Republic of Rwanda
Republika y'u Rwanda
LOCATION AND SIZE.
The Republic of Rwanda is a land-locked country located in central Africa. It is bordered on the east by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with which it shares the shores of Lake Kivu; on the north by Uganda; on the west by Tanzania; and on the south by Burundi. Rwanda is a small country with an area of 26,338 square kilometers (10,169 square miles). Comparatively, Rwanda is about the size of the state of Maryland. The capital city of Kigali is in the center of the country.
Rwanda's population was estimated at 7,229,129 in 2000. Already the most densely-populated country in Africa, Rwanda's population is growing at a rate of 3 percent annually, according to the U.S. State Department. At this rate the population is expected to reach 11.2 million by 2012, despite the fact that huge numbers of Rwandans are dying from AIDS-related illnesses. In 2000, there were approximately 34.78 births per 1,000 people. The fertility rate in Rwanda is high. An average Rwandan mother gives birth to 5 children in her lifetime. But this statistic is tempered by the fact that approximately 12 percent of Rwandan babies die at birth. The average Rwandan's life expectancy is equally dismal; on average, Rwandan males live to 38.58 years old and the average female has a life expectancy of 40.13 years.
Rwanda is populated by 3 ethnic groups: Hutu (84 percent), Tutsi (15 percent), and Twa, or Pygmoid (1 percent). Rwandans are predominantly Christian. Some 65 percent of the population is Roman Catholic, while 9 percent is Protestant. About 25 percent of the population practices indigenous and other beliefs, with only 1 percent being Muslim. Rwanda has 3 official languages: Kinyarwanda, French, and English. Kiswahili (an offshoot of Swahili) is spoken primarily in the country's commercial centers. Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, with 317 persons per square kilometer on average (or 820 people per square mile).
Rwanda has no territories or colonies.
—Michael David Nicoleau
Raynette Rose Gutrick
Rwanda Franc (RFr). One Rwanda franc equals 100 centimes. There are coins of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 francs and notes of 100, 500, 1,000, and 5,000 francs.
Coffee, tea, hides and skins, cassiterite, pyrethrum.
Food, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material.
GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT:
US$5.9 billion (purchasing power parity, 1999 est.).
BALANCE OF TRADE:
Exports: US$70.8 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.). Imports: US$242 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.).