Paul Kagame


(pronounced "PAUL ka-ga-ME")

"The rehabilitation of Rwanda will be first and foremost a rehabilitation of individuals, a moral rehabilitation, before being a material rehabilitation."

The Republic of Rwanda is a small land-locked country in East Africa, occupying 26,340 sq km (10,170 sq mi). It is bordered by Burundi to the south, Tanzania to the east, Uganda to the north, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the east. The capital is Kigali, located in the central region.

Rwanda's population was estimated at nearly 7.4 million in 2002. A population density of 296 people per sq km made it the most densely populated country in Africa and among the most densely populated countries in the world as of 2003. The population consists of three ethnic groups: the Hutu, the Tutsi, and the Twa. The Hutu are an overwhelming majority, followed by the Tutsi and the Twa. Exact populations are unclear, due to ongoing ethnic violence. The groups have in common the national language, Kinyarwanda, as well as religious practices. French and English are also recognized as national languages and are becoming more widely used, especially among the educated classes. Slightly more than half of Rwandans belong to the Roman Catholic Church, and an additional 24% are members of Protestant sects. Indigenous animist religions are still prevalent, even among Christians. Only 1% of the population is Muslim.

Rwanda has few natural resources and little industrialization. The economy thus depends heavily on agriculture, with coffee and tea providing over 80% of the country's export earnings. Other exports include pyrethrum (an organic insecticide), tin, and gold. As many as 95% of Rwandans are peasants in the mountainous countryside. Population pressures have led to serious soil degradation and declining agricultural production. Rwanda ranks among the poorest countries in the world, with per capita gross domestic product (GDP) estimated at US $1000 in 2001. This poverty has been at the root of serious social and political turmoil in the country. The currency is the Rwandan franc .


Presidence de la Republique
Kigali, Rwanda

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