Rwanda is known throughout the world mostly for its recent genocide and war, in which over 800,000 of Rwanda's 8,000,000 people were killed in 100 days from April to July 1994. As a result of this tragedy and the persistence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 8 percent of the total population in Rwanda is orphaned. Building the economy of Rwanda requires solutions that empower this aspiring yet disadvantaged group of young men and women.
We believe sustainable business is a key ingredient to lifting Rwanda, the most densely populated African nation, out of poverty. Today, over 90% of the country is dependent on subsistence farming and pressure on the land is extreme. The vast majority of the population struggles to scratch out a meager existence and is often not able to afford the education necessary to improve their situation. Rwanda's dependence on foreign aid, an amount higher than its business earnings, is equally unsustainable. A country's inability to choose its own path of development is neither dignifying nor just.
Despite these obstacles, Rwanda has been steadily growing economically during the past 15 years due to good leadership, which in turn has led to peace, laying the ground work for increased prosperity. Exports, especially of coffee, are growing quickly.
The number of tourists visiting Rwanda has been increasing year after year as more and more people discover the astonishing beauty of this small land-locked country. They come in their tens of thousands each year to see the mountain gorillas (made famous by Diane Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist), climb active volcanoes, see African wildlife at Akagera's national park, soak in the atmosphere of the thousands of lush green hills, or walk in Nyungwe forest with monkeys swinging overhead!
There are many excellent books written about Rwanda you could read if you'd like to learn more about the country and the impact of the genocide:
There are also some good films you could watch to learn more:
And if you are interested in visiting our amazing country, check out Rwanda Tourism. Also, look us up if you are ever in Kigali. We'd love to welcome you and give you a tour of our facilities.
Rwanda's economy has been recovering since the genocide and civil war.