Kilgali Commonwealth Walkway

Rwanda / Africa

Rwanda, formerly Ruanda, is a small landlocked country in east-central Africa. It is one of the smallest countries on the African Mainland. Despite this, Rwanda is one of the highest population densities in sub-Saharan Africa. Rwanda is also referred to as “le pays des mille collines”, which is French for: “the land of a thousand hills”. The major ethnic groups in Rwanda are Hutu and Tusi.  Ethnic strife between these two factions peaked in 1994. This led to genocide and civil war which left Rwanda’s economy and social fabric in chaos. The years following this witnessed reconstruction and ethnic reconciliation. During the Hutu revolution that began in 1959, many Tusi populations were forced out of the country. Since the end of this in 1994, many Tusi have returned to Rwanda to reclaim their heritage. Moreover, Rwanda has three official languages: Rwanda (or Kinyarwanda), French and English. Despite the fact that English was made the designated language of education in 2008, both English and French are only spoken by a small faction. Furthermore, Swahili is also used as a communication between Africans from neighbouring countries. In addition, Christianity has had more of impact in Rwanda than any other country in Africa. A lot of the Hutu revolution was inspired by Catholic understanding. More than two-fifths of Rwandans are Roman Catholic. Moreover, Rwanda’s population increases greater than any global average. Its birth rate is among the highest in the world. Capital The capital city of Rwanda is Kigali. It is located in the centre of the country on the Ruguanwa River. It is composed of numerous valleys, hills and has a vibrant nightlife and restaurant scene. Kigali is a relatively new city. It was founded as an administrative outpost in 1907, and became the capital of the country at independence in 1962, shifting focus away from Huye. Kigali is also the site of many battles that left over a million dead. The Kigali Memorial Centre is an important location to visit as it stands as a memorial to 1994’s Genocide, built on a mass grave where 250,000 are buried.
  • Women make up 64% of the Rwandan parliament. This makes Rwanda’s politics more gender-equal than most of the world. 
  • Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world. It was listed ninth in the world by the World Economic Forum in 2017. 
  • Rwanda’s coffee ranks alongside that of Brazil, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

10.4 miles / 16.8 kilometres

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