Rwanda is a small East African country located in the heart of the continent. It is bordered by Uganda to the north, Tanzania to the east, Burundi to the south, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. The capital city of Rwanda is Kigali, and its official language is Kinyarwanda. The country has an area of 26,338 square kilometers (10,169 sq mi) and a population of 12 million people.
According to aceinland, Rwanda is known as “The Land of a Thousand Hills” due to its hilly terrain. The country’s landscape consists mostly of rolling hills covered with dense tropical rainforest and savanna grasslands. Mount Karisimbi stands at 4,507 meters (14,787 feet) above sea level making it Rwanda’s highest peak. Much of Rwanda’s land has been cultivated for agriculture and it produces several crops such as coffee, tea, bananas and potatoes.
Rwanda is also known for its diverse wildlife including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and over 700 species of birds which make it a popular tourist destination. Other attractions include national parks like Akagera National Park which features savanna animals such as lions, elephants and giraffes; Nyungwe Forest which contains 13 primate species; Volcanoes National Park which features five volcanoes; Lake Kivu which provides stunning views; plus many more natural wonders that attract visitors from around the world each year.
Population of Rwanda
In 1995, Rwanda was a country of approximately 8 million people and had one of the highest population densities in Africa. The population was composed of three ethnic groups: the Hutu, who made up 85 percent of the population; the Tutsi, who comprised 14 percent; and the Twa, who accounted for 1 percent. Of these three groups, the Hutu were the most populous and dominated politics and economic life.
According to allcitypopulation.com, Rwanda’s population was largely rural, with approximately 90 percent living in rural areas. Most Rwandans were subsistence farmers who grew crops such as banana, cassava, maize and beans for their own consumption. The remainder of Rwanda’s population lived in urban areas such as Kigali or Butare.
The majority of Rwandans identified as Roman Catholic (56%), while other religious affiliations included Protestant (26%) and Muslim (10%). While French was an official language, many Rwandans spoke Kinyarwanda or Kiswahili as their native language. In addition to these languages, English was also widely spoken by educated Rwandans.
In 1995, Rwanda had very high levels of poverty with over half of its population living below the poverty line. Life expectancy at birth was just 53 years for men and 56 years for women due to poor access to health care services and inadequate nutrition among children and adults alike. Education levels were also quite low with only 40% of adults aged 15-24 having completed primary school education or higher in 1994-1995.
Despite these challenges however Rwanda had made some progress towards economic development by 1995 with an average annual growth rate of 7% between 1990-1995 driven by investments in agriculture and industry as well as increased access to foreign markets through trade agreements with neighboring countries such as Kenya and Uganda.
Economy of Rwanda
In 1995, Rwanda was a largely agrarian economy with about 80 percent of its population dependent on subsistence farming. Agriculture accounted for over half of the country’s GDP and employed most of the workforce. The main crops were coffee, tea, bananas, cassava, beans and maize. Coffee production was particularly important to Rwanda’s economy and accounted for around 40 percent of export earnings.
Industry in Rwanda was relatively underdeveloped in 1995 and contributed only around 10 percent to the country’s GDP. Manufacturing activities consisted mainly of small-scale processing of agricultural products such as coffee and tea as well as light manufacturing activities such as textiles and furniture production.
The tourism industry was also an important contributor to Rwanda’s economy in 1995 with over 200,000 visitors visiting the country each year from abroad. The majority of these tourists came from Europe or North America and visited the country to experience its rich cultural heritage or take part in safaris in Akagera National Park.
The government had implemented some economic reforms such as privatization measures or trade agreements with other countries that had helped to stimulate economic growth between 1990-1995 with an average annual growth rate of 7%. However poverty levels remained high in 1995 with over half of the population living below the poverty line due to unequal access to resources and income disparities between different social groups.
Rwanda had a weak financial system at this time with limited access to banking services outside urban areas which constrained economic development prospects for poorer rural communities. In addition, there were limited investment opportunities due to poor infrastructure, inadequate access to credit and limited access to international markets which hindered private sector growth opportunities.
Foreign Policy of Rwanda
In 1995, Rwanda’s foreign policy was guided by the principles of regional integration, non-interference in other countries’ affairs and peaceful resolution of disputes. The country was a member of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and had signed various regional agreements aimed at strengthening economic and political ties with its neighbors.
Rwanda had strong diplomatic relations with France which had provided military assistance to the government during the Rwandan Civil War in 1994 as well as financial aid for reconstruction efforts. The country also maintained close ties with other Western powers such as the United States and Canada who provided support for Rwanda’s development programs.
Rwanda sought to strengthen its ties with East African countries through membership in the East African Community (EAC) which was established in 1995. The EAC aimed to promote economic integration between its members through increased trade, investment and infrastructure development.
The government also sought to expand its international relations by establishing diplomatic relations with countries such as China, Japan and India. These countries provided financial assistance for various projects such as infrastructure development or agricultural sector reform.
Rwanda was heavily involved in international peacekeeping efforts and sent troops to conflicts around the world including Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It also played an active role in promoting peace initiatives in Africa through organizations such as the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).
Events Held in Rwanda
In 1995, Rwanda was in the midst of rebuilding after the devastating civil war that had taken place in 1994. As part of the process of recovery, the government organized a number of events to help promote peace and reconciliation.
One of the largest events held in 1995 was the National Peace Conference which brought together government officials, representatives from civil society, religious leaders and other stakeholders to discuss peace and reconciliation. The conference resulted in the adoption of a National Peace Accord which outlined principles for maintaining peace in the country.
The Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) also organized several events throughout 1995 to commemorate their victory in the civil war. These included rallies, parades, cultural festivals, concerts and other activities that aimed to celebrate unity and solidarity among all Rwandans.
In addition, several international conferences were held in Rwanda during 1995 to promote regional integration and economic development. These included the East African Community Summit which was attended by leaders from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda; as well as meetings of the International Conference on Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) which discussed issues such as security, economic development and conflict resolution.
Finally, Rwanda also hosted a number of sports competitions including football tournaments for both men’s and women’s teams; basketball tournaments; volleyball tournaments; karate championships; rugby matches; tennis tournaments; swimming competitions; judo championships; track & field meets; cycling races; cross-country running events and marathons.