infoslogo
-Kigali-
infoslogo
Home
 
Country

What You Need To Know Kigali

Kigali, is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation. The city has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda are located in the city, as are the government ministries. The city is coterminous with the province of Kigali City, which was enlarged in January 2006, as part of local government reorganization in the country. Kigali’s city limits covers the whole province, it is consolidated. The city’s urban area covers about 70 of the municipal boundaries.

Area: 730 km²
Current Population: 12.7 million

Currency

The Rwandan Franc is the currency of Rwanda. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Rwanda Franc exchange rate is the RWF to USD rate. The currency code for Francs is RWF.

imgres

 

City scape

Kigali houses several memorials, museums, and centers dedicated to the Rwandan Genocide, including the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre. Other museums include the Kandt House Museum of Natural History.

Urugwiro is the official residence of the President of Rwanda. It constitutes an entire village within the Kacyiru district of Kigali.

The city has international class hotels, some played a role in history:

  • The Mille Collines in the Kiyovu area. This hotel became a refugee centre during the genocide, as famously depicted in the film Hotel Rwanda. It is also the setting for the famous novel Un dimanche à la piscine à Kigali, by Quebecer Gil Courtemanche, and its movie adaptation Un dimanche à Kigali.
  • The Kigali Serena Hotel, formerly known as the Inter Continental Kigali. Formerly a Belgian-owned hotel known as Hotel Diplomates, the hotel was briefly portrayed in the second half of Hotel Rwanda. It was later bought by the InterContinental Hotels group and remodeled in 2003.
  • Kigali Convention Centre, currently under construction.

 

Economy

Mines for tin ore (cassiterite) have operated nearby, and the city built a smelting plant in the 1980s. Business in Rwanda has been growing in the 21st century, and many new buildings have arisen across the city, including the BCDI Tower, Centenary House and Kigali City Tower. Tourism provides important input into the economy.

Government

Kigali is a province-level city governed by a city council who appoints an executive committee to run the day-to-day operations of the city. The executive committee consists of a mayor and two deputies. The city is split into three administrative districts: Gasabo, Kicukiro, and Nyarugenge. It contained parts of the former province of Kigali Rural.

Health

Healthcare in Rwanda ad Kigali was historically of poor quality, but in recent decades has seen great improvement. Rwanda operates a universal health care system, and is considered to have one of the highest-quality health systems in Africa.

History

Kigali was founded in 1907 by Dr. Richard Kandt under German colonial rule, but did not become the capital until Rwandan independence in 1962. The traditional capital was the seat of the mwami (king: Musinga, Rudahigwa and Kigeri IV) in Nyanza, while the colonial seat of power was in Butare, then known as Astrida. Butare was initially the leading contender to be the capital of the new independent nation, but Kigali was chosen because of its more central location. Since then the city has grown very quickly and is now the major political, economic and cultural centre of Rwanda. Beginning on April 6, 1994, Kigali was the scene of the Rwandan Genocide – the slaughter of approximately one million Tutsi by Hutu militias(Interahamwe), and some members of the Rwandan army. There was fierce fighting between the army (mostly Hutu) and Tutsi-dominated Rwandese Patriotic Front. Although damaged, the city’s structure has recovered.

National economic background

Rwanda’s real GDP growth averaged 8.3 percent between 2002 and 2009. Per capita GDP grew in those years by 252{c4337bf352e9cffee67075324ffbdcb49b2b11c948163861b199fdb2e95b683f}: from $206 to $520. While 47 percent of Rwandans enjoyed clean water in 2000, the figure grew to 75 by 2010. While 78 percent of the country was considered poor in 1995, that number stood at 57 percent in 2009.

  

Language

Kinyarwanda is the first language of almost the entire population of Rwanda. It, French, and English are the official languages of the country. Rwandan Sign Language is used by the educated deaf population.

 

Transportation

The city has an international airport, Kigali International Airport, with passenger flights to (among others) Amsterdam, Brussels, Nairobi, Entebbe, Johannesburg, andIstanbul. The airport is somewhat limited by its location on the top of a hill, and a brand new one is being considered in the Nyamata area, some 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Kigali.

There are several daily coach services which depart from Kigali to destinations in East Africa. Most leave from the Nyabugogo bus station. These services include:

  • Jaguar Executive Coaches, which connects Kigali to Kampala, the Ugandancapital, via Gatuna or via Kayonza and Kagitumba.
  • Akamba Bus Services, which runs services to Kampala (8 hours), Nairobi inKenya (24 hours), Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (36 hours) and Mombasa in Kenya (32 hours)
  • Onatracom Express – a Rwandan government service using quite basic buses, running between Kigali and Kampala.
  • Yahoo Car Express – A minibus service running between Kigali and Bujumbura in Burundi.
  • Kampala Coach Ltd, which runs services to Kampala (8 hours), Nairobi in Kenya (24 hours), Dar es Salaam in Tanzania (36 hours) and Mombasa in Kenya (32 hours).

A row of minibus share taxis waiting to depart in Kigali, Rwanda Kigali is the hub of the Rwanda transport network, with hourly express bus routes to all major towns in the country. The major nationwide companies are Atraco, Stella, Omega, Okapi, Impala (minibuses), and Onatracom, which offers a big bus service, while Volcano Express (to Butare), Virunga Express and Onatracom (to Ruhengeri), Muhabura Express (to Ruhengeri and Gisenyi) serve specific destinations and follow a set schedule. There are also taxi minibus services (matatus) leaving from Kigali, which also go through to the major towns, but some of them stop frequently along the route to pick people up or drop them off. Public transport within Kigali is exclusively by taxi minibus (matatu) routes, connecting the main hubs of Mu (Mujyi) in the city centre, Nyabugogo, Kacyiru, Kimironko and Remera. Similar to the national taxi minibuses, these services wait to fill up before setting off from the terminus, then pick up and drop off frequently en route. Kigali has many taxis (known as ‘special hire’ or ‘taxi voiture’), which are generally painted white with an orange stripe down the side. There are also motorbike taxis (‘taxi moto’), which offer a service similar to a taxi, but for lower prices, typically in the range 300-1000 FRW.

Weather

Considered a tropical savanna climate typically with a pronounced dry season. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is Cwa (Humid subropical Climate). It is cooler throughout the year than in many other cities around the Equator due to its elevation, that somewhat tempers the extremes and results in warm rather than hot nights.