Rwanda is a sovereign state essentially located in central Africa but a member of the east African community. It is located just below the equator and if all latitude and longitude lines, the country is arguably in the middle of the continent of africa. Although the country is very small, it has up to five neighbours namely; Uganda, tanzania, burundi and the democratic republic of congo. Rwanda is generally a hilly country hence the expression, ‘land of many hills’. However, the country is dominated by savanna in the east and several lakes within the country. The country enjoys temperate and subtropical climate with two rainy and dry seasons in the year. An important aspect of this climate schedule is the fact that it is not always prompt and you may have extended rainy and dry seasons at certain times.
The Berlin Conference of 1884, during the scramble and partition of Africa, Germany was assigned the territory now occupied by Tanzania and Rwanda as German east Africa. Gustav Adolf von Götzen was the first european to enter the country after he crossed over to lake kivu from the south-east. Although the Germans were the colonial masters, they did not impact many significant changes to the social structure that they found in existence. They proffered to rule through the kings that the people fancied and at times delegated power to chiefs and other prefects that they called akidas and jumbes.
However, after world war I, the territory was taken over by belgians who exerted a more direct control approach. They were more involved in the day to day running of things and they did much to improve education, health, public works and agriculture in their new territory. The Belgians are blamed for the divisions between the Tutsi and hutu which later led to the catastrophic Rwanda genocide of 1994. They promoted Tutsi supremacy by giving the Tutsi significant posts in their colonial government a thing which did not go down well with the hutus. Also, they introduced identity cards which labelled individuals as either tutsi or hutu. The first wave of violence between the two groups was however in 1959 when the tutsi who wanted independence were attacked by hutus now supported by the Belgians.
Although Juvenal habyarimana took power in the coup of 1973, he was not fancied by the Tutsi and in 1990 a rebel group of mainy Tutsi refugees began a civil war in which they weakened habyarimana’s rule. As a result, he signed a cease fire with the rebels in 1993 called the arusha accord but when his plane was eventually gunned down on april 6, 1994, the cease fire ended and the genocide officially begun a few hours later. In the 100 days that followed, between 500,000 and 1,000,000 tutsis were killed with machetes and other weapons in a very barbaric manner. However, calm returned in mid-july when the Rwandan patriotic front took over power.
Due to the immence negative consequences of the genocide, Rwanda started a reconciliation process which has seen many perpetrators of the attrocities brought to justice through the international criminal tribunal on Rwanda and gacaca courts in villages. Since president Kagame took over power, the country has enjoyed peace and economic prosperity.
Rwanda is known to have some of the most beautiful and hospitable people in the whole of africa. This is demonstrated mainly to visitors by individuals and community at large. This beauty and hospitality serves to compliment the already beautiful landscape of the nation. This is one of the most beautiful countries in the world with several hills covered in beautiful green vegetation. In addition to beauty, rwanda is one of the most peaceful countries in africa with very low crime rates and also corruption is at an alltime low due to strict monitoring by government watch dogs.
Although most of the country is rural, there are some developed towns like kigali which is the capital city. Kigali is an emerging city in the region with its well planned buiding and streets up to current international standards. The country emphasises cleanliness and that is why most of the streets and roadsides are clean which is common in most of africa. Most of the roads around the country are well mantained murram roads which are passable by four wheel drive vehicles during any season. However, the ones in the cities and towns are well paved tarmac roads which are smooth and good for all cars.
Rwanda boasts the best of all attractions that africa has to offer in the business of tourism. From the savanna wilderness to large rain forest and several lakes and rivers. Rwanda has three national parks namely; volcanoes, nyungwe forest and akagera national parks. Volcanoes national park is by far the most popular one since it has the mountain gorilla which is the leading attraction for tourists who come to rwanda. Nyungwe forest is also popular for it is considered as a candidate for the main source of the nile while the akagera national park the best of african safari game drives. Rwanda also boasts many lakes and rivers with the most famous being lake kivu and river kagera which are significant geographical and historic features in the region.
Tourism is one of Rwanda’s main exports to the world with the sector known to reck in millions of dollars in revenue every year. And it is because of this fact that the government has moved to improve infrastructure in the country inorder to attract more tourist to the country. The roads leading to the various tourist destinations are being worked upon one at a time and several hotels, lodges and other service delivery facilities have been established in the country.
Rwanda, ‘the land of a thousand hills’, this slogan is true in every sense of the statement and you need to come and see for yourself.