The kingdom of a thousand hills is located in East Africa just south of the equator. It is about as big as Småland in Sweden but is one of Africa's most densely populated countries with approximately 12.6 million inhabitants. Most of the country is located between 1000-2000 meters above sea level and has a tropical climate consisting of fertile plains and forested mountains. To the west, the mountain range is covered with rainforest. The reason for the fertile soil is because it consists of volcanic soil. Rwanda has a rich wildlife, especially in the Akagara National Park, where for example, elephants, buffalo, lions, antelopes and more than 700 bird species live. In Rwanda, there is also the rare mountain gorilla.
The capital is called Kigali and is spread over several hills. The city is very clean and plastic bags are forbidden. There is relatively low crime and is a safe country to live in. Up the slopes, the small concrete houses are dense and between them the alleys meander up steep slopes. The small plots of land around the houses are all cultivated for the families' households. In addition to the small municipal buses, the most common means of transport is motorcycle taxis. They are everywhere and the drivers have an extra helmet on the handlebars waiting for their customers. The country is a poor country where about 80% of the population lives and works in the countryside. The vast majority use the land in small-scale agriculture. They are usually self-sufficient agriculture, where crops such as beans, potatoes, bananas, cassava and corn are grown. In Rwanda, religious freedom prevails and about 96 percent are Christians, about two percent are Muslims and about 2 percent are non-believers or have a traditional folk belief.
Rwanda is a stable republic with a multi-party system, in theory, when the president has great power and where critics of the government are silenced. However, the economy is well managed with a growth of about nine percent (2019) and the country is one of the countries in Africa with the least corruption. Freedom of speech and opposition is very limited and the media is controlled by the government. Paul Kagame has been president since 2000 and in 2003 Rwanda adopted a new constitution to prevent future genocides as the country is marked by the bestial genocide of 1994. Political parties are forbidden by the new constitution to identify with an ethnic group, religion or clan. Parliament consists of an upper house and a lower house. In the lower house, 30 percent of the seats are dedicated to women, making Rwanda one of the countries in the world with the most women in parliament. The vast majority of children go to school up to and including year six and a clear majority go to primary school. School is free to attend, but despite this, many people quit because they can not afford school supplies and other additional costs. Rwanda works for gender equality, with more than half of women in parliament, women have the same rights as men when it comes to divorce and inheritance.
Living conditions have improved and infant mortality is falling, but more than half of the population still lives on less than two dollars a day. Many traditional patterns remain, such as women being expected to marry and be supported by their husbands. Most of the women's work in agriculture is unpaid, as is most of their other work. Violence is very common in society, especially in close relationships and the most affected are women and children. Furthermore, sexual violence against women is very common. It is not allowed to get married until adulthood, but still about seven percent of all girls get married off before the age of 18. Rwanda became independent from the colonial power Belgium in 1962 and after that the two ethnic groups Tutsis and Hutus fought for power. In 1994, it led to a genocide in which over 800,000 Rwandans, mostly Tutsis and even moderate Hutus, were brutally killed by extreme Hutu nationalists. But today it is almost taboo to talk about the two ethnic groups, President Kagame is very careful to unite the people and that they should identify themselves as Rwandans.