Portal:Rwanda

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The Republic of Rwanda (/rˈændə/ roo-AN-də or /rəˈwɑːndə/ 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.

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Ruli Vista dels volcans Virunga.jpg
Credit: Josep Azuara

The Virunga Mountains.

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Maraba coffee (Kinyarwanda: Ikawa ya Maraba; French: Café de Maraba) is grown in the Maraba area of southern Rwanda.

Maraba's coffee plants are the Bourbon variety of the Coffea arabica species and are grown on fertile volcanic soils on high-altitude hills. The fruit is handpicked, mostly during the rainy season between March and May, and brought to a washing station in Maraba, where the coffee beans are extracted and dried. At several stages, the beans are sorted according to quality. The farmers receive credits based on the amount and quality of the beans they provide.

The beans are sold to various roasting companies, with the best beans going to Union Coffee Roasters of the United Kingdom, who produce a produce a Fairtrade-certified brand and Community Coffee of the United States. Rwanda Specialty Coffee Roasters buys from Maraba and sells to the domestic market. Maraba coffee is also brewed into a beer.

About 2,000 smallholder farmers grow the coffee plants under the Abahuzamugambi cooperative, founded in 1999. Since 2000, the cooperative has been supported by the National University of Rwanda (NUR) and the PEARL. The cooperative has improved coffee quality and penetrated the specialty market. (Read more...)

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RwamaganaChurch.jpg
Credit: Steve Holt

The parish church of Rwamagana, Rwanda.

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Kagame1.jpg

Paul Kagame (born October 23, 1957) is the current President of the Republic of Rwanda. He rose to prominence as the leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), whose victory over the incumbent government in July 1994 effectively ended the Rwandan genocide. Under his leadership, Rwanda has been called Africa's "biggest success story" and Kagame has become a public advocate of new models for foreign aid designed to help recipients become self-reliant though questions linger about whether or not he had a role in civilian massacres in Rwanda around the time of the 1994 genocide, and his country's occupation, plunder and killings of civilians in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo during the Second Congo War, in which an estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998.

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