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Rwanda gained its independence from Belgium in 1962. Battles between the two major ethnic groups, the Hutus and the Tutsis, lead to a civil war in 1990 which culminated with a state-orchestrated genocide in which Rwandans killed up to a million of their fellow citizens including approximately three-quarters of the Tutsi population. Even so, Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa.

90% of the population is engaged in (mainly substance) agriculture and some mineral and agro-processing. Tourism is Rwanda's primary foreign exchange earner and in 2008, minerals overtook coffee and tea as their primary export. Most of the population lives on only about $1,100 a year.

  • Rwanda's largest ethnic group is the Hutus (84%) followed by the Tutsi (15%). 56% of the citizens are Roman Catholic.
  • 70% of the country is literate and most children attend school until age 11.  Life expectancy in Rwanda is only 58 years.
  • 2.4 million people use cell phones and only about 450,000 have access to the Internet.

(Source: CIA World Factbook)