The Republic of Rwanda, is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa, with a population of approximately 8 million. It is bordered by Uganda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Tanzania. Its fertile and hilly terrain, which gives it the title "Land of a Thousand Hills'", supports the densest populations in continental Africa.
A new era of peace and development has prevailed in the country since after the war. A new constitution was adopted by referendum and promulgated in 2003. The first post-war presidential and legislative elections were held in August and September 2003, respectively. The RPF-led government has continued to promote reconciliation and unity amongst all Rwandans as enshrined in the new constitution that forbids any political activity or discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion. By law, at least a third of the Parliament representation must be female. Rwanda topped a recently conducted global survey on the percentage of women in Parliament with as much as 49 percent female representation.
This small country is located near the center of Africa, a few degrees south of the Equator. It is separated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo by Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River valley to the west; it is bounded on the north by Uganda, to the east by Tanzania, and to the south by Burundi. The capital, Kigali, is located in the centre of the country. Rwanda's countryside is covered by grasslands and small farms extending over rolling hills, with areas of rugged mountains that extend southeast from a chain of volcanoes in the northwest.
The divide between the Congo and Nile rainage systems extends from north to south through western Rwanda at an average elevation of almost 9,000 feet (2,740 m). On the western slopes of this ridgeline, the land slopes abruptly toward Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River valley, and constitutes part of the Great Rift Valley. The eastern slopes are more moderate, with rolling hills extending across central uplands at gradually reducing altitudes, to the plains, swamps, and lakes of the eastern border region. Therefore the country is also fondly known as "Land of a Thousand Hills" (Pays des milles collines). In 2006, a British-led exploration announced that they had located the longest headstream of the River Nile in Nyungwe Forest.