NI Global Issues for Learners of English > Country profiles > Rwanda



Rwanda flag

Rwanda map

Where Rwanda is

Area of country: 26,338 square kilometers

Information at a Glance


Population: 7 million
Population Annual Growth Rate: 1.9%
Ethnic groups: Hutus (90% of the population), Tutsis and Twa pygmies (less than 1%).
Religions: Catholic, Anglican and others


Currency: Rwandese Franc
GDP per capita: $352
Economy Growth rate: -6.6%
Main Industries:
Main exports
: Coffee (82% of export revenue), tea (12%), tungsten and tin ore (5%)


Life expectancy: 22.6 years
Infant mortality: 80 per 1000 (in 1994)
Average calories consumed: 85% of calories needed
Safe water: 66% of population has access


Before the war, Rwanda received a very great amount of aid. The country will need billions of dollars in aid if it is to recover.


Literacy rate: 60%.
Languages: Kinyarwanda, French, English

Income Distribution

90 per cent of the population live on small family farms, producing only for their own needs. Members of the elite were targeted in the genocide.


Regions: Rwanda is located between two mountain ranges. The land is hilly or mountainous. There are many lakes and rivers.
Farming: The main food crops are plantain, sweet potatoes, beans, cassava, maize and sorghum. The 1994 fighting caused the loss of 60% of the cereal and pulse crop.
Problems: soil erosion, overgrazing, deforestation.


The Government is talking in support of national unity and reconciliation, but how it can achieve these goals is not yet clear.

There is a great mistrust between the two major groups. People on both sides are very bitter and some wish the conflict to continue.

Freedom & human rights

The media are state controlled.

Multi-party elections.

Position of women: The role of women is changing as a result of the massacres they are no longer so confined to the domestic duties.


Sources: Sources: The World Guide; Leading Issues in Economic Development 7th edition by Meier and Rauch; Rwanda, the New Internationalist. CIA Factbook 2000.

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Last modified 3 January 2000