By now, you must know that Move Afrika: Rwanda, A Global Citizen Experience will take place on Dec. 6, 2023 at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda. Surely, then, you are also aware of the fact that not only is Kendrick Lamar headlining, but the rap superstar’s creative imprint pgLang will also be curating the Move Afrika events across the continent for the next five years. You can learn more about the event and how you can get your hands on a pair of tickets right here.
With all of that good news out of the way, let's talk about the real star of the show: the beautiful country of Rwanda. How much do you really know about “the land of a thousand hills”?
The most globally common event associated with country is often the 1994 genocide, which saw more than one million people die within the context of a civil war. But, as with many other countries with horrible periods in their history, there is more to Rwanda than the genocide.
That is the tea we are serving today with some of the most mind-blowing facts about one of Africa’s most interesting nations.
1. Rwanda was one of the first countries in the world to ban single-use plastics.
One thing Rwanda has become widely known for in the last 15 years is being a champion of environmental conservation and reducing plastic pollution. Since 2008, the production, importation, sale, and use of single-use plastic bags have been banned across the country and the ban is rigorously enforced. It is also illegal to bring them into the country.
The ban was expanded in 2019 to include the use and sale of single-use plastic like bottles, straws, plates, and forks. Not only has the ban helped to clean up the environment, it has led to huge economic benefits and boosted the country’s tourism sector.
2. No other country in the world has a better representation of women in parliament.
As of now, no country in the world is on track to achieve nationwide gender equality but some are making quicker progress than others. Rwanda is at the forefront.
In 2008, the East African nation became the first country in the world to have a nationally elected parliament where women were the majority.
As of 2023, Rwanda’s Chamber of Deputies is made up of 61% women, way above the global average of 27% and has remained consistently at the top of the International Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) monthly ranking of women in parliament for years. How amazing is that?
3. The last Saturday of every month is community service day.
On the last Saturday of each month, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., Rwandans across the country come together to participate in community projects in a constitutionally-backed practice called “Umuganda”.
These projects range from cleaning streets, picking up litter, and cutting grass to helping to build schools and beautifying communal areas. Practically, this exercise helps keep the country clean but it also fosters a sense of togetherness and unity. Now, you don’t hear of many countries doing that, do you?
4. Rwanda is at the forefront of mountain gorilla conservation.
About 60% of the world’s mountain gorilla population, a critically endangered species, can be found in the Virunga mountain range shared by Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Gorillas are particularly fascinating because they are 98% genetically identical to humans and could help science understand so much about humans that we don’t currently know such as long-term population decline.
To protect the species from extinction — there are only 1000 left in the wild — Rwanda has worked with Uganda and the DRC in its conservation efforts to help revive the dying species. The gorilla population has slowly been increasing and now there are an estimated 12 gorilla groups of around 8-10 individuals each today.
Although gorilla tracking is a huge source of tourism revenue for Rwanda, the gorillas are constantly monitored and protected by park rangers, with each group coming into contact with tourists for a strict maximum of one hour per day.
5. Rwanda is the “land of a thousand hills” and boasts four national parks.
The small East African country is highly elevated with the entire country averaging 1000m above sea level and its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savannahs in the southeast as well as several lakes across the country.
The mountainous nature of the country is what’s earned it the moniker “the land of a thousand hills” but also because of Rwanda’s expansive conservation efforts. Despite being nine times smaller than the United Kingdom and being the second most densely populated country on the African mainland, it still boasts four national parks.
On Dec. 6, Global Citizen and pgLang are coming to Rwanda to debut Move Afrika – the opening event of a first-of-its-kind music tour across the continent of Africa. The event aims to promote stronger health systems as a pathway to equity, defend our planet, and create jobs and economic opportunity. Make sure you take action to earn tickets or you can purchase them to join us at the BK Arena in Kigali for a one-of-a-kind experience! Everything you need to know about the event is right here.