Country Description

General information

Official name: Republic of  Rwanda

Government: Republic

Area: 26,338 sq. km

Capital: Kigali

Official languages: English, French, Kinyarwanda

Other languages: Swahili

Population: 12, 012,589 million (July 2013 est.)

Religions: Christians (94%); Muslims (4%), Others (2%)

Political Data

Independence day: 1 July 1962 from Belgium

Structure of Government:

Executive: The President of the Republic is directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term). The Prime Minister and members of the Government are appointed by the President.  

Legislative: Bicameral Parliament consisting of a Senate (senators serve an 8-year term) and a Chamber of Deputies (deputies serve a 5-year term).

Judicial: The Supreme Court is the highest court. Commercial courts (including the High Commercial Court), intermediate courts, primary courts and military courts are all subordinate courts.

In order to help for the lack of jurisdiction following the Genocide, the Gacaca Traditional Court was established by the Government of Unity in 2001 to judge the genocidaires who stopped their activities on 18 June 2012.

Foreign policy: Rwanda is a member of ACP, UN, AU, CIO, FAO, Interpol, WHO, IMF, ITSO, OIF, WTO, WMO, WIPO, UNWTO, UNIDO, WFTU, UNESCO, UNHCR. ILO, UPU

Economic Data

GDP: 7,8 billion USD

Main economic resources: Mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, pewter, tungsten), mineral processing, consumption goods (textiles, plastic, footwear, cigarettes), coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cassava, bananas, cotton, cocoa, etc

Major Trading Partners: Kenya, Belgium, Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Uganda, India, Japan.

Legal System

Mixed legal system of civil law based on German and Belgians models, and customary law.

Useful Links

National:  Constitution and Government of Rwanda portal.

Regional: African Union, the East African Community, COMESA, etc.

International: United Nations Treaty Series Online Collection

National Partners of African Law Library