Every year thousands of people from all over the world come to Canada to begin a new life. They arrive with many different skills and with the hope of contributing to their new society. This cultural profile was written to help Canadians welcome Rwandan newcomers to Canada. It describes life in Rwanda and some aspects of Rwandan culture. This information will be useful if you are hosting a Rwandan family as part of the HOST program, learning about Rwanda in school or working with Rwandan colleagues who have recently arrived in Canada.

 In the early 1990s, many Rwandans came to Canada as refugees to escape the civil war that ravaged their country. Today, some Rwandans come to Canada to pursue higher education. Like all recent immigrants, Rwandans may find aspects of their new home unfamiliar. They will have questions about health care, employment, housing, school and even shopping. You can help by answering their questions. Not only will your help make their adjustment to life in Canada easier, you will also discover that you can learn a great deal from your new friends.

Although this cultural profile provides insight into some customs, it does not cover all facets of life in Rwanda. The customs described may not apply in equal measure to all newcomers from Rwanda.
  Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name Republic of Rwanda
Capital Kigali
Type of Government Republic
Population 8.1 million
Area 26,340 sq. km
Major Ethnic Groups Hutu, Tutsi, Twa
Languages Kinyarwanda, Swahili, French, English
Religions Christianity, Islam, indigenous beliefs
Unit of Currency Rwandan franc
National Flag Three equal vertical bands of red, yellow and green, with a large black letter R in the centre
Date of Independence July 1, 2021

  Did you know?
Rwanda is Africa's most densely populated country. More than eight million people live in a country that is less than half the size of Nova Scotia. More than 90% of the population lives in rural areas.