.


Sport

The Rwandan government, through its Sports Development Policy, promotes sport as a strong avenue for "development and peace building", and the government has made commitments to advancing the use of sport for a variety of development objectives, including education. The most popular sports in Rwanda are association football, volleyball, basketball, Athletics (sport), athletics and Paralympic sports. Cricket has been growing in popularity, as a result of refugees returned from Kenya, where they had learned to play the game. Cycling, traditionally seen largely as a mode of transport in Rwanda, is also growing in popularity cycle sport, as a sport; and Team Rwanda have been the subject of a book, ''Land of Second Chances: The Impossible Rise of Rwanda's Cycling Team'' and a film, ''Rising from Ashes (film), Rising from Ashes''. Rwandans have been competing at the Olympic Games since 1984, and the Paralympic Games since 2004. The country sent seven competitors to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, representing it in athletics, Swimming (sport), swimming, mountain biking and judo, and 15 competitors to the 2012 Summer Paralympics, London Summer Paralympics to compete in athletics, Paralympic powerlifting, powerlifting and sitting volleyball. The country has also participated in the Commonwealth Games since joining the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth in 2009. The country's Rwanda national basketball team, national basketball team has been growing in prominence since the mid-2000s, with the men's team qualifying for the final stages of the African Basketball Championship four times in a row since 2007. The country bid unsuccessfully to host the 2013 African Basketball Championship, 2013 tournament. Rwanda's Rwanda national football team, national football team has appeared in the African Cup of Nations once, in the 2004 African Cup of Nations, 2004 edition of the tournament, but narrowly failed to advance beyond the group stages. The team have failed to qualify for the competition since, and have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, World Cup. Rwanda's highest domestic football competition is the Rwanda National Football League; , the dominant team is APR FC of Kigali, having won 13 of the last 17 championships. Rwandan clubs participate in the Kagame Interclub Cup for Central and East African teams, sponsored since 2002 by President Kagame.


See also

* Index of Rwanda-related articles * Outline of Rwanda


Notes


References

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External links

Government:
The Republic of Rwanda
(official government site) General:
Rwanda
''The World Factbook''. Central Intelligence Agency.
Rwanda profile
from the BBC News * * * * Tourism:
Rwanda Tourism
(official Rwanda Tourism Board site) * {{Featured article Rwanda, Commonwealth republics Central African countries East African countries English-speaking countries and territories French-speaking countries and territories Landlocked countries Least developed countries Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie Member states of the African Union Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations Member states of the United Nations States and territories established in 1962 Swahili-speaking countries and territories 1962 establishments in Africa Countries in Africa