The “land of a thousand hills,” a direct translation from the French “Pays des Mille Collines,” is an apt description for the verdant country of Rwanda. From the volcanoes, to the jungles housing a third of the world’s remaining gorillas, to the largest rain forest in Africa, Rwanda has a history of environmental conservation.
Here are some of other facts you probably did not know about Rwanda:
- Rwanda’s total land area is 10,169 square miles (26,338 square kilometres) its population in 2013 was 11.8 million. This makes Rwanda the most densely populated country in Africa.
- Rwanda has the highest women representation in parliament: 64% of Rwanda’s members of parliament are women.
- Over 90% of Rwandans have access to medical insurance.
- In 2007, Rwanda became the first country in the world to legislate an outright ban on plastic bags.
- Flip-flop sandals are banned in Rwanda. They were banned in an effort to combat jiggers.
- Rwanda is one of the cleanest countries in Africa and maybe the world. They are so concerned about cleanliness that in Kigali it is compulsory for all residents to help clean their community on the last Saturday of each month in an exercise called Umuganda!
- Rwanda’s industry consists of tourism, agricultural products, cement, soap and small scale beverages. The country also exports coffee, tea, hides and tin ore.
- 70 percent of people in Rwanda are literate.
- Majority of the population in Rwanda are Christians. Traditional African religion, Muslims, and atheists constitute the minority.
- The official languages of Rwanda are French, English, Kinyarwanda and Kiswahili.