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Social conditions

Prior to the civil war and the 1994 genocide, Rwanda had a range of social services that were broadly in line with the average level of sub-Saharan African countries. To see related acronyms about this country, please check AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of RWA and acronym for Rwanda. A large part of health care was provided by foreign missionary communities. The war caused the worst refugee disaster in modern times, social services were paralyzed and most of the NGOs left the country. One of the major social problems in the late 1990s was the large number of orphans with war psychoses.

Society of Rwanda

Of the young children, 18% were underweight in 2005. At half of the births, qualified staff are available. Maternal mortality was estimated in 2008 at 540 per 100,000 descendants. In 2009, 17 per cent of government expenditure went to health care. There are 16 hospital beds per 10,000 residents (2007) and two doctors per 100,000 residents (2005). Rwanda is severely affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and although the proportion of infected persons has fallen since the 1990s, 3 percent of the population aged 15-49 are estimated to carry the virus (2009). Other common causes of death are lung and diarrhea and tuberculosis.

Poverty is still widespread; four out of five Rwandans live on less than $ 2 a day. Almost 2/3 of the population has access to clean water.

The Constitution prohibits gender discrimination and after 1994 women have come to play a more important role in society. In parliament, women are in the majority with 56 percent of the mandate. As many girls as boys go to school. However, violence against women, especially in the home, is still a major problem.

Contrary to the situation in many other African countries, the Rwanda trade unions made no major progress after independence, and the period has been characterized by stagnation. During the 1990s, trade union activity was largely down due to the political situation.


Kigali, the capital of Rwanda in Central Africa; 1.13 million residents (2012). The city is in the middle of the country on several highs for approximately 1500 m height. It is home to the country's administration and industry and is a lively trading town. The city has a Muslim neighborhood. Rapid urban growth has resulted in large slums.


The city was founded in 1908 as the administrative and military center of the German colonial power. Under the Belgian rule of 1916-62, Kigali lost its political significance but served as a trading town. At Rwanda's independence in 1962, the city was designated as the capital with only 6,000 houses, and a rapid development began. The city has been marked by the genocide in 1994, when Hutu extremists murdered thousands of Tutsis. The rebuilding after the riots was only slow, but the majority of the population has returned.


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