The World Factbook (1990)/Rwanda


World Factbook (1990) Rwanda.jpg

See regional map VII


Total area: 26,340 km²; land area: 24,950 km²

Comparative area: slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries: 893 km total; Burundi 290 km, Tanzania 217 km, Uganda 169 km, Zaire 217 km

Coastline: none—landlocked

Maritime claims: none—landlocked

Climate: temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible

Terrain: mostly grassy uplands and hills; mountains in west

Natural resources: gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), natural gas, hydropower

Land use: 29% arable land; 11% permanent crops; 18% meadows and pastures; 10% forest and woodland; 32% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: deforestation; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; periodic droughts

Note: landlocked


Population: 7,609,119 (July 1990), growth rate 3.8% (1990)

Birth rate: 53 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 15 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 113 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 50 years male, 54 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 8.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun and adjective Rwandan(s)

Ethnic divisions: Hutu 90%, Tutsi 9%, Twa (Pygmoid) 1%

Religion: Roman Catholic 65%, Protestant 9%, Muslim 1%, indigenous beliefs and other 25%

Language: Kinyarwanda, French (official); Kiswahili used in commercial centers

Literacy: 46.6%

Labor force: 3,600,000; 93% agriculture, 5% government and services, 2% industry and commerce; 49% of population of working age (1985)

Organized labor: NA


Long-form name: Republic of Rwanda

Type: republic; presidential system in which military leaders hold key offices

Capital: Kigali

Administrative divisions: 10 prefectures (préfectures, singular—préfecture in French; plural—NA, singular—prefegitura in Kinyarwanda); Butare, Byumba, Cyangugu, Gikongoro, Gisenyi, Gitarama, Kibungo, Kibuye, Rigali, Ruhengeri

Constitution: 17 December 1978

Independence: 1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)

Legal system: based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Executive branch: president, Council of Ministers (cabinet)

Legislative branch: unicameral National Development Council (Conseil pour le Développement National)

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court (consists of the Court of Cassation and the Council of State in joint session)

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President Maj. Gen. Juvénal HABYARIMANA (since 5 July 1973)

Political parties and leaders: only party National Revolutionary Movement for Development (MRND), Maj. Gen. Juvénal Habyarimana (officially a development movement, not a party)

Suffrage: universal adult, exact age NA

Elections: President—last held 19 December 1988 (next to be held December 1993); results—President Maj. Gen. Juvénal Habyarimana reelected;

National Development Council—last held 19 December 1988 (next to be held December 1993); results—MRND is the only party; seats—(70 total); MRND 70

Communists: no Communist party


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Aloys UWIMANA; Chancery at 1714 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 232-2882; US Ambassador Leonard H. O. SPEARMAN, Sr.; Embassy at Boulevard de la Revolution, Kigali (mailing address is B. P. 28, Kigali); telephone [205] 75601 through 75603 or 72126 through 72128

Flag: three equal vertical bands of red (hoist side), yellow, and green with a large black letter R centered in the yellow band; uses the popular pan-African colors of Ethiopia; similar to the flag of Guinea, which has a plain yellow band


Overview: About 40% of GDP comes from the agricultural sector; coffee and tea make up 80-90% of total exports. The amount of fertile land is limited, however, and deforestation and soil erosion have created problems. The industrial sector in Rwanda is small, contributing less than 20% to GDP. Manufacturing focuses mainly on the processing of agricultural products. The Rwandan economy remains dependent on coffee exports and foreign aid, with no relief in sight. Weak international prices since 1986 have caused the economy to contract and per capita GDP to decline.

GDP: $2.3 billion, per capita $325; real growth rate -2.5% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3% (1988)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $413 million; expenditures $522 million, including capital expenditures of $230 million (1988 est.)

Exports: $118 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—coffee 85%, tea, tin, cassiterite, wolframite, pyrethrum; partners—FRG, Belgium, Italy, Uganda, UK, France, US

Imports: $278 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—textiles, foodstuffs, machines and equipment, capital goods, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material; partners—US, Belgium, FRG, Kenya, Japan

External debt: $645 million (December 1989 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 1.2% (1988)

Electricity: 26,000 kW capacity; 112 million kWh produced, 15 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: mining of cassiterite (tin ore) and wolframite (tungsten ore), tin, cement, agricultural processing, small-scale beverage production, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes

Agriculture: cash crops—coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums); main food crops—bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes; stock raising; self-sufficiency declining; country imports foodstuffs as farm production fails to keep up with a 3.8% annual growth in population

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $118 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $1.7 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $45 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $58 million

Currency: Rwandan franc (plural—francs); 1 Rwandan franc (RF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Rwandan francs (RF) per US$1—78.99 (December 1989), 79.98 (1989), 76.45 (1988), 79.67 (1987), 87.64 (1986), 101.26 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Highways: 4,885 km total; 460 km paved, 1,725 km gravel and/or improved earth, 2,700 km unimproved

Inland waterways: Lac Kivu navigable by shallow-draft barges and native craft

Civil air: 1 major transport aircraft

Airports: 8 total, 8 usable; 2 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 1 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: fair system with low-capacity radio relay system centered on Kigali; 6,600 telephones; stations—2 AM, 5 FM, no TV; satellite earth stations—1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT and 1 SYMPHONIE

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, paramilitary, Gendarmerie

Military manpower: males 15-49, 1,586,989; 810,560 fit for military service; no conscription

Defense expenditures: 2.1% of GDP (1987)