History, Geography, Economy
No country epitomizes the changes in Africa more than Rwanda. It has embraced major political and economic reforms. The World Bank now rates the country as one of the world's 10 most-improved economies. Agriculture is booming and tourism is growing. Yet the way government officials see it, all of this is only the beginning. The nation's stated goal is to transform itself from an economy based on subsistence agriculture to a knowledge-based economy by 2020. Already, companies such as Starbucks, Google, Costco and Macy's are doing business in the country—leading Fortune magazine to dub Rwanda the country "CEOs love."
For centuries, Rwanda existed as a centralized monarchy under a succession of Tutsi kings from one clan, who ruled through cattle chiefs, land chiefs and military chiefs. The king was supreme but the rest of the population, Bahutu, Batutsi and Batwa, lived in symbiotic harmony. In 1899, Rwanda became a German colony and, in 1919, the system of indirect rule continued with Rwanda as a mandate territory of the League of Nations, under Belgium. From 1959, Batutsi were targeted, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and sending almost two million of them into exile. The First Republic, under President Gregoire Kayibanda, and the second, under President Juvenal Habyarimana, institutionalized discrimination against Batutsi and subjected them to periodmassacres (See article about the Genocide against Tutsis : HERE).
In 2000, Parliament voted out President Pasteur Bizimungu and RPF appointed then Vice-President and Minister of Defense, Major General Paul Kagame as the President of the Republic to lead the coalition government. In 2003 President Paul Kagame was elected with landslide majority to serve a term of seven years. During those seven years, the country made unprecedented socio-economic and political progress and consolidated peace, stability as well as social cohesion among Rwandans.. In 2010, President Paul Kagame was re-elected to serve a second term and on a platform of rapid development for the transformation of the lives of all Rwandans.