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Rwanda, officially the Republic of Rwanda, is a sovereign state in central and east Africa. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Situated in the African Great Lakes region, Rwanda is highly elevated; its geography is dominated by mountains in the west and savanna to the east, with numerous lakes throughout the country.

The watershed between the major Congo and Nile drainage basins runs from north to south through Rwanda, with around 80% of the country's area draining into the Nile and 20% into the Congo via the Rusizi River and Lake Tanganyika. The country's longest river is the Nyabarongo, which rises in the south-west, flows north, east, and southeast before merging with the Ruvubu and formed the Kagera; the Kagera then flows due north along the eastern border with Tanzania. The Nyabarongo-Kagera eventually drains into Lake Victoria, and its source in Nyungwe Forest is a contender for the as-yet undetermined overall source of the Nile.
Rwanda has a temperate tropical highland climate, with lower temperatures than are typical for equatorial countries because of its high elevation. Kigali, in the centre of the country, has a typical daily temperature range between 12 °C and 27 °C, with little variation through the year. There are some temperature variations across the country; the mountainous west and north are generally cooler than the lower-lying east. There are two rainy seasons in the year; the first runs from February to June and the second from September to December.

The country's principal language is Kinyarwanda, which is spoken by most Rwandans. The major European languages during the colonial era were German, and then French, which was introduced by Belgium and remained an official and widely spoken language after independence.
In 2012, estimates place Rwanda's population at 11,689,696. The population is young: an estimated 42.7% are under the age of 15, and 97.5% are under 65. The annual birth rate is estimated at 40.2 births per 1,000 inhabitants, and the death rate at 14.9. The life expectancy is 58.02 years, which is the 30th lowest out of 221 countries and territories.

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