|Official Country Name:||Rwandese Republic|
|Region (Map name):||Africa|
|Language(s):||Kinyarwanda, French,English, Kiswahili(Swahili)|
Approximately the size of the state of Maryland, the Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country; the nearest harbor is at 1,000 miles. It is located just south of the equator, bordered by Congo (ex-Zaire), Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi. The capital is Kigali. The population amounts to about eight million people (Hutu 84 percent, Tutsi 15 percent, and Twa 1 percent). Religiously, 76 percent are Christians, 10 percent Adventists, 2 percent Muslims, 7 percent indigenous, and 5 percent are not religious.
Officially, Banyarwanda (the people of Rwanda) speak French and English, but Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili are also used. Since its independence in 1962 from Belgium, Rwanda has lived under internal siege, turmoil, and even genocide. In 1994, in the wake of the president's plane crash, over 500,000 Banyarwanda died, mostly at the hands of the Hutus. The November 1994 Multiparty Protocol of Understanding has gradually repaired the bloody climate.
Rwanda remains an extremely impoverished nation with a GDP at less than US $1,000 per capita. The HIV infection rate is 12 percent. The economy is largely duo-commodity-based (coffee and tea) and is thus extremely susceptible to world commodity price volatility.
Daily newspaper circulation is one of the lowest in the world at 0.1 per 1000 Banyarwanda. There is one daily newspaper. The two monthlies are Inkingi (Kinyarwanda) and La Relève (French). There exists one state-controlled television and one state-controlled radio systems. Press and media in Rwanda are used as propaganda instruments by both sides in the political and ethnic conflicts. However, recent trends towards democracy and "interethnicity" may eventually lead to a more free press.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). World Factbook 2001 . Directorate of Intelligence, 2002. Available from www.cia.gov/ .
The Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda. 1999. Available from www.rwandemb.org/ .