Rwanda Population: 12,988,423


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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 (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Approximately 2 million Hutu refugees - many fearing Tutsi retribution - fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and former Zaire. Since then, most of the refugees have returned to Rwanda, but several thousand remained in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC, the former Zaire) and formed an extremist insurgency bent on retaking Rwanda, much as the RPF did in 1990. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda in 2009 staged a joint military operation with the Congolese Army in DRC to rout out the Hutu extremist insurgency there, and Kigali and Kinshasa restored diplomatic relations. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009 and assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2013-14 term.

Landlocked; most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural
Location: Central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, north of Burundi
Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 30 00 E
Area: total: 26,338 sq km
land: 24,668 sq km
water: 1,670 sq km

Size comparison: slightly smaller than Maryland
Land Boundaries: total: 930 km border countries (4): Burundi 315 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 221 km, Tanzania 222 km, Uganda 172 km
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible
Terrain: mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east
Elevation extremes:
Natural resources: gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land
Land use: agricultural land: 74.5% arable land 47%; permanent crops 10.1%; permanent pasture 17.4% forest: 18%
other: 7.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land: 96 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards: periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga Mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo volcanism: Visoke (elev. 3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country's only historically active volcano
Current Environment Issues: deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching
International Environment Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
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Nationality: noun: Rwandan(s)
adjective: Rwandan
Ethnic groups: Hutu (Bantu) 84%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 15%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%
Languages: Kinyarwanda only (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, Kinyarwanda and other language(s) 6.2%, French (official) and other language(s) 0.1%, English (official) and other language(s) 0.1%, Swahili (or Kiswahili, used in commercial centers) 0.02%, other 0.03%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 49.5%, Protestant 39.4% (includes Adventist 12.2% and other Protestant 27.2%), other Christian 4.5%, Muslim 1.8%, animist 0.1%, other 0.6%, none 3.6% (2001), unspecified 0.5% (2002 est.)
Population: 12,988,423 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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2016 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 41.53% (male 2,719,248/female 2,674,688)
15-24 years: 18.87% (male 1,226,141/female 1,225,009)
25-54 years: 32.93% (male 2,142,936/female 2,134,064)
55-64 years: 4.09% (male 249,447/female 282,225)
65 years and over: 2.58% (male 138,834/female 195,831) (2016 est.)
Dependency ratios: total dependency ratio: 78.1%
youth dependency ratio: 73.1%
elderly dependency ratio: 5%
potential support ratio: 20.1% (2015 est.)
Median age: total: 19 years
male: 18.7 years
female: 19.2 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate: 2.53% (2016 est.)
Birth rate: 33.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate: 8.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate: 0.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Urbanization: urban population: 28.8% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 6.43% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas - population: KIGALI (capital) 1.257 million (2015)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth: 23 note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2014/15 est.)
Maternal mortality rate: 290 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Infant mortality rate: total: 56.8 deaths/1,000 live births male: 60.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 53.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 60.1 years male: 58.5 years
female: 61.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate: 4.46 children born/woman (2016 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate: 51.6% (2010/11)
Health expenditures: 7.5% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density: 0.06 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
Hospital bed density: 1.6 beds/1,000 population (2007)
Drinking water source: improved:
urban: 86.6% of population
rural: 71.9% of population
total: 76.1% of population

urban: 13.4% of population
rural: 28.1% of population
total: 23.9% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility access: improved:
urban: 58.5% of population
rural: 62.9% of population
total: 61.6% of population

urban: 41.5% of population
rural: 37.1% of population
total: 38.4% of population (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 2.89% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 201,900 (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 2,900 (2015 est.)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate: 3.3% (2014)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight: 11.7% (2011)
Education expenditures: 5% of GDP (2013)
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 70.5%
male: 73.2%
female: 68% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education): total: 11 years male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2013)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24: total: 4.5% male: 3.6%
female: 5.2% (2012 est.)
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Country name: conventional long form: Republic of Rwanda
conventional short form: Rwanda
local long form: Republika y'u Rwanda
local short form: Rwanda
former: Ruanda, German East Africa
etymology: the name translates as "domain" in the native Kinyarwanda language
Government type: presidential republic
Capital: name: Kigali
geographic coordinates: 1 57 S, 30 03 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions: 4 provinces (in French - provinces, singular - province; in Kinyarwanda - intara for singular and plural) and 1 city* (in French - ville; in Kinyarwanda - umujyi); Est (Eastern), Kigali*, Nord (Northern), Ouest (Western), Sud (Southern)
Independence: 1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)
National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
Constitution: several previous; latest adopted by referendum 26 May 2003, effective 4 June 2003; amended several times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal system: mixed legal system of civil law, based on German and Belgian models, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000)

head of government: Prime Minister Anastase MUREKEZI (since 24 July 2014)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); note - on December 18, Rwanda held a referendum on constitutional amendments that reduce the length of the terms for the president, senators, and Chief Justice and Deputy Chief from seven to five years; the reforms retained term limits, but included an exception for the current president that allows President KAGAME to serve another seven-year term in 2017, potentiallyy followed by two additional five-year terms; election last held on 9 August 2010 (next to be held in 2017); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Paul KAGAME reelected president; Paul KAGAME (RPF) 93.1%, Jean NTAWUKURIRYAYO (PSD) 5.1%, other 1.8%
Legislative branch: description: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate or Senat (26 seats; 12 members indirectly elected by local councils, 8 appointed by the president, 4 appointed by the Political Organizations Forum - a body of registered political parties, and 2 selected by institutions of higher learning; members serve 8-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (80 seats; 53 members directly elected by proportional representation vote, 24 women elected by special interest groups, and 3 selected by youth and disability organizations; members serve 5-year terms)

elections: Senate - NA; Chamber of Deputies - last held on 16-18 September 2013 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Chamber of Deputies percent of vote by party - Rwndan Front Coalition 76.2%, PSD 13%, PL 9.3%, other 1.5%; seats by party - Rwandan Front Coalition 41, PSD 7, PL 5, 27 members indirectly elected
Judicial branch: highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief and deputy chief justices and 15 judges; normally organized into 3-judge panels); High Court (consists of the court president, vice-president, and a minimum of 24 judges and organized into 5 chambers note: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president of the republic after consultation with the Cabinet and the Superior Council of the Judiciary or SCJ (a 27-member body of judges, other judicial officials, and legal professionals), and approved by the Senate; chief and deputy chief justices appointed for 8-year nonrenewable terms; tenure of judges NA; High Court president and vice-president appointed by the president of the republic upon approval by the Senate; judges appointed by the Supreme Court chief justice upon approval of the SCJ; judge tenure NA judge selection and term of office: High Court of the Republic; commercial courts including the High Commercial Court; intermediate courts; primary courts; Gacaca and military specialized courts

subordinate courts: High Court of the Republic; commercial courts including the High Commercial Court; intermediate courts; primary courts; Gacaca and military specialized courts
Political parties and leaders: Liberal Party or PL [Protais MITALI] Party for Progress and Concord or PPC [Christian MARARA] Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF [Prosper HIGIRO] Social Democratic Party or PSD [Vincent BIRUTA]
Political pressure groups and leaders: IBUKA (association of genocide survivors)
National symbol(s): traditional woven basket with peaked lid; national colors: blue, yellow, green
National anthem: name: "Rwanda nziza" (Rwanda, Our Beautiful Country)
lyrics/music: Faustin MURIGO/Jean-Bosco HASHAKAIMANA

note: adopted 2001
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Mathilde MUKANTABANA (since 5 July 2013)
chancery: 1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 418, Washington, DC, 2000
telephone: [1] (202) 232-2882
FAX: [1] (202) 232-4544
Diplomatic representation from the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Erica BARKS-RUGGLES (since 26 January 2015)
embassy: 2657 Avenue de la Gendarmerie, Kigali
mailing address: B.P. 28, Kigali
telephone: [250] 252 596-400
FAX: [250] 252 580 325
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Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in subsistence agriculture and some mineral and agro-processing. Tourism, minerals, coffee and tea are Rwanda's main sources of foreign exchange. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with demand, requiring food imports. Energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap private sector growth. The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women, and temporarily stalled the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels. GDP has rebounded with an average annual growth of 7%-8% since 2003 and inflation has been reduced to single digits. Nonetheless, in 2015, 39% of the population lived below the poverty line, according to government statistics, compared to 57% in 2006. Africa's most densely populated country is trying to overcome the limitations of its small, landlocked economy by leveraging regional trade; Rwanda joined the East African Community and is aligning its budget, trade, and immigration policies with its regional partners. The government has embraced an expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty by improving education, infrastructure, and foreign and domestic investment, and pursuing market-oriented reforms. In recognition of Rwanda's successful management of its macro economy, in 2010, the IMF graduated Rwanda to a Policy Support Instrument. The Rwandan Government is seeking to become a regional leader in information and communication technologies. In 2012, Rwanda completed the first modern Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kigali. The SEZ seeks to attract investment in all sectors, but specifically in agribusiness, information and communications, trade and logistics, mining, and construction.
GDP (purchasing power parity): GDP (purchasing power parity): $21.97 billion (2016 est.) $20.73 billion (2015 est.) $19.39 billion (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): GDP (official exchange rate): $8.341 billion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6% (2016 est.) 6.9% (2015 est.) 7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,900 (2016 est.) $1,800 (2015 est.) $1,800 (2014 est.)

note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving: 12.9% of GDP (2016 est.) 12.8% of GDP (2015 est.) 15.6% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use: household consumption: 77.8%
government consumption: 11.4%
investment in fixed capital: 26.4%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 13.6%
imports of goods and services: -29.8% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of origin: household consumption: 77.8%
government consumption: 11.4%
investment in fixed capital: 26.4%
investment in inventories: 0.6%
exports of goods and services: 13.6%
imports of goods and services: -29.8% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - products: coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock
Industries: cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate: 6.9% (2016 est.)
Labor force: 6.03 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 90% industry and
services: 10% (2000)
Unemployment rate: NA%
Population below poverty line: 39.1% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 43.2% (2011 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index: 46.8 (2000) 28.9 (1985)
Budget: revenues: $1.865 billion
expenditures: $2.279 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues: 22.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt: 36.6% of GDP (2016 est.) 33.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
Fiscal year: calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices): Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.6% (2016 est.) 2.5% (2015 est.)
Current account balance: -$1.385 billion (2016 est.) -$1.096 billion (2015 est.)
Exports: $674.9 million (2016 est.) $683.7 million (2015 est.)
Exports - commodities: coffee, tea, hides, tin ore
Exports - partners: Democratic Republic of the Congo 19.8%, US 10.8%, China 10.3%, Swaziland 7.9%, Malaysia 7%, Pakistan 6.2%, Germany 5.9%, Thailand 5.5% (2015)
Imports: $1.961 billion (2016 est.) $1.917 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material
Imports - partners: Uganda 15.7%, Kenya 11.8%, India 8.7%, China 8.7%, UAE 8.6%, Russia 6.6%, Tanzania 5.1% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $756.3 million (31 December 2016 est.) $1.03 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external: $2.442 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $2.178 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $1.779 billion (31 December 2016 est.) $1.484 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $25.6 million (31 December 2016 est.) $25.6 million (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares: $NA
Exchange rates: Rwandan francs (RWF) per US dollar - 787.9 (2016 est.) 720.54 (2015 est.) 720.54 (2014 est.) 680.95 (2013 est.) 616.6 (2012 est.)
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Electricity - production: 500 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 500 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports: 3 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports: 95 million kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity: 100,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels: 34.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants: 65.7% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources: 0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil - production: 0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Crude oil - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - imports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Crude oil - proved reserves: 0 bbl (1 January 2016 es)
Refined petroleum products - production: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption: 6,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports: 0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports: 5,979 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Natural gas - production: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 56.63 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy: 800,000 Mt (2013 est.)
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Cellular Phones in use: total: 8.76 million subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 69 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone system: general assessment: small, inadequate telephone system primarily serves business, education, and government

domestic: the capital, Kigali, is connected to provincial centers by microwave radio relay and, recently, by cellular telephone service; much of the network depends on wire and HF radiotelephone; combined fixed-line and mobile-cellular telephone density has increas

international: country code - 250; 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) (2015)
Broadcast media: government owns and operates the only TV station; government-owned and operated Radio Rwanda has a national reach; 9 private radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code: .rw
Internet users: total: 2.279 million percent of population: 18% (July 2015 est.)
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Airports: 7 (2013)
Airports (paved runways): total 4
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports (unpaved runways): total 3

914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Roadways: total 4,700 km
paved: 1,207 km
unpaved: 3,493 km (2012)
Waterways: (Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft) (2011)
Ports and terminals: lake port(s): Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye (Lake Kivu)
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Military branches: Rwanda Defense Force (RDF): Rwanda Army (Rwanda Land Force), Rwanda Air Force (Force Aerienne Rwandaise, FAR) (2013)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Rwandan citizenship is required, as is a 9th-grade education for enlisted recruits and an A-level certificate for officer candidates; enlistment is either as contract (5-years, renewable twice) or career; retirement (for officers and senior NCOs) after 20 years of service or at 40-60 years of age (2012)
Military expenditures: 1.12% of GDP (2012) 1.19% of GDP (2011) 1.12% of GDP (2010)
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 Transnational Issues
Disputes - International: Burundi and Rwanda dispute two sq km (0.8 sq mi) of Sabanerwa, a farmed area in the Rukurazi Valley where the Akanyaru/Kanyaru River shifted its course southward after heavy rains in 1965; 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 the Congo (DROC), Rwanda, and Uganda - abated substantially from a decade ago due largely to UN peacekeeping, international mediation, and efforts by local governments to create civil societies; nonetheless, 57,000 Rwandan refugees still reside in 21 African states, including Zambia, Gabon, and 20,000 who fled to Burundi in 2005 and 2006 to escape drought and recriminations from traditional courts investigating the 1994 massacres; the 2005 DROC and Rwanda border verification mechanism to stem rebel actions on both sides of the border remains in place
Refugees and internally displaced persons: refugees (country of origin): 73,092 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2016); 84,120 (Burundi) (2017) IDPs: undetermined (fighting between government and insurgency in 1998-99; returning refugees) (2012)
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   Source: CIA - The World Factbook

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