Rwanda Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources and energy

Rwanda has good assets of the rock type cassiterite, from which tin is extracted and exported. The country’s reserves of methane gas under Lake Kivus are among the largest in the world.

After many years of waiting for funding, the gas is now extracted from, among other things, the American company CounterGlobal and contributes to Rwanda’s electricity supply.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Rwanda with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

On a smaller scale, tungsten, columbit tantalite (coltan) and gold are extracted. The extraction of coltan, which is used in, among other things, mobile phones, increased sharply in 2000 and 2001, when it was the country’s most important export commodity. Since then, production has stagnated. This is partly due to a price race caused by overproduction and partly because all Rwandan mineral exports have been subjected to tougher international scrutiny due to suspicions that it may be contraband from Congo-Kinshasa. Above all, it is the United States that requires strict reporting that minerals exported from Rwanda are not illegally mined in Congo-Kinshasa.

Most of the energy consumed comes from wood, peat and charcoal, which hardens the remaining forests. Hydropower has been expanded and is now responsible for most of the country’s electricity production. Electricity is also generated in thermal power plants powered by imported diesel. In the long term, the gas in Lake Kivus is expected to be able to generate the electricity that Rwanda needs, but so far Rwanda has a deficit in electricity generation and the electricity grid is worn and insufficient.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, RW stands for Rwanda. Visit itypeusa for more information about Rwanda.


Carbon dioxide emissions in total

840,000 tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

0.1 ton (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

86.7 percent (2015)



Presidential election in August 2017

December 10

The government announces presidential elections until August 4, 2017. Rwandans abroad may vote one day earlier. President Kagame is up for re-election and is a great favorite for the victory.


“French officers participated in the genocide”

November 1st

The National Commission against Genocide publishes a list with names of 22 French officers accused of helping to plan or carry out the genocide in 1994. The Commission seeks the resumed investigation of the shooting down of the presidential plane 1994 (October 2016) to hide these French men’s involvement in the genocide.


The postponement of presidential plans is being investigated again

October 7

France resumes an investigation into the assassination that became the starting point for the 1994 genocide. French judges now want to interrogate former Chief of Staff Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, who lives in exile in South Africa. Nyamwasa accuses the incumbent President Kagame of having been behind the shooting of then-President Habyarimana’s plan which had French crew (see Modern History). Kagame, for its part, refers to the expert witnesses who previously concluded that the missile that destroyed the plane was fired by Habyarimana’s own guard force. According to Kagame, the reason must have been dissatisfaction with Habyarimana’s policy towards the Tutsis.


Long prison sentence for “rebellious” officers

March 31st

Two former military commanders are sentenced to prison for 21 and 20 years respectively for “incitement to rebellion”. Both have been detained since being arrested in August 2014. They previously belonged to the inner circle of President Kagame.

Suspected war criminal again in Rwanda

March 20

One of the most wanted suspected war criminals, former Mayor Ladislas Ntaganzwa, is extradited to Rwanda from Congo-Kinshasa three months after he was arrested in the neighboring country. Ntaganzwa is charged with his absence for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Rwanda in 1994. He is suspected of guilty of murdering thousands of people and of organizing mass rape. He was originally prosecuted before the UN Court of Rwanda but his case was transferred to the Rwandan judiciary in 2012.


The government wants to move refugees

February 12

The government says that Burundian refugees should be moved to other countries in the region. According to the UN, there are about 75,000 Burundian refugees in Rwanda, but it is unclear where to go and how to proceed. All neighboring countries have also received tens of thousands of people who have fled the violence in Burundi. The play is interpreted as a response to accusations by UN staff that Rwandan authorities have recruited refugees into a resistance movement to overthrow the Burundian regime.


Kagame is running for re-election

January 1st

In a New Year’s speech, President Kagame announces that he will run for office in the 2017 presidential election.

Rwanda Energy and Environment Facts

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