Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a 26,338km² landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley of central Africa, where the African Great Lakes region and southeast Africa converge. Located a few degrees south of the equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It has a population of 13.8 million and a GDP of US$14.3bn, which grew at an average of 8% since 2001, peaking at 10.9% in 2021 before declining to 8.2% in 2022 due to climate shocks on domestic food production; high energy, food, and fertiliser prices; and weak external demand on exports. Inflation rose from 0.8% in 2021 to 17.7% in 2022, reflecting higher costs for imported goods. Real GDP growth is projected to reach 7.6% in 2023 and 8.0% in 2024 due to continued slow recovery in domestic agricultural production and recovery in exports and conference tourism. Poverty rates have halved over the last two decades, and Rwanda is one of the very few African countries that was able to achieve the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals.
Since the 1994 genocide, in which over 1 million people were killed, the country has been ruled by the Rwanda Patriotic Front under the controversial President Paul Kagame.
Rwanda has unexploited deposits of diamonds, rare earth elements, cobalt, iron ore and lithium, while tantalum and niobium minerals, tin, tungsten, gold and gemstones are produced. Privately-owned companies, artisanal mining cooperatives, and individual artisanal miners produce tin, tantalum and niobium minerals and tungsten, while gemstones produced by artisanal miners include amethyst, sapphire and tourmaline. Rwanda is the continent’s largest tungsten producer, third-largest tantalum and niobium minerals producer and third-largest tin producer.
Rwanda aspires to middle income country status by 2035 and high-income country status by 2050 through a series of seven-year National Strategies for Transformation, underpinned by sectoral strategies focused on meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Sources: Who Owns Whom sector reports, CIA Factbook, African Development Bank, World Bank, Trading Economics, African Statistical Yearbook and IMF.