Rwanda Factsheet


26, 338 km2



 10.7 Million



Despite its proximity to the equator, due to the high altitude of most of the country, Rwanda has a temperate climate with temperatures not often climbing above 25°C. The rainfall patterns are characterized by four seasons, a short rainy season from September to November and a longer season between March and May. Between these seasons are two dry periods, a short one between December and February and a long one from June to August. Rainfall ranges from about 900 mm in the east and southeast to 1500 mm in the north and northwest volcanic highland areas.

Natural Resources:

About 46% of GDP is generated by the service sector compared to 32% by the primary sector mainly agriculture which sustains almost 90% of the population and accounts for 80% of exports. The remainder of 16% is attributed to industry with a further 6 per cent for adjustments. 


Agricultural foods producing crops and industrial crops include coffee, tea, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), bananas, beans, sorghum, potatoes, and livestock. Export crops mainly include coffee, tea and horticulture.

Climate Vulnerabilities:

Negative effects linked with disturbances of climate system affected Rwanda in last decades within different sectors and natural resources involved in socioeconomic development. Floods, landslides, droughts episodes constitute the major repetitive natural disasters for Rwanda associated with climate change and often linked with ENSO episodes. A single disruption of the usual climatic trend leads to terrible consequences due to the over-reliance on agriculture in a context of overpopulation.  Droughts are often responsible for famine, food shortages, a reduction in plant and animal species and displacement of people in search of food and pasture. At times this has led to conflicts over different land uses such as with protected areas. Heavy rainfall, in combination with natural factors like topography, is having great impact in some areas. Floods and landslides are the main disasters in the high altitude regions mainly during the rainy seasons. 



ENSO episodes: El Niño is warm water current, which periodically flows along the coast of Ecuador and Peru. The oceanic event is associated with a fluctuation of the inter-tropical surface pressure pattern and circulation in the Indian and Pacific oceans, called the Southern Oscillation. This coupled atmosphere-ocean phenomenon is collectively known as El Niño-Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. The opposite of an El Niño event is called La Niña.

Landslides: is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rock-falls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows, which can occur in hillsides, offshore, coastal and onshore environments.

Volcanic highland: these are highlands formed by young (Quaternary) volcanism. This landform group retains its original surface expression. Volcanic highlands are subdivided into volcanoes, volcanic tablelands, and volcanic domes.