Where In the World is Rwanda?
Rwanda, a country slightly smaller than Maryland, is located in southeastern Africa. This landlocked country is bordered by Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The terrain is mostly grassy uplands and hills; and the relief is mountainous with the altitude declining from west to east.
Who are the Rwandan People?
If you are a Rwandan who has reached the age of 50, then you have reached old-age. The median age is 18 years old, so the population is very young.
The population breaks down as follows:
- 0-14 years: 41.9%
- 15-64 years: 55.7%
- 65 years and over: 2.5%
How do the Rwandan People Live?
Rwanda is a poor rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture. It is the most densely populated country in Africa with few natural resources and minimal industry. Primary foreign exchange earners are coffee and tea.
The climate is temperate with two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January). The mountain region has a mild climate with frost and snow possible.
The 1994 genocide decimated Rwanda's fragile economic base, severely impoverished the population, particularly women and children. Between April and June 1994, an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in the space of 100 days.
The fall out from this event eroded the country's ability to attract private and external investment. However, Rwanda has made substantial progress in stabilizing and rehabilitating its economy to pre-1994 levels, although poverty levels are higher now. The Gross Domestic Product has rebounded and inflation has been curbed. Despite Rwanda's fertile ecosystem, food production often does not keep pace with population growth, requiring food imports. Rwanda continues to receive substantial aid money and obtained IMF-World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative debt relief in 2005-06. Rwanda also received Millennium Challenge Account Threshold status in 2006. The government has embraced an expansionary fiscal policy to reduce poverty by improving education, infrastructure, and foreign and domestic investment and pursuing market-oriented reforms, although energy shortages, instability in neighboring states, and lack of adequate transportation linkages to other countries continue to handicap growth.