Area: 26,338 sq km
A fertile, mountainous country similar to its southern neighbour, Burundi.
Population: 10,277,212 Annual Growth: 2.71%
Official language: French, English, Kinyarwanda. The entire population speaks Kinyarwanda Languages: 5 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
|Religion||Pop %||Ann Gr|
Rwanda has made great progress in many areas since the tragic events of 1994-95.
a) The nation's infrastructure was brutalized during the conflicts. Political stability since 2000 allows for rebuilding and developing roads, buildings, government services, water and sanitation, education and communications systems.
b) Financial recovery is encouraging, with Rwanda one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa. The mainstays of national income - tea and coffee - have seen their high quality and significant output restored. Eco-tourism is a burgeoning industry. The stated goal of the nation to cease its dependence on foreign aid is a sign of confidence in further growth, but many hurdles remain.
c) The presence of women in leadership. Over half the elected parliament are female, surely a sign of progress, especially since men were the primary perpetrators in the genocides and women mostly victims.
d) Give praise for the commitment to reconcile and peace-build, to move on from the terrible past and toward a brighter future. The very fact that efforts are being made in a land with centuries of endemic ethnic tension, is cause for praise. Also encouraging is the fact that churches are at the forefront of the movement.
Rwandas longer-term future must eventually move past the events of the 1990s. A development programme called Vision 2020 intends to transform Rwandas economy, infrastructure and values. Other challenges loom large on the horizon, most notably:
a) Political stability is achieved, yet greater freedoms could still be achieved. Political leadership is strong, but a healthy political opposition movement and a more independent press could make Rwanda even stronger. The government is very sympathetic toward Christianity, but is not without its critics, especially in the areas of freedom of expression, human rights and foreign policy toward the DRC. Righteousness exalts a nation; pray for such a dynamic to characterize Rwanda.
b) The military-political conundrum of relationships among Rwanda, Burundi, Congo-DRC and Uganda remains a challenge. With the activities of rebels and militias, relationships are often strained and rise and fall regularly. Pray for patience, understanding and cooperation to work together for justice and to root out those who would destabilize the region.
c) Rapid population growth and limited land promise to intensify the issue hidden at the root of the massacres. The traditional habit of parcelling out inherited land to all offspring created tiny parcels of farmland insufficient to even feed a family. Jealousy and greed were behind countless local episodes of murder and theft during the dark days of 1994-95. The terrible loss of life depopulated much land, but this same issue will inevitably resurface Rwanda is already Africas most densely populated country. Pray that wise solutions might be found to this deep-seated and long-term problem.
For an additional 6 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Rwanda.