WP23 Scoping Paper Rwanda
Rwanda is a small landlocked country located in the Eastern and Central African region between Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The climate is moderate and characterized by temperate conditions, especially in higher altitudes in the Northwest of the country. The topography is hilly to mountainous with altitude ranging from 950 to 2,500 meters above sea level (CIA, 2005). Rwanda is located 2° south of the Equator in Central Africa and covers a surface area of 26,338 square kilometres. The countryside is covered by grasslands. The Eastern slopes are more moderate, with rolling hills extending across central uplands. These gradually reduce in altitude to the plains, swamps, and lakes of the eastern border region. The average elevation throughout the country is about 5,200 metres; 1,585 metres above sea level. Due to the high altitude, the country experiences average annual temperatures ranging from 16°C to 20°C (Rwanda Agricultural Management–REMA, 2009).
The agricultural sector constitutes the backbone of economic development in Rwanda. It contributes 34 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs around 80 per cent of the Rwandan population that lives in the rural areas (Rwanda Agricultural Board–RAB, 2010).