Top banner
The World Factbook 2002 Banner

Flag of Rwanda
Click to enlarge
Categories Banner
  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Rwanda

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Rwanda
Definition Field Listing
In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions culminating in April 1994 in the genocide of roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the killing in July 1994, but approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire. Since then most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda. Despite substantial international assistance and political reforms - including Rwanda's first local elections in March 1999 - the country continues to struggle to boost investment and agricultural output and to foster reconciliation. A series of massive population displacements, a nagging Hutu extremist insurgency, and Rwandan involvement in two wars over the past four years in the neighboring DROC continue to hinder Rwanda's efforts.
   Geography    Rwanda
Definition Field Listing
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
2 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 26,338 sq km
water: 1,390 sq km
land: 24,948 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 893 km
border countries: Burundi 290 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 217 km, Tanzania 217 km, Uganda 169 km
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Definition Field Listing
temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible
Definition Field Listing
mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m
highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 32.43%
permanent crops: 10.13%
other: 57.44% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
40 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
landlocked; most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural
   People    Rwanda
Definition Field Listing
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 41.7% (male 1,550,141; female 1,539,375)
15-64 years: 55.4% (male 2,039,573; female 2,057,059)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 84,030; female 127,896) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.16% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
33.28 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
21.39 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
-0.32 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
117.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 38.66 years
female: 39.2 years (2002 est.)
male: 38.14 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
4.72 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
11.21% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
400,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
40,000 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Rwandan(s)
adjective: Rwandan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Hutu 84%, Tutsi 15%, Twa (Pygmoid) 1%
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Muslim 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7% (2001)
Definition Field Listing
Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 48%
male: 52%
female: 45% (1995 est.)
   Government    Rwanda
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Rwandese Republic
conventional short form: Rwanda
local short form: Rwanda
former: Ruanda
local long form: Republika y'u Rwanda
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
republic; presidential, multiparty system
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
12 prefectures (in French - prefectures, singular - prefecture; in Kinyarwanda - plural - NA, singular - prefegitura); Butare, Byumba, Cyangugu, Gikongoro, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kibuye, Kigali Rurale, Kigali-ville, Umutara, Ruhengeri
Definition Field Listing
1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
Definition Field Listing
on 5 May 1995, the Transitional National Assembly adopted as Fundamental Law the constitution of 18 June 1991, provisions of the 1993 Arusha peace accord, the July 1994 Declaration by the Rwanda Patriotic Front, and the November 1994 multiparty protocol of understanding
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal adult
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Maj. Gen. Paul KAGAME (FPR) (since 22 April 2000)
head of government: Prime Minister Bernard MAKUZA (since 8 March 2000)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: normally the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; special election for new president by deputies of the National Assembly and governmental ministers held 17 April 2000 (next national election to be held NA June 2003); prime minister is appointed by the president
election results: Paul KAGAME (FPR) elected president in a special parliamentary/ministerial ballot receiving 81 of a possible 86 votes
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
unicameral Transitional National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale de Transition (a power-sharing body with 70 seats established on 12 December 1994 following a multiparty protocol of understanding; members were named by their parties, number of seats per party predetermined by the Arusha peace accord)
note: four additional seats, two for women and two for youth, added in 2001
election results: seats by party under the Arusha peace accord - FPR 13, MDR 13, PSD 13, PL 13, PDC 6, RPA 6, PSR 2, PDI 2, UDPR 2; note - the distribution of seats was predetermined, four additional seats (two for women and two for youth) added in 2001
elections: the last national legislative elections were held 16 December 1988 for the National Development Council (the legislature prior to the advent of the Transitional National Assembly); no elections have been held for the Transitional National Assembly as the distribution of seats was predetermined by the Arusha peace accord (next to be held NA June 2003)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; communal courts; appeals courts
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Centrist Democratic Party or PDC [Jean-Nipomuscene NAYINZIRA]; Democratic Socialist Party or PSD [leader NA]; Democratic Popular Union of Rwanda or UDPR [leader NA]; Democratic Republican Movement or MDR [Celestin KABANDA]; Islamic Democratic Party or PDI [Andre BUMAYA]; Liberal Party or PL [Pie MUGABO]; Party for Democratic Renewal (officially banned) [Pasteur BIZIMURGI and Charilg NTAKIROTINKA]; Rwanda Patriotic Army or RPA [Maj. Gen. Paul KAGAME, commander]; Rwanda Patriotic Front or FPR [Maj. Gen. Paul KAGAME]; Rwandan Socialist Party or PSR [leader NA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
IBUKA - association of genocide survivors
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard SEZIBERA
chancery: 1714 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009
FAX: [1] (202) 232-4544
telephone: [1] (202) 232-2882
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Margaret K. McMILLION
embassy: #337 Boulevard de la Revolution, Kigali
mailing address: B. P. 28, Kigali
telephone: [250] 50 56 01 through 03
FAX: [250] 57 2128
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three horizontal bands of sky blue (top, double width), yellow, and green, with a golden sun with 24 rays near the fly end of the blue band
   Economy    Rwanda
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture. It is the most densely populated country in Africa; landlocked with few natural resources and minimal industry. Primary exports are coffee and tea. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and eroded the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made significant progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy. GDP has rebounded, and inflation has been curbed. Rwanda received approval for debt relief from the IMF in late 2000 and continued to make progress on inflation, privatization, and GDP growth in 2001. However, export earnings were hindered by low global coffee prices, depriving the country of much needed hard currency. President KAGAME is encouraging investors to take advantage of export opportunities in Rwanda based on its membership in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) free trade area and its access to the US and the EU markets through preferential trade agreements.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $7.2 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 46%
industry: 20%
services: 34% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
70% (2000 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 4%
highest 10%: 24% (1983-85)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
29 (1983-85 )
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
3.6 million
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 90%
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $199.3 million
expenditures: $445 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
7% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
113 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 3%
hydro: 97%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
174.09 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
1 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
70 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock
Definition Field Listing
$61 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
coffee, tea, hides, tin ore
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
EU 56.9%, Pakistan 12.3%, US 9.2%, China 4.4% Malaysia 4.4% (2000 est.)
Definition Field Listing
$248 million f.o.b. (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Kenya 29.4%, EU 28%, US 10%, India 4.4%, Tanzania 2.2% (2000 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
$1.3 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$372.9 million (1999)
Definition Field Listing
Rwandan franc (RWF)
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Rwandan francs per US dollar - 456.81 (January 2002), 442.99 (2001), 389.70 (2000), 333.94 (1999) 312.31 (1998), 301.53 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Rwanda
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
11,000 (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
11,000 (1999)
note: Rwanda has mobile cellular service between Kigali and several prefecture capitals (2002)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: telephone system primarily serves business and government
domestic: the capital, Kigali, is connected to the centers of the prefectures by microwave radio relay and, recently, by cellular telephone service; much of the network depends on wire and HF radiotelephone
international: international connections employ microwave radio relay to neighboring countries and satellite communications to more distant countries; satellite earth stations - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) in Kigali (includes telex and telefax service)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 0, FM 3 (two main FM programs are broadcast through a system of repeaters and the third FM program is a 24 hour BBC program), shortwave 1 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
601,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
NA; probably less than 1,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
2 (2002)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
20,000 (2002)
   Transportation    Rwanda
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Definition Field Listing
total: 12,000 km
paved: 1,000 km
unpaved: 11,000 km (1997 est.)
Definition Field Listing
note: Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye
Definition Field Listing
8 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 3 (2002)
   Military    Rwanda
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Gendarmerie
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 1,858,443 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 946,990 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$58 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
3.1% (FY01)
   Transnational Issues    Rwanda
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Tutsi, Hutu and other ethnic groups, political rebels, and various government forces continue fighting in Great Lakes region, transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Bottom Banner