Kigali is the capital city for the Republic of Rwanda, a landlocked and high-altitude nation in central-eastern Africa.
Activists sometimes harp about Kigali’s history of human rights abuses, pointing to Rwandan Genocide atrocities which began on April 6, 1994. As the world followed news reports in horror, Hutu militias slaughtered one million Tutsis–emboldened by apparent support from participating Rwandan army members.
Rwanda exported US$621.6 million worth of products around the globe in 2016. Highest value Rwandan exports include refined petroleum oils, gold, tea, coffee, tin and rice according to the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Kigali, Rwanda: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Kigali Genocide Memorial Center, Inema Art Center, Nyamata Church, Niyo Art Gallery, Nyabugogo Marche Market and Casino Kigali
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Kigali, Rwanda:
- Sonia Rolland, actress & former Miss France (born Feb. 11, 1981)
- Olivier Karekezi, soccer player/footballer (born May 25, 1983)
- Olivier Muhizi, basketball player (born Mar. 20, 1988)
- Alfred Mugabo, soccer player & footballer (born Oct. 9, 1995)
- Dan Kimasa, basketball player (born Oct. 2, 1995)
- Gilbert Rwabigwi, entrepreneur & social media blogger (born Jan. 6, 1990)
- Jean-Claude Iranzi, soccer player/footballer (born Oct. 5, 1990)
- Claudette Mukasakindi, Olympic marathon runner (born Dec. 25, 1982)
- Hamad Ndikumana (aka Kataut), soccer player/footballer (born Oct. 5, 1978)
- Alphonsine Agahozo, Olympic swimmer (born Jul. 8, 1996)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Rwanda resident: Rwandan, Rwandese
Population: 745,261 (Kigali City)
Density: 16,938 people per square mile (6,540 per square kilometer)
Population: 1,257,000 (Kigali Province)
Density: 4,489 people per square mile (1,733 per square kilometer)
Population: 11,262,564 (Rwanda)
Density: 1,170 people per square mile (452 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$20.343 billion as in 2015 (for Rwanda, per Wikipedia)
GDP per person: $1,784
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Kigali were unavailable.
Official currency used in Kigali: Rwandan franc
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on December 31, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on December 31, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Africa: Rwanda. Accessed on February 12, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on December 31, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on December 31, 2016
Official Government Website, Kigali City Government. Accessed on December 31, 2016
International Trade Centre, Trade Map Export Data for Rwanda, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on December 31, 2016
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas – Population, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 31, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on December 31, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Kigali. Accessed on December 31, 2016
Wikipedia, Provinces of Rwanda. Accessed on December 31, 2016
Wikipedia, Rwanda. Accessed on February 12, 2017
World Population Review, Population of Cities in Rwanda (2016). Accessed on December 31, 2016
Geographically, Kigali City borders a land area measuring 44 square miles (114 square kilometers) and in which there were 745,261 residents in 2016.
Kigali City is also the capital of Kigali Province, one of six Rwandan provinces established on January 1, 2006 as a way to decentralize government power and ethnic power imbalances. Kigali Province occupies an extensive land mass covering approximately 280 square miles (725 square kilometers). An estimated 1.3 million people lived throughout Kigali provincial land territory in 2015.
One of the smallest countries on mainland Africa, Rwanda’s land area equals 9,630 square miles (24,942 square kilometers) with an estimated population of 11.3 million Rwandans.
Population density is higher within Rwanda’s capital city limits with an average 16,900 residents per square mile (6,500 per square kilometer).
Density diminishes to an average 4,500 people per square mile (1,700 per square kilometer) for the larger land area for Kigali Province.
It is within Rwanda’s national boundaries where population density thins out most severely, averaging 1,170 Rwandans per square mile (452 per kilometer) despite its relatively small land area compared to other African countries.
Rwanda won its freedom from Belgium-administered United Nations’ trusteeship on July 1, 1962. Rwandans celebrate Independence Day as a public holiday each July 1.