The National Flag of Rwanda was officially adopted on October 25, 2001. The flag has been designed by a local artist - Alphonse Kirimobenecyo. It represents heroism, confidence, national unity, and respect for work.
The National Flag of Rwanda is a tricolor featuring three horizontal bands of sky blue (top, double-width), yellow, and green. A golden sun with 24 rays is placed near the fly end of the blue band. The blue color symbolizes peace and happiness. The yellow color of the flag represents economic development and mineral wealth. The green color epitomizes the hope for the country's prosperity and natural resources. The golden yellow sun is a symbol of unity as well as enlightenment and transparency from ignorance. The flag has a width-to-length ratio of 1:2.
In 1891, Rwanda became a German colony and adopted the flag of German East Africa. This flag featured a white background with a black cross and the top red portion of the flag is colored red with five white-pointed stars. During the First World War in 1916, Belgium invaded and colonized Rwanda and the area was renamed as Rwanda-Burundi under Belgian rule. The flag that was used during this time was a vertical tricolor of black-yellow-red. In 1961, Belgium abolished the monarchy in Rwanda, and the country separated from Burundi and emerged as an independent nation on July 1, 1962. Rwanda, during this time, adopted a red-yellow-green vertical tricolor flag with a large black “R” placed in the central yellow band. This flag was discarded since it became associated with the brutal 1994 genocide. The new flag designed by Alphonse Kirimobenecyo was adopted on October 25, 2001.
The current National Coat of Arms/Seal of Rwanda was adopted in 2001. It contains tribal devices, a sorghum stem, a coffee tree branch along a traditional basket all of which are placed in the central part of the shield. Below these are a cogwheel. A Sun is placed above and two Rwandan shields that are protecting the elements are placed on either side of the central elements. A yellow banner displaying the country name (Repubulika Y’U Rwanda) is placed above the sun. The coat of arms is encircled by a square knot and is attached with a yellow banner displaying the national motto: "Ubumwe, Umurimo, Gukunda Igihugu" ("Unity, Work, Patriotism")
"Ubumwe, Umurimo, Gukunda Igihugu" ("Unity, Work, Patriotism")
"Rwanda Nziza" ("Rwanda, Our Beautiful Country") is the national anthem of Rwanda. The music of the anthem have been composed by Jean-Bosco Hashakaimana. The lyrics of the anthem have been written by Faustin Murigo. The anthem was officially adopted on December 31, 2001.
Rwanda nziza gihugu cyacu
Wuje imisozi, ibiyaga n’ibirunga
Ngobyi iduhetse gahorane ishya.
Rekatukurate tukuvuge ibigwi
Wowe utubumbiye hamwe twese
Abanyarwanda uko watubyaye
Berwa, sugira, singizwa iteka.
Horana Imana murage mwiza
Ibyo tugukesha ntibishyikirwa:
Umuco dusangiye uraturanga
Ururimi rwacu rukaduhuza
Ubwenge, umutima, amaboko yacu
Nuko utere imbere ubutitsa.
Baraguhanga uvamo ubukombe
Utsinda ubukoroni na mpatsebihugu
Byayogoje Afurika yose
None uraganje mu bwigenge
Tubikomeyeho uko turi twese.
Komeza imihigo rwanda dukunda
Ngo amahoro asabe mu bagutuye
Wishyire wizane muri byose
Urangwe n’ishyaka, utere imbere
Uhamye umubano n’amahanga yose
Maze ijabo ryawe riguhe ijambo.
Rwanda, our beautiful and dear country
Adorned of hills, lakes and volcanoes
Motherland, would be always filled of happiness
Us all your children: Abanyarwanda
Let us sing your glare and proclaim your high facts
You, maternal bosom of us all
Would be admired forever, prosperous and cover of praises.
Invaluable heritage, that God protects to you
You filled us priceless goods
Our common culture identifies us
Our single language unifies us
That our intelligence, our conscience and our forces
Fill you with varied riches
For an unceasingly renewed development.
Our valorous ancestors
Gave themselves bodies and souls
As far as making you a big nation
You overcame the colonial-imperialistic yoke
That has devastated Africa entirely
And has your joy of your sovereign independence
Acquired that constantly we will defend.
Maintain this cape, beloved Rwanda,
Standing, we commit for you
So that peace reigns countrywide
That you are free of all hindrance
That your determination hires progress
That you have excellent relations with all countries
And that finally your pride is worth your esteem.
The current official currency of Rwanda is the Rwandan franc (RWF). The Rwandan franc was introduced in 1960 with the first issue in 1964. Each franc has 100 subunits called centimes. The Banque Nationale du Rwanda is the central bank of Rwanda responsible for issuing the Rwandan franc. The Rwandan franc is not pegged to any currency, and therefore, its value tends to change with shifting economic trends.
The Rwandan franc is issued in various denominations and forms.
Coins come in small denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 francs with the 100 franc coin being the highest valued coin. Coins are made from various metals including bronze, aluminum, nickel, steel, and copper. Some of the coins have mixed metals such as the 100-franc coin, which is made of steel plated with copper at the center and nickel on the outer ring.
Banknotes are issued as 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000 francs and have different designs and colors. The 20-, 50- and 100-franc notes were replaced by coins in 1977 and 2007 for the 100 francs note. Recent issues of the high-value notes have no French descriptions and have their security features reinforced.
Before the introduction of the Rwandan franc, Rwanda used various currencies depending on the colonial power operating at a particular time. The German East African rupee was the first currency used in Rwanda.
The German East African rupee was introduced to German’s east African colonies in the 1890s. The currency was circulated in Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanganyika. The currency existed in the form of coins and banknotes of various denominations issued by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank. After Germany’s loss in the First World War, the countries using the German East African rupee replaced the currency. Rwanda replaced the German East African rupee with the Belgian Congo franc.
The Belgian Congo franc was introduced by the Belgians as the official legal tender in Congo. The circulation of the franc in Burundi and Rwanda began in 1916 after WW1. The franc existed in coin and banknote form with the coins made of various materials such as copper, nickel, bronze, brass, and aluminum or a combination of two metals. In Rwanda, the currency remained the legal tender until 1960 when the Rwandan franc was introduced.