Republic of Rwanda
Republika y'u Rwanda
CAPITAL : Kigali
FLAG : Three horizontal bands of sky blue (top, double width), yellow, and green, with a golden sun with 24 rays near the fly end of the blue band.
ANTHEM : Rwanda Rwacu (Our Rwanda).
MONETARY UNIT : The Rwanda franc (RFr) is a paper currency. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 francs and notes of 100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 francs. RFr1 = $0.00192 (or $1 = RFr 519) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard.
HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Democracy Day, 28 January; Labor Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 1 July; Peace and National Unity Day, 5 July; Assumption, 15 August; Anniversary of 1961 Referendum, 25 September; Armed Forces' Day, 26 October; All Saints' Day, 1 November; Christmas, 25 December. Movable religious holidays include Easter Monday, Ascension, and Pentecost Monday.
TIME : 2 PM = noon GMT.
The main language is Kinyarwanda, a member of the Bantu language family. The official languages are Kinyarwanda, French, and English. Kiswahili, a form of Swahili, is used in commercial centers.
Fishing in the lakes and rivers is principally for local consumption. In 2000, Rwanda produced an estimated catch of 6,726 tons. The presence of methane-producing organisms in Lake Kivu limits the development of aquatic life.
The Rwandan National Insurance Co., formed in 1975, is 90% state owned. The Rwandan Insurance Society was founded in 1984. Insurance companies wishing to do business in Rwanda must be at least 51% Rwandan owned. Sonarwa and Soras, owned by the French group UAP, have recently restarted operations on a modest scale.
CUSTOMS AND DUTIES
Import duties have been the most important source of tax revenues since independence. There are two kinds of duties, both levied ad valorem: customs duties, averaging 15–30%, and revenue duties, averaging 5–15% (up to 60% for some goods). A 1% handling fee is also levied. Most imports require a license. Rwanda is a member of Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
The Republic of Rwanda has no territories or colonies.
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