Rwanda, officially known as the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley, where the Great Lakes region of Africa and East Africa meet. Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the equator, on the border with Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The high ground is known as the”country of a thousand mountains”. The western part of the terrain is dominated by mountains, the east is dominated by tropical savanna, and lakes extend throughout the country.
It has a temperature to subtropical climate, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. Rwanda has a population of over 12.6 million and lives on 26,338 square kilometers (10,169 square miles) of land, making it the most densely populated country on the African continent. One million people live in the capital and largest city, Kigali.
The population is young, mainly in ruralareas. Rwandans come from a cultural and linguistic group, namely the Rwandan Banya. However, there are three subgroupsin this group: Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa
The Twa are dwarf people who live in the forest and are generally considered to be descendants of the first inhabitants of Rwanda. Scholars disagree on the origins and differences of the Hutu and Tutsi; some believe that the difference is due to the earlier social castes of the same ethnic group, while others believe that the Hutu and Tutsi come from different places.
Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the main language spoken by most Rwandans is Kinyarwanda, and English and French are the other official languages.
The sovereign state of Rwanda has a presidential government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), who has been in office since 2000. Today, Rwanda has a low level of corruption compared to neighboring countries like Ghana, despite reports from human rights organizations that they repress, intimidate and restrict freedom of expression against opposition groups.
Since the pre-colonial era, the country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy; the border drawn in 2006 delimits five provinces. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where women have a majority in the National Assembly. The other two countries are Bolivia and Cuba.
Hunter-gatherers established territories during the Stone Age and Iron Age, followed by the Bantu people. The population first merged into clans and then into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda began to rule in the middle of the 18th century. King Tutsi conquered others militarily, centralized power, and then formulated an anti-Hutu policy.
Germany colonized Rwanda as part of German East Africa in 1884, followed by Belgium, which invaded during the First World War in 1916. Both European countries ruled through kings and continued their pro-Tutsi policy. Hutu uprising in 1959.
They slaughtered countless Tutsi people and eventually established an independent republic, ruled by Hutu in 1962 and led by President Grégoire Kayibanda. The military coup in 1973 overthrew Kayibanda and brought Juvénal Habyarimana to power. He maintained the prohutu policy.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front in Tuciriel launched a civil war in 1990. Habyarimana was assassinated in April 1994. Social tension erupted in the Rwandan genocide that followed, in which Hutu extremists killed approximately 500,000-1,000,000 Tutsi and Hutu in 100 days. The Patriotic Front ended the genocide with a military victory in July 1994.
Rwanda’s developing economy was hit hard after the 1994 genocide, but has since grown stronger. The economy is based mainly on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the main cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing industry and is now the country’s main source of foreign exchange earnings. Rwanda is one of only two countries where mountain gorillas can be safely visited, and tourists must pay high fees for gorilla tracking permits.
Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture, especially drums and carefully choreographed interior dances. Traditional handicrafts are produced throughout the country, including the unique art imigogo cow dung. Since 1994, Rwanda has implemented a single presidential system and the parliament is governed by the Rwandan Patriotic Front. The country is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the OIF and the East African Community.
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