Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Rwanda Really - Interesting Facts

Every day I learn something fascinating about what it's like to live here. I thought I'd share a few:

  • Rwanda is the most densely populated country in Africa
  • Rwanda population: about 12 million people
  • English became the official language in 2011 (a shift from French)
  • The native language is Kinyarwanda
  • There is no word/phrase for "you are welcome" in Kinyarwanda - so in English, when you say "thank you" people often say "thank you" in response
  • Rwandans never really had telephones in their homes. They went straight to mobile phones, around 1998
  • 7.7 million people today have mobile phones; only about 50,000 households have fixed lines...and that number is shrinking
  • Most mobile phones in Rwanda are basic phones. Smart phones are still too costly.
  • The most popular way to pay for things among people ages 18-40 is to use "mobile money" - they pay with their phone  
  • Few Rwandans drink coffee, even though it is their number one export (and delicious, I might add)
  • Speaking of coffee, a new store, Bourbon Coffee, is all the rage. It's popping up everywhere in Kigali---a Rwandan Starbucks
  • There is only one cinema in the capital city Kigali, and it's not usually very crowded. Except when Star Wars came to town