Rwanda. According to countryaah, the current population of Rwanda is 12,952,229. Rwanda President Paul Kagame was preparing to continue in power. Despite criticism from the European Union, the United States and some international donors, Kagame announced in his New Year’s speech that he would seek re-election in 2017.
The strong economic growth and the fight against corruption is believed to benefit Kagame. In 2016, growth slowed somewhat, to about 6%, as a result of reduced demand in the mining sector. The World Bank points out that the country remains dependent on aid and that fluctuations in aid flows can affect the economy. Likewise, the government needs to improve the infrastructure and access to electricity to promote investment in the private sector.
According to the global anti-corruption organization Transparency International, Rwanda is one of Africa’s five least corrupt countries.
Human rights groups criticized the media and government opponents under continued pressure. In March, three former commanders, including a retired general, were sentenced to prison between five and 21 years. They were arrested in 2014 and charged with rioting and for supporting the RNC (Rwanda National Congress) opposition movement.
In October, a government reform was carried out. The Minister of Internal Security was abolished, as was the post of Minister of Mines.
According to thereligionfaqs, in July, Rwanda hosted a summit within the African Union (AU). Among the current heads of state were Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for suspected war crimes and other crimes in Darfur. Rwanda emphasized that the country is not a member of the ICC. At the summit, the joint AU passport was launched, which is initially only given to politicians and diplomats.
The relationship with Burundi was strained when Rwanda’s military was appointed by UN investigators and the US envoy for the African Great Lakes region to try to recruit and train exile Burundians to overthrow Burundi’s president. Kagame and his foreign minister rejected this. Rwanda countered that the country wanted to move tens of thousands of Burundian refugees to other countries. Since 2015, more than 85,000 Burundians have moved to Rwanda according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
The Catholic Church in Rwanda issued an apology for its role and the participation of other Christians in the 1994 genocide. Two former mayors were given life sentences for similar crimes in a French trial. It was the longest sentence ever sentenced in France for the genocide.