The Rwanda Portal
The Republic of Rwanda ( roo-AN-də or rə-WAHN-də; Kinyarwanda pronunciation [ɾwanda] or [ɾɡwanda]), known as the Land of a Thousand Hills, is a country located in the Great Lakes region of eastern-central Africa, bordered by Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania.
Although close to the equator the country has a cool temperate climate due to its high elevation. Kigali, the capital, has an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius. Rwanda is also renowned for its beautiful terrain with mostly grassy uplands and scenic, gently rolling hills. Its abundant wildlife, including the rare mountain gorillas are popular with eco-lovers and tourism has become one of the biggest sectors of the country's economy.
The country has received considerable international attention due to its 1994 genocide, in which an estimated 800,000 people were killed. Since then the country has made a remarkable recovery and is now considered as a model for developing countries. In 2009 A CNN report labeled Rwanda as Africa's biggest success story, having achieved stability, economic growth (average income has tripled in the past ten years) and international integration. The government is widely seen as one of the more efficient and honest ones in Africa. Fortune magazine published an article recently titled "Why CEOs Love Rwanda." The capital, Kigali, is the first city in Africa to be bestowed with the prestigious Habitat Scroll of Honor Award in the recognition of its cleanliness, security and urban conservation model." In 2008, Rwanda became the first country in history to elect a national legislature in which a majority of members were women. Rwanda is, as of November 2009, a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, making the country one of only two in the Commonwealth without a British colonial past.
Kigali, population 965,398 (2009), is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation, and has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda are located in the city, as are the government ministries. The city is coterminous with the province of Kigali City, which was enlarged in January 2006 as part of local government reorganisation in the country. The city's urban area covers about 70% of the municipal boundaries. (Read more...)
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Paul Rusesabagina (born June 15, 1954) is a Rwandan who has been internationally honoured for saving 1,268 refugees during the Rwandan Genocide. He was the assistant manager of the Sabena Hôtel des Mille Collines before he became the manager of the Hôtel des Diplomates, both in Kigali, Rwanda. During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Rusesabagina used his influence and connections as temporary manager of the 'Mille Collines' to shelter 1,268 Tutsis and moderate Hutus from being slaughtered by the Interahamwe militia.
Rusesabagina's efforts were the basis of the Academy Award nominated film Hotel Rwanda (2004). He currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, children, and two adopted nieces. Formerly a taxi driver in Brussels, he later opened a trucking company.
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