Rwanda or the Republic of Rwanda is a small landlocked country located a few degrees south of the Equator at the central part of Africa just at the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Republic of Rwanda also shares borders with the Republic of Uganda to the north, the Republic of Tanzania to the east and the Republic of Burundi to the south.
The Republic of Rwanda has a total land area of about 26,338 squared kilometers about 1,670sq km of which is covered by water. Although Rwanda is a landlocked country, there are several beautiful lakes throughout the country. Rwanda unlike most surrounding countries, is at high elevation with most of its geography dominated by mountains especially in the west and savannah in the east.
Rwanda has a total population of about 11.4 million people with the population growth rate around 2.8%. Just about 19% of the total population of Rwanda live in urban areas.
The majority of the total population of Rwanda are poor subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families in the rural areas. Kigali the capital of Rwanda contains about 1 million people.
There are 3 major ethnic groups living together in Rwanda today with the Hutus (Bantus) the most dominant ethnic group forming about 84% of the total population. The Tutsis (Hamitic) make up about 15% of the total population. Twa (pygmy) form the remaining 1% of the total population. Kinyarwanda (official language, universal Bantu vernacular), French (official language), English (official language), Kiswahili (Swahili, used in commercial centers) are some of the major languages spoken in Rwanda today. About 56.5% of the total population of Rwanda are Roman Catholics. About 26% are Protestants. About 11.1% are Adventists. Muslims make up about 4.6% of the total Rwandan population.
Rwanda just like its neighboring countries is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as gold, tin ore, tungsten ore, methane, hydropower, etc.
Rwanda has a literacy rate of about 70.4% for the total population with female literacy rate around 64.7%. In other words, about 70.4% of the total population of Rwanda above age 15 can at least read and write which is far better than in most African countries (although education in Rwanda falls below expectation compared to countries like Botswana).
Taking the total land area of Rwanda and the total population today into consideration, Rwanda is the most densely populated country in all of Africa. Most of Rwanda's population are into agriculture. However due to the overpopulation issue in Rwanda today, fertile lands for farming are very hard to come by and this also explains the rising tensions between the various ethnic groups who depend mostly on the land for survival.
Despite the abundance of natural resources in Rwanda, about 60% of the total population of Rwanda live below poverty line. Just like its neighboring countries, poverty is worse in the rural areas where the majority live.
Rwanda has an HIV/AIDS Adults prevalence rate of 2.9%. More than 170000 people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 with about 4100 deaths recorded within the same year. Not just HIV/AIDS. Malaria, bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, yellow fever, etc. continue to threaten several lives in Rwanda today.
Although Rwanda has seen huge progress these past couple of peaceful years, Rwanda remains one of the most war-torn countries in Africa today. Although the country is healing physically, the psychological effects of the 1994 genocide which resulted in the deaths of over 800,000 innocent people remain in the minds and souls of most Rwandans today.
Like in most other African countries today, corruption and poor governance continue to tear Rwanda apart.