Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda. Kigali is Rwanda’s biggest city with a population of 850,000, it’s also the commercial capital of the country. Kigali was founded by the Germans in 1907 but only became Rwanda’s capital when the country became independent (from Belgium) in 1962. Kigali was at the center of the horrendous genocide that took place in 1994 which took the lives of 800,000 people and displaced many more in the space of just 100 days.
Kigali is a relatively safe and sophisticated small city that has come a long way in a short time. Kigali is a pretty city which sprawls over several hills. The city’s avenues are filled with flowering trees and it is surrounded by lush green mountains. Since 1994, Kigali has slowly been rebuilt and income from tourism (mostly coming to see the gorillas) as well as numerous aid workers has buoyed the capital’s economy.
The city is built in hilly country, sprawling across about four ridges and the valleys in between. The city center is located on one of these ridges, with the main government area on another. The bigger houses and office buildings tend to be on the tops of the ridges, while the poorer people live in the valleys.
Kigali is an important center for trade in local produce, including coffee, cattle, cassiterite (tin ore), and tungsten. Manufacturing industries include textiles, chemicals, tin-processing, paints, and cigarettes.
Business in Rwanda is growing, and many new buildings are emerging across the city. Tourism and expatriate NGO workers provide important input into the economy also. The city is home to an international airport, Kigali International Airport. It is the hub of the Rwanda transport network, with hourly express bus routes to all major towns in the country.
|Languages spoken||French, English, Kinyarwanda|
|Currency used||Rwandese Franc (RFR)|