Rwanda is a country of a thousand hills. The Rwandan nation is gradually recovering from the genocide that shook it in 1994 to its very foundations. Education, in this regard, is called upon to play a leading role in the work of national recovery and reconstruction. For these purposes, the “Rwanda Education Sector Study” (November 1997) and the “Rwanda Education Action Plan 1998-2000: Recovery and Development” (March 1998) were prepared. which served as the basis for the preparation of this working document for the Education Sector Consultation.
The Government of Rwanda has set itself the objective of promoting food security for the population. It is in this perspective that a strategy and a global action plan have been developed. The strategy proposes to profoundly modify food security through structural changes in the agricultural sector in the long term (horizon 2010). The plan is both within the framework of emergency actions for the reconstruction of the country and that of long-term development actions.
Rwanda is one of the most beautiful places in Africa. Rwanda sits at the hub of Africa; here at the centre of the Albertine Rift, where deep volcanic forces are pressing the continental plates apart, you will find a world of exquisite beauty as well as unsurpassed biodiversity.
Once termed ‘earth’s most beautiful place’ by famous American humanitarian/author Rosamond Carr, and ‘One of the most incredibly beautiful places of the African continent’ by ‘www.mapsofworld.com’.
Rwanda is also famously known as ‘The Land of a Thousand Hills’ due to its mountainous and irregular terrain, Rwanda offers breathtaking natural surroundings and as unique flora and fauna in its various national parks.
“The land of a Thousand Hills”, Rwanda is a green undulating landscape of hills, gardens and tea plantations. It offers tourists a one of a kind journey – home to one third of the world remaining Mountain Gorillas, one third of Africa’s birds species, several species of primates, volcanoes, game reserve, resorts and islands on the expansive lake Kivu, graceful dancers, artistic crafts and friendly people.
Land Area: 26,340 square Kilometers
Population: 11 million
Rainfall: Rainy seasons: March – May and October – November (Average of 110-200 mm. per month).
Average Temperature: 24.6 – 27.6ºc. Hottest months: August, September.
Altitude: Ranges from 1000-4500m above sea level.
Main water bodies: Lake Kivu, Lake Muhazi, Lake Ihema, Lake Bulera, Lake Ruhondo, Lake Mugesera.
Vegetation: ranges from dense equatorial forest in the north-west of the country to tropical savannah in the east.
Main National Parks/Animal Reserves: Akagera and Virunga Volcanoes National Parks.
Highest point: Karisimbi volcano (4,507m)
Borders: Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.
National Name: Repubulika y’u Rwanda
Current government officials
President: Paul Kagame
Land area: 9,633 sq mi (24,949 sq km); total area: 10,169 sq mi (26,338 sq km)
Population (2007 est.): 9,907,509 (growth rate: 2.8%); birth rate: 40.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 85.3/1000; life expectancy: 49.0; density per sq mi: 1,029
Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Kigali, 298,100
Monetary unit: Rwanda franc
Languages: Kinyarwanda, French, and English (all official); Kiswahili in commercial centers
Religions: Roman Catholic 56.5%, Protestant 26%, Adventist 11.1%, Islam 4.6%, indigenous beliefs 0.1%, none 1.7% (2001)
Literacy rate: 70% (2003 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $8.4 billion; per capita $900. Real growth rate: 6%. Inflation: 9.4%. Unemployment: n.a. Arable land: 46%. Agriculture: coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; livestock. Labor force: 4.6 million (2000); agriculture 90%, industry and services 10%. Industries: cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes. Natural resources: gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land. Exports: $170.8 million f.o.b. (2007 est.): coffee, tea, hides, tin ore. Imports: $472.5 million f.o.b. (2007 est.): foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material. Major trading partners: Indonesia, China, Germany, Kenya, Belgium, Uganda, France (2004).
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 22,000 (2005); mobile cellular: 290,000 (2005). Radio broadcast stations: AM 0, FM 3 (two main FM programs are broadcast through a system of repeaters and the third FM program is a 24 hour BBC program), shortwave 1 (2002). Radios: 601,000 (1997). Television broadcast stations: 2 (2004). Televisions: n.a.; probably less than 1,000 (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 1,592 (2007). Internet users: 65,000 (2006).
Transportation: Railways: 0 km. Highways: total: total: 14,008 km paved: 2,662 km unpaved: 11,346 km (2004). Waterways: Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft. Ports and harbors: Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye. Airports: 9 (2007).
Rwanda is a landlocked country situated in central Africa. Also known as ’the land of a thousand hills’, Rwanda has five volcanoes, twenty-three lakes and numerous rivers, some forming the source of the River Nile. The country lies 75 miles south of the equator in the Tropic of Capricorn, 880 miles ’as the crow flies’ west of the Indian Ocean and 1,250 miles east of the Atlantic Ocean – literally in the heart of Africa. Rwanda is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south and the democratic republic of Congo to the west.
Anyone visiting ’the land of a thousand hills’ is in for a multitude of surprises. The loveliness and variety of the landscapes in this ’green country’ is dominated to the north by volcanoes and bordered by Lake Kivu to the west. In Rwanda the great animals of the wild are protected from poachers and roam free in the vast national parks. The Volcanoes National park in the Virunga volcanic mountains with its high altitude forests, are world famous for mountain gorillas – timid and passive family oriented giants – which is teeming with wildlife both large and small, while Lake Kivu to the west offers beautiful beaches, jutting peninsulas and an archipelago of islands.
Culture and People
It should be noted that traditional music and dance is a vital component of the Rwanda people. Natives have a variety of music and dance associated with acts and performance that demonstrates epics commemorating bravery, harmony and humorous lyrics to hunting root. Musical instruments accompanying traditional songs include; a harp-like instrument with eight (8) strings and the Lilunga whereas eminent celebratory dances are backed by a drum; , Orchestra; comprising of seven (&) to nine (9) members who produce a hypnotic and thrilling sounds of organized rhythms.
The most popular traditional dance troupe is the “Intore dance troupe.” The word intore means the chosen one’s, it was established centuries ago and once performed for the Royal court; currently their memorable performance can be arranged upon a short notice through the National museum at Butale.
Crafted handicrafts also contribute to richness of the country’s culture.