Rwanda Overview

Rwanda is located in Central Africa and borders Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Tanzania and Uganda. It is Africa’s most densely populated country. Originally, the country was mainly inhabited by Hutu and Tutsi tribes as well as twapygmies. In 1895, Rwanda became a German colony as part of German East Africa. After Germany’s defeat in World War I, Belgium took over the colony.

Capital: Kigali
Biggest city: Kigali
State: republic
Language: English, French, Kinyarwanda
Religion: Christianity
Surface: 26 338 km²
Population: 11.1 million (2013)
Population density: 408 residents per km²
Life expectancy: 57 years
Illiteracy: 30%
Currency: Rwandan franc (RWF)
1 franc = 0.0098 kr
GDP per capita: $ 1,200 (2010)
Time difference: +1 hour
Electricity: 220 V AC, 50Hz
National Day: July 1st
Country area code: 250
2-Letter country abbreviation: RW (See more abbreviations on Abbreviationfinder)
Business: agriculture 93%, service sector 5%, industry 2%
Climate: tropical, with two rainy seasons (from October to December and from March to May)

Rwanda flag

Under Belgian rule, the minority people received Tutsi leading positions and education. The majority of the Hutu people were oppressed and used as cheap labor, which led to dissatisfaction. In the early 1930s, identity cards were introduced that told which tribe the person belonged to. After World War II, Rwanda was governed as a UN mandate (under continued Belgian administration) that led the country to independence in 1962.

In 1973, the then Minister of Defense Juvénal Habyarimana took control of the country in a military coup. In the early 1990s, the RPF launched an offensive aimed at forcing Habyarimana to share power and allow Tutsis into government. It seemed to work and in 1993 peace talks began. On his way home from peace talks, President Habyarimana’s plan was shot down, and his death became the starting point for the genocide in Rwanda. The genocide of nearly 1 million Tutsis and Hutus (the Hutus who were considered to protect Tutsis or collaborate with the Tutsi guerrilla RPF) in Rwanda in 1994. was supported by leading figures in government and the military.

The UN and the countries in the western world have received harsh criticism for their actions during the genocide. One could have stopped the genocide, but abstained. Instead, the UN’s presence in the country was minimized, and the European soldiers sent to the country were only instructed to bring their compatriots out of Rwanda.

The 1994 genocide caused the population to become even poorer financially and an already fragile economy to be severely damaged. Since then, Rwanda has stabilized its economy to the same levels as before 1994, but poverty remains high.

The largest export revenues come from coffee and tea. Rwanda has a lot of arable land, but because population growth is high and the country is very densely populated, food still has to be imported.

The critically acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda from 2004 is based on a true story. It is about the hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina who during the genocide in 1994 managed to save the lives of 1,200 Tutsis by giving them a refuge in his hotel. The hotel was actually called Mille Collines and is located in Rwanda’s capital Kigali. The film Hotel Rwanda was nominated for three Oscars.


Electricity and electrical outlets in Rwanda

Voltage: 230 V

Frequency: 50 Hz

Type of plug: C, J

Need an adapter: No, you do not need an adapter.


Weather in Kigali

Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Christmas Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average temperature °C 20 20 20 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 19 19
Day °C 25 25 25 24 24 25 25 26 26 25 24 24
Night °C 14 15 15 15 15 14 14 15 15 14 14 14
Rain (mm) 114 106 131 215 127 32 8 36 84 123 149 118
Rainy days 15 14 17 23 15 4 1 4 13 17 21 17

Rwanda 2


According to Countryaah, Kigali is the capital of Rwanda, and has 860,000 residents (2007). The city, founded in 1885 as a trading center during German colonization, grew rapidly after the country’s independence in 1962. The city is the industrial center of Rwanda.

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