Rwanda By | Saturday, September 8  2012 at  16:16

Full Name
Republic of Rwanda (English)
Republika y'u Rwanda (Kinyarwanda)
Origins of name: From the name “Kinyarwanda” a predominant Rwandan language
Former Names: Ruanda, German East Africa

Current Leader
Paul Kagame

Overview
Rwanda was formerly a German colony but came under the authority of the Belgians as a trustee in 1923
Rwanda came to be when Ruanda-Urundi were separated in 1962
Gained independence on the July 1, 1962
During colonisation Ruanda under the colonial administration, was divided into eight territoires (territories): Astrida, Biumba, Kibungu, Kigali, Kîsenyi, Nyanza, Ruhengeri and Shangugu
Between 1973 and 1990, despite the atrocities that Hutu-Tutsi violence has wrought on the nation, Rwanda was one of the most peaceful places on the African mainland. During that time, Rwanda did not have civil wars, famines and coups d'etat


Form of Government
Republic
President: Popular vote every 7 years
The President is eligible for a second year term
Multiparty System

Government Structure
Chief of State: President
Head of Government: Prime Minister

Military Statistics
Manpower fit for military service: (males age 16-49: 1,452,768, females age 16-49: 1,456,207)
Expenditure: 2.9% GDP
Branches: Rwandan Defence Forces: Army, Air Force

Former Rulers
1961 - 1973 Gregoire Kayibanda
1973 – 1994 Juvénal Habyarimana
1994 Théodore Sindikubwabo
1994 – 2000 Pasteur Bizimungu
2000 – Present Paul Kagame


Capital
Kigali (Ville de Kigali)
Population: 745, 261 people

Altitude: 1,416 metres

Population
Size: 10,718,379 (2011)
Life expectancy: 50.5 years
Gender make-up: Male – 49.77%, Female – 50.23%

GDP per capita
$1,251 (2011)

$1,155 (2010)

Geography
Area: 26,338sqkm
Land boundaries: Burundi 290km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 217km, Tanzania 217km, Uganda 169km

Major Languages
Kinyarwanda (official), French (official), English (official), Kiswahili

Religious portfolio
Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, Indigenous beliefs 0.1%, None 1.7%

National Make-up
Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%

Natural Resources
Gold, Cassiterite (tin ore), Wolframite (tungsten ore), Methane, Hydropower, Arable land

Main exports
Coffee, Tea, Hides, Tin ore

Land Use
Arable land: 45.56%
Permanent crops: 10.25%
Other: 44.19% (2005)

Monetary Unit/Currency
Rwandan Franc

Dialling Code
+250

Internet Code
.rw

Transport
Main port: Landlocked
Airport: Kigali International Airport located at 10km from Kigali CBD

Modern issues

Environmental
Deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel
Overgrazing
Soil exhaustion
Soil erosion
Widespread poaching (including that of gorillas)

Political
In December 2011, Rwanda joined the thin ranks of African nations seen as fairly free of graft by ‘Transparency International’s Corruption Index’ despite still recovering from the horror of the 1994 genocide. The nation was acknowledged for making strides in rebuilding its economy and promoting itself as a regional business hub.

Economic
Rwanda has been taking steps to transform its economy from that of an impoverished agrarian society to a high-tech economic innovator

Social
There have been several allegations made against Mr. Kagame concerning the silencing of opposition groups. According toThe Independent, the Rwandan Government was masterminding an assassination plot in Britain against dissidents, who are said to be critical of the country’s increasingly authoritarian regime. Furthermore, Peggy Hicks, global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said there had been "no opposition and independent journalists were silenced" ahead of the poll last year

High number of Rwandese refugees in neighbouring countries
There are reportedly high numbers of child soldiers in Rwanda and the neighbouring regions
Much of the country remains without basic services - including a reliable electricity supply
Rwanda remains one of the poorest countries in the world, but has a fast-growing population, of which more than 50% are aged 14 or under.

Foreign Affairs
Fighting among ethnic groups - loosely associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces in Great Lakes region transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa), Rwanda, and Uganda. This has abated substantially from a decade ago due largely to UN peacekeeping, international mediation, and efforts by local governments to create civil societies
Mr. Kagame continues to be popular with foreign investors, this was helped along by an act that came into effect which saw any investors doing business in Rwanda and employing more than 200 Rwandan workers benefit from a five per cent tax reduction on profit

The Major Conflicts

1959 Violence
When: 1959
Who: Hutu vs Tutsi
Why: Hutus wanted a change in the power structure which favoured the Tutsi
Outcome: Tutsi King Kigeri V, together with 10,000 Tutsis, forced into exile in Uganda following inter-ethnic violence

1963-4 Violence
When: 1963-4
Who: Army vs Tutsi exiles
Why: Tutsi diaspora attempt to return by force
Outcome: The government responded by ordering massacres of Tutsi, targeting politicians, between 10,000 and 13,000 Tutsi civilians were killed

1994 Genocide
When: Between April and July 1994
Who: Hutu militia vs Tutsi and Hutu moderates
Why: Sparked by, President Habyarimana, returning from signing an agreement to implement the Arusha Accords, who was shot down over Kigali; President Ntarayamira of Burundi was also killed
Outcome: Civilian militias, the army massacred Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Approximately 800,000 Tutsi and Hutu moderates were killed. The International Criminal Court is trying the cases of suspected perpetrators of crimes against humanity

What to see?
Mountain Gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park
The Nyungwe Forest National Park

Sports
Popular Sports
Athletics
Cycling
Football

Famous sportsmen and sportswomen
Jimmy Gatete: Commonly known as 'god of goals' by the local fans, Gatete is believed to be the most prolific striker Rwandan football has ever known. He scored crucial goals during the 2004 African Cup of Nations (CAN) qualifications which saw the Rwanda national football team (Amavubi) reach its first ever CAN finals.

Quirks
Rwanda was home to Titus - the most famous silverback in Africa known as "The Gorilla King". He died in 2009 at the age of 35
In 2005 the movie Hotel Rwanda, based on the life of Paul Rusesabagina, who saved the lives of 1,268 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the 1994 genocide
Rwanda is contemplating converting to the Left-Hand-Drive system