Facts That Will Change What You Think About Rwanda

Facts That Will Change What You Think About Rwanda

Rwanda fascinated me from the time I was in Botswana back in 1994, when the Genocide happened.

Thirty years later, Rwanda has come a long way, much more so than many people think or can comprehend. Rwanda is now like the Singapore of Africa”.

Part of the reason Rwanda is very much worth visiting is that it is not like the surrounding countries. While Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and even areas of Tanzania and Kenya are susceptible to issues, Rwanda is safe, and proudly devoid of corruption. Rwanda is an African country where travellers can visit without always worrying about their safety.

Rwanda’s remarkable transformation over the past 30 years, since the tragic 1994 Genocide, is a testament to its resilience and growth. 

Today, not only is it the best place to experience gorilla trekking, it proudly stands as one of the safest travel destinations, not just in Africa but globally, a fact that should not be overlooked.

Examples of why Rwanda is ahead of most other countries.

Single-use plastic bags.

Rwanda banned use of single-use plastic bags back in 2008.

One of the cleanest countries in the world.

Not only has Rwanda implemented a decade-long ban on plastic bags and packaging materials, but citizens participate in a monthly community clean-up known as Umuganda. Umuganda, which translates to “coming together in common purpose,” was introduced into Rwandan society in 1998 and encompasses everything from forest and wetlands  rehabilitation to school and hospital building. 

An important focus on Eco-tourism.

Rwanda, inspired by other countries like Botswana, has made a deliberate decision to promote exclusive, low-footprint eco-travel that supports local populations while also protecting the environment. Many lodgings prioritise wildlife protection, reforestation projects, and sustainability. 

Equal gender representation in politics.

Rwanda was the first country to have the highest representation of women in leadership, with women occupying more than 60% of its legislative seatsβ€”a figure that remains the highest allotment compared to anywhere else on Earth. The Rwandan government also prioritises equal rights,  according to the Global Gender Gap Report, and has been ranked first in gender equality since 2018. These ideals are evident not only in politics, but also in education, career prospects, and the role of women in healthcare.

Car Free Days in Kigali

Rwanda celebrates monthly Car Free Days in Kigali, its green capital, as part of its attempts to promote activity and sustainable transportation. Every first and third Sunday of the month, major roadways are closed to make room for cyclists, runners, and skaters of all ages. Car Free Days, which aim to reduce gas emissions, are highly anticipated by Kigali inhabitants since they provide a safe way to socialise and be active outside.

Road Cycling World Championships.

While Rwanda and Morocco competed for the bid to host the International Cycling Road Championship, it has confirmed that Kigali will host them in 2025. With an exceptional mix of breathtaking landscapes, tough ascents, and exhilarating descents, it’s no surprise that Rwanda has become a popular destination for cyclists in recent years. The country is well-known for hosting the Tour du Rwanda, which draws thousands of spectators to cheer on local and international riders. Building on the Tour’s cult following, the 2025 Road World Championships are expected to be one of the most significant events in Rwandan cycling history.

Technology

Zipline, a firm that specialises in on-demand drone delivery and fast logistics, has expanded its cooperation with Rwanda to launch a new delivery service aimed at promoting economic development and wildlife protection.  

Zipline and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) will collaborate to distribute products manufactured by local craftsmen directly to customers at resorts and lodges.

The new alliance will contribute to the safeguarding of Rwanda’s critical ecological resources.