Rwanda

Country Summary

2022 population pyramid

Introduction

Background

A Rwandan kingdom dominated the region from the mid-18th century onward, with Tutsi rulers conquering others militarily and centralizing power. German colonial rule began in 1898, but Belgian forces captured Rwanda in 1916 during WW I. Rwandan independence came in 1962. Conflict between Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups continued for decades. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first presidential and legislative elections in 2003.

Geography

Area

total: 26,338 sq km

land: 24,668 sq km

water: 1,670 sq km

Climate

temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

Natural resources

gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land

People and Society

Population

13,173,730 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Hutu, Tutsi, Twa (Pygmy)

Languages

Kinyarwanda (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, French (official) <0.1, English (official) <0.1, Swahili/Kiswahili (official, used in commercial centers) <0.1, more than one language, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est.)

Religions

Protestant 57.7% (includes Adventist 12.6%), Roman Catholic 38.2%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1% (includes traditional, Jehovah's Witness), none 1.1% (2019-20 est.)

Population growth rate

1.74% (2022 est.)

Government

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Kigali

Executive branch

chief of state: President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000)

head of government: Prime Minister Edouard NGIRENTE (since 30 August 2017)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
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)
Chamber of Deputies or Chambre des Deputes (80 seats; 53 members directly elected by proportional representation vote, 24 women selected by special interest groups, and 3 selected by youth and disability organizations; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

fast-growing Sub-Saharan economy; major public investments; trade and tourism hit hard by COVID-19; increasing poverty after 2 decades of declines; Ugandan competition for regional influence; major coffee exporter; contested GDP figures

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$27.18 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$2,100 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

bananas, sweet potatoes, cassava, potatoes, plantains, beans, maize, gourds, milk, taro

Industries

cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes

Exports

$2.25 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

United Arab Emirates 35%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 28%, Uganda 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, refined petroleum, coffee, tea, tin (2019)

Imports

$3.74 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

China 17%, Kenya 10%, Tanzania 9%, United Arab Emirates 9%, India 7%, Saudi Arabia 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, gold, raw sugar, packaged medicines, broadcasting equipment (2019)


Page last updated: Friday, May 13, 2022