Rwanda is central and east Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. The principal language is Kinyarwanda, spoken by most Rwandans, with English and French serving as official languages. Christianity is the largest religion in the country. Its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year.Rwanda's economy suffered heavily during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely, and visitors pay for gorilla tracking permits..

Political Profile/Structure/System

The President of Rwanda is the head of state. The prime Minister is appointed by the president of Rwanda. Currently, there is a constitutional amendment that seeks to increase the term limit of a president. Parliament is bicameral. The lower chambers consist of 80 members serving 5 year terms. The upper chambers consist of 26 members of which 30% must be women. They serve 8 year terms.Rwanda's legal system is largely based on German and Belgian civil law systems and customary law.

Elections and Political Parties

In 2003, Rwanda held its general elections. They were the first presidential elections since the Rwandan Civil War and the first multi-party presidential elections in the country's history. Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front was elected with 95% of the vote. The voter turnout was 96.5%
. Rwanda’s most recent elections were held in 2010. Kagame was officially endorsed as the RPF's candidate at the party's national congress. The pre-election saw the "killings of opposition figures," including the unsolved beheading of the vice-president of the Democratic Green Party, André Kagwa Rwisereka, whilst the murder of journalist Jean-Léonard Rugambage, sparked concern and prompted the United Nations to demand an investigation. Opposition parties said more than 30 newspapers had beeN banned. Observers of the election criticised the poll because the campaign was devoid of "critical opposition voices" with the three other candidates standing in the poll linked to Kagame's party. Paul Kagame won the election with 93.08% votes. The voter turnout was 97.5%.

By The Numbers

Based on the 2013 Lower House - 61.3% Upper House-38.5%


Participation and Inclusion

Has signed and ratified the Maputo Protocol. Has signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women