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12 Awesome Facts about Rwanda You Never Knew

What comes to mind when you think of Rwanda? Let us tell you that Rwanda is actually much more and much nicer than common conceptions.
Here are some fascinating tidbits about Rwanda, the fastest growing economy in East Africa!
Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a landlocked country in East Africa that shares borders with Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In spite of being one of the smallest countries in East Africa, it is the most densely populated.
Almost every plot of land in the country is occupied, either by people, industries, or for farming purposes.
Despite its small size, Rwanda is home to several diverse ecosystems. Be it lush rainforests, volcanic mountains, or grasslands, Rwanda has it all!
Rwanda is situated approx. 1000 m above sea level and has a lot of hills and mountains. Owing to this, the country is called “Land of a Thousand Hills”.
In 1894, German colonizers combined Rwanda and Burundi into a single nation. The territory was called Ruanda–Urundi and it remained so until Rwanda gained independence from Belgium in 1962.
After the infamous public violence that shook the world in 1994, Rwanda has bounced back doing a marvelous job at rebuilding and rebranding, and has today become one of the most sought-after African countries for doing business.
When it comes to gender equality, Rwandan government is way ahead in the game. There are 64% women in  Rwandan parliament and countless others occupy key positions in the government.
According to the World Bank Report, Rwanda is the second easiest country to do business in Africa, after Mauritius.
Tourism is the fastest growing industry in Rwanda. In fact, in 2009 Rwanda redefined its tourism policy to focus on “high value low impact” sustainable tourism.
In Rwanda, animal and environment conservation is a huge priority. The country’s conservation work for its endangered mountain gorillas is world-renowned.
Moreover, plastic bags are also banned in Rwanda since 2008.
The last Saturday of every month is Umuganda, the national day of service.
On this day, all citizens and residents, including their President work on public works projects such as road maintenance, house building, farming, and planting trees.
Rwandan coffee is world famous and ranks well alongside Brazilian, Ethiopian, Nicaraguan, and Costa Rican coffee.
In fact, Rwanda has won several global cupping competitions against some of the world’s coffee giants!

 Sucheta Pradhan

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