Country Facts

Republic of Rwanda Canada
Location Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo. Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Arctic Ocean on the north, north of the conterminous US.
Capital Kigali Ottawa
Area total: 26,338 sq km
land: 24,668 sq km
water: 1,670 sq km
total: 9,984,670 sq km
land: 9,093,507 sq km
water: 891,163 sq km
Land Use arable land: 45.56%
permanent crops: 10.25%
other: 44.19%
arable land: 4.57%
permanent crops: 0.65%
other: 94.78%
Geography Most of the country is savanna grassland with the population predominantly rural. Second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; approximately 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the US border.
Climate Temperate; two rainy seasons (February to April, November to January); mild in mountains with frost and snow possible. Varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north.
Terrain Mostly grassy uplands and hills; relief is mountainous with altitude declining from west to east. Mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast.
Natural Resources Gold, cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore), methane, hydropower, arable land Iron ore, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, rare earth elements, molybdenum, potash, diamonds, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas, hydropower
Natural Hazards Periodic droughts; the volcanic Virunga mountains are in the northwest along the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo.
volcanism: Visoke (elev. 3,711 m), located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is the country's only historically active volcano.
Continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow east of the mountains.
volcanism: the vast majority of volcanoes in Western Canada's Coast Mountains remain dormant.
Population 11,370,425 (July 2011 est.) 34,030,589 (July 2011 est.)
Major Cities Population Kigali (capital) 909,000 Toronto 5.377 million;
Montreal 3.75 million;
Vancouver 2.197 million;
Ottawa (capital) 1.17 million;
Calgary 1.16 million
Religions Roman Catholic 46.5%,
Protestant 26%,
Adventist 11.1%,
Muslim 7.6%,
indigenous beliefs 3.1%,
none 3.7%
Roman Catholic 42.6%,
Protestant 23.3% (including United Church 9.5%, Anglican 6.8%, Baptist 2.4%, Lutheran 2%),
other Christian 4.4%,
Muslim 1.9%,
other and unspecified 11.8%,
none 16%
Languages Kinyarwanda (official, universal Bantu vernacular),
French (official),
English (official),
Kiswahili (Swahili, used in commercial centers)
English (official) 58.8%,
French (official) 21.6%,
other 19.6%
Government Type Republic; presidential, multiparty system A parliamentary democracy, a federation, and a constitutional monarchy
Political Parties and Leaders President Paul KAGAME (since 22 April 2000) Conservative Party of Canada [Stephen Harper];
Liberal Party [Robert Rae];
New Democratic Party [Jack Layton];
Bloc Quebecois [Gilles Ducepe];
Green Party [Elizabeth May];
Independence 1 July 1962 (from Belgium-administered UN trusteeship) 1 July 1867 (union of British North American colonies);
11 December 1931 (recognized by UK per Statute of Westminster)
Legal System Mixed legal system of civil law, based on German and Belgian models, and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court. Common law system except in Quebec where civil law based on the French civil code prevails.
Economy Rwanda is a rural country with about 90% of the population engaged in (mainly subsistence) agriculture and some mineral and agro-processing. Tourism is now Rwanda's primary foreign exchange earner and in 2008, minerals overtook coffee and tea as Rwanda's primary export. As an affluent, high-tech industrial society in the trillion-dollar class, Canada resembles the US in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards.
Transportation Airports: 9
Roadways total: 14,008 km
Airports: 1,404
Roadways total: 1,042,300 km
Railways total: 46,552 km
Waterways: 636 km (Saint Lawrence Seaway of 3,769 km, including the Saint Lawrence River of 3,058 km, shared with United States)
History In 1959, three years before independence from Belgium, the majority ethnic group, the Hutus, overthrew the ruling Tutsi king. Over the next several years, thousands of Tutsis were killed, and some 150,000 driven into exile in neighboring countries. The children of these exiles later formed a rebel group, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), and began a civil war in 1990. The war, along with several political and economic upheavals, exacerbated ethnic tensions, culminating in April 1994 in a state-orchestrated genocide, in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens, including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. The genocide ended later that same year when the predominantly Tutsi RPF, operating out of Uganda and northern Rwanda, defeated the national army and Hutu militias, and established an RPF-led government of national unity. Rwanda held its first local elections in 1999 and its first post-genocide presidential and legislative elections in 2003. Rwanda also joined the Commonwealth in late 2009. A land of vast distances and rich natural resources, Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867 while retaining ties to the British crown. Economically and technologically, the nation has developed in parallel with the US, its neighbor to the south across the World's longest unfortified border. Canada faces the political challenges of meeting public demands for quality improvements in health care, and education, social services, and economic competitiveness, as well as responding to the particular concerns of predominantly francophone Quebec. Canada also aims to develop its diverse energy resources while maintaining its commitment to the environment.