Rwanda or officially know as ‘Republic of Rwanda’ is a sovereign state in central and east Africa, having an area of 26,338 sq. km. Rwanda shares it land borders with Uganda in the north, Burundi in the south, Tanzania in the east and Democratic Republic of the Congo in the west. ‘Kigali’ is the capital of Rwanda.
Rwanda flag consists of four colours, blue representing happiness and peace, the yellow band represents economic development, the green band symbolizes the hope of prosperity and the sun represents enlightenment.
The Rwandan government provides free education to its people in state-run schools for nine years followed by six years in primary and then three years in secondary. Further plans are to extend this free education campaign and cover the final three secondary years. Due to extreme poverty, some children still fail to attend the school because of the basic necessity of purchasing uniforms, books or prior commitments at home. Churches are known to run some schools across the country with the same syllabus, but they charge fees. A very minute number offer international qualifications, which are expensive too.
Christian churches have built numerous hospitals and health care centres but due to the orthodox believers, people still continue to visit indigenous healers who combine herbal medicines with spiritual cures. Many campaigns have been started to improve the water and sanitation facilities and people are made aware about hygiene. The quality of health care provided is generally low but is improving over the years. They practice both western and as well as indigenous forms of health care.
Rwanda located in Central Africa has three official languages including some dialects. The language spoken by the people generally distinguishes between the refugees and the locals. Languages spoken here are mainly Rwanda language which is also known as ‘Kinyarwanda’, along with French and English. ‘Kinyarwanda’ is a small part of Bantu language which is spoken widely. French is spoken by a very few percentage of people whereas English is spoken by the refugees who returned from Kenya and Uganda due to the genocide. Rwanda has very less to offer in terms of literary books because no written form was preserved since the time of monarchy history.
The other different dialects spoken in different regions of the country are gikiga, kigali, thiga, hutu, lera, hera, ndara and shobyo.
The food in Rwanda varies from mediocre to good. The diet for most of the Rwandese mainly consists of sweet potatoes, peas, corn, beans, millet and fresh fruits including avocados, mangoes and papayas. Many people consume meat only twice a month and the people who live near the lakes are the one who eat fish mainly ‘Tilapia’. A lot of people are unable to eat vitamin-rich foods due to lack of financial resources and job opportunities. Milk is a common drink among the people because of the cattle owned by the people. Dairy products are also widely consumed. Among their national dishes ‘Ugali’ is a paste made from maize and water to basically form a porridge and it is eaten throughout the Eastern Africa. At wedding or funeral people are never served full meal they are just given a piece of meat with something else, usually a potato.
Rwanda consists of three tribal groups namely tusti, hutu and twa (minority).
The hutu group people are the largest group in Rwanda and are settled in the western side of Rwanda. The hutu groups of people being the largest are mainly farmers. The Tutsi group of people originated from north eastern part of Africa and settled in the west of lake muhazi. The tusti are mostly cattle keepers and have come here looking for pasture and water for their animals. The twa are said to be the smallest group and they are mainly iron smelters.
Rwanda is a small landlocked country with mountains running down to its western side and the large Lake Kivu sits along its western border.
The Nyungwe forest is home to a huge number of tree dwellers, which includes thirteen different types of primate like chimpanzees, golden and vervet monkeys and three different species of the bushbaby. This forest is home to over 100 different species of butterfly and 300 species of birds. The regal sunbird is among its famous animals after the golden monkey. It is well known for its mountain gorillas, which are not common in the continent of Africa.