Snapshot of Rwanda
Rwanda is a land-locked country. To the north and west, Rwanda is bordered by theDemocratic Republic of Congo. Burundi borders Rwanda to the south, while Tanzania bordersRwanda to the east.
Rwanda extends over 10,000 square miles, an area about the size of Maryland.
Rwanda's landscape is most noted for its abundant hills and uplands.
The weather is Rwanda is mild and temperate. There are two rainy seasons.
There are 7.6 million people living in Rwanda. Almost every Rwandan belongs to one oftwo ethnic groups: Hutu (85% of the population) and Tutsi (14%).
Three languages are widely spoken in Rwanda: French, English, and Kinyarwanda.
The capital of Rwanda is Kigali, a city with a population of about 236,000. Othercities include Gitarama, Butare, Ruhengeri, and Gisenyi.
Rwanda achieved independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962. In 1994, a civil war, whichculminated in an ethnic genocide, consumed the lives of many thousands of Rwandans. Agovernment of national unity formed in the wake of the civil war. Though the right ofsuffrage is suspended at the present time, the national unity government is leading atransition to multi-party democracy. The president of Rwanda is Pasteur Bizimunga.
Rwanda's economy depends primarily on rain-fed, semi-subsistence farming. Thecivil war in 1994 greatly disturbed economic activity and food production. Since 1994, theRwandan economy has grown steadily and food production is approaching pre-war levels.Rwanda has few natural resources. Coffee and tea are it biggest exports.