Rwanda 1999Rwanda

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Volotea Air

Rwanda - Introduction 1999
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Background: Throughout their colonial rule, first Germany and then Belgium favored Rwanda's minority Tutsi ethnic group in education and employment. In 1959, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi monarch. The Hutus killed hundreds of Tutsis and drove tens of thousands 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 October 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exasperated ethnic tensions culminating in April 1994 in a genocide in which roughly 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. The Tutsi rebels defeated the Hutu regime and ended the genocide in July 1994, but approximately 2 million Hutu refugees_many fearing Tutsi retribution_fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zaire, now called the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC). According to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, in 1996 and early 1997 nearly 1.3 million Hutus returned to Rwanda. Even with substantial international aid, these civil dislocations have hindered efforts to foster reconciliation and to boost investment and agricultural output. Although much of the country is now at peace, members of the former regime continue to destabilize the northwest area of the country through a low-intensity insurgency. Rwandan troops are currently involved in a crisis engulfing neighboring DROC.

Rwanda - Geography 1999
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Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates: 2 00 S, 30 00 E

Map referenceAfrica

Total: 26,340 km²
Land: 24,950 km²
Water: 1,390 km²
Comparative: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries
Total: 893 km
Border countries: (4) Burundi 290 km; , Democratic Republic of the Congo 217 km; , Tanzania 217 km; , Uganda 169 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

Extremes lowest point: Rusizi River 950 m
Extremes highest point: Volcan Karisimbi 4,519 m

Natural resources: gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 35%
Permanent crops: 13%
Permanent pastures: 18%
Forests and woodland: 22%
Other: 12% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 40 km² (1993 est.)

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: periodic droughts; the volcanic Birunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo

Note: landlocked; predominantly rural population

Rwanda - People 1999
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Population: 8,154,933 (July 1999 est.)
Growth rate: 2.43% (1999 est.)
Below poverty line: 51.2% (1993 est.)

Noun: Rwandan(s)
Adjective: Rwandan

Ethnic groups: Hutu 80%, Tutsi 19%, Twa (Pygmoid) 1%

Languages: Kinyarwanda (official) universal Bantu vernacular, French (official), English (official), Kiswahili (Swahili) used in commercial centers

Religions: Roman Catholic 65%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 1%, indigenous beliefs and other 25%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 44% (male 1,807,695; female 1,793,590)
15-64 years: 53% (male 2,148,477; female 2,179,119)
65 years and over: 3% (male 92,490; female 133,562) (1999 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 2.43% (1999 est.)

Birth rate: 38.97 births/1000 population (1999 est.)

Death rate: 19.53 deaths/1000 population (1999 est.)

Net migration rate: 4.91 migrant(s)/1000 population (1999 est.)
Note: following the outbreak of genocidal strife in Rwanda in April 1994 between Tutsi and Hutu factions, more than 2 million refugees fled to neighboring Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire); according to the UN High Commission on Refugees, in 1996 and early 1997 nearly 1.3 million Hutus returned to Rwanda_of these 720,000 returned from Democratic Republic of the Congo, 480,000 from Tanzania, 88,000 from Burundi, and 10,000 from Uganda; probably fewer than 100,000 Rwandans remained outside of Rwanda by the end of 1997

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: deforestation results from uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; widespread poaching
International agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban
International agreements signed but not ratified: Law of the Sea

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
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: 0.69 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (1999 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 112.86 deaths/1000 live births (1999 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 41.31 years
Male: 40.84 years
Female: 41.8 years (1999 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.8 children born/woman (1999 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 60.5%
Male: 69.8%
Female: 51.6% (1995 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Rwanda - Government 1999
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Country name
Conventional long form: Rwandese Republic
Conventional short form: Rwanda
Local long form: Republika y'u Rwanda
Local short form: Rwanda

Government type: republic; presidential, multiparty system

Capital: Kigali

Administrative divisions: 12 prefectures (in French_prefectures, singular_prefecture; in Kinyarwanda_plural_NA, singular_prefegitura; Butare, Byumba, Cyangugu, Gikongoro, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kibuye, Kigali, Kigaliville, Umutara, Ruhengeri

Dependent areas

Independence: 1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Constitution: on 5 May 1995, the Transitional National Assembly adopted a new constitution which included elements of the constitution of 18 June 1991 as well as provisions of the 1993 Arusha peace accord and the November 1994 multi-party protocol of understanding

Legal system: 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

International law organization participation


Suffrage: NA years of age; universal adult

Executive branch
Chief of state: President Pasteur BIZIMUNGU (since 19 July 1994); Vice President Maj. Gen. Paul KAGAME (since 19 July 1994)
Head of government: Prime Minister Celestin RWIGEMA (since 1 September 1995)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
Elections: normally the president is elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held in December 1988 (next to be held NA); prime minister is appointed by the president
Election results: Juvenal HABYARIMANA elected president; percent of vote_99.98% (HABYARIMANA was the sole candidate)
Note: President HABYARIMANA was killed in a plane crash on 6 April 1994 which ignited the genocide and was replaced by President BIZIMUNGU who was installed by the military forces of the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front on 19 July 1994

Legislative branch: unicameral Transitional National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale de Transition (a power-sharing body with 70 seats established on 12 December 1994 following a multi-party protocol understanding; members were predetermined by the Arusha peace accord)
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
Election results: percent of vote by party_NA; seats by party_RPF 19, MDR 13, PSD 13, PL 13, PDC 6, PSR 2, PDI 2, other 2; note_the distribution of seats was predetermined

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, consists of the Court of Cassation and the Council of State in joint session

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC, CEPGL, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Theogene N. RUDASINGWA
In the us chancery: 1714 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20,009
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 232-2,882
In the us FAX: [1] (202) 232-4,544
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador George M. STAPLES
From the us embassy: Boulevard de la Revolution, Kigali
From the us mailing address: B. P. 28, Kigali
From the us telephone: [250] 756 01 through 03, 721 26, 771 47
From the us FAX: [250] 721 28

Flag descriptionflag of Rwanda: three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green with a large black letter R centered in the yellow band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Guinea, which has a plain yellow band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Rwanda - Economy 1999
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Economy overview: 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; is landlocked, and has 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. In June 1998, Rwanda signed an Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) with the IMF. Rwanda has also embarked upon an ambitious privatization program with the World Bank.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 10.5% (1998 est.)

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin
Agriculture: 36%
Industry: 24%
Services: 40% (1997 est.)

Agriculture products: coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock

Industries: production of cement, processing of agricultural products, small-scale beverage production, manufacture of soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes

Industrial production growth rate: 4.9% (1995 est.)

Labor force: 3.6 million
By occupation agriculture: 90%
By occupation note: the rest is employed in government, services, industry and commerce
Labor force

Unemployment rate: NA%

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 51.2% (1993 est.)

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $231 million
Expenditures: $319 million, including capital expenditures of $13 million (1996 est.)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $82.1 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)
Commodities: coffee 55%, tea 21%, hides, tin ore (1997)
Partners: Brazil 49%, Germany 16%, US, Netherlands, UK (1996)

Imports: $326 million (f.o.b., 1998 est.)
Commodities: foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material (1997)
Partners: Italy, Kenya, Tanzania, US, Belgium-Luxembourg (1997)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $1.2 billion (1998)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Rwandan francs (RF) per US$1_320.63 (February 1999), 312.31 (1998), 301.53 (1997), 306.82 (1996), 262.20 (1995)

Rwanda - Energy 1999
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 164 million kWh (1996)
By source fossil fuel: 2.44%
By source hydro: 97.56%
By source nuclear: 0%
By source other: 0% (1996)

Electricity consumption: 177 million kWh (1996)

Electricity exports: 2 million kWh (1996)

Electricity imports: 15 million kWh (1996)

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Rwanda - Communication 1999
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: telephone system primarily serves business and government
Domestic: the capital, Kigali, is connected to the centers of the prefectures by microwave radio relay; the remainder 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)

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Rwanda - Military 1999
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $92 million (1999)
Percent of gdp: 3.8% (1999)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Rwanda - Transportation 1999
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 7 (1998 est.)
With paved runways total: 4
With paved runways over 3047 m: 1
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With paved runways under 914 m: 1 (1998 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 3
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 2 (1998 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 4
Over 3047 m: 1
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 1 (1998 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 3
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 2 (1998 est.)



Railways: 0 km


Waterways: Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Rwanda - Transnational issues 1999
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Disputes international: Rwandan military forces are supporting the rebel forces in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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