District Ruyumba : Rwanda

Area : 26,338 sq km (10,169 sq mi).
Population : 12,661,000 inhabitants.
Capital : Kigali
Religion : Roman Catholic, Protestan, indigenous beliefs.
Economy :

  • Industry: tin and other mining, food processing, chemicals, bricks, tin smelting.
  • Export crops: coffee, tea, pyrethrum, leather and hides.
  • Food crops: plantains, sweet potatoes, beans.


Once part of the protectorate of Belgium called Ruanda-Urundi, this tiny country – the continent’s most densely populated – became independent in 1962. After the overthrow of the minority Tutsi monarchy by the majority Hutu three decades ago, some 500,000 Tutsi fled the country. Fighting was fierce after a 1990 invasion by Tutsi exiled from Uganda. When the airplane carrying the Hutu presidents of both Rwanda and neighboring Burundi was shot down, Rwanda’s Hutu government initiated a program of Tutsi genocide, slaughtering at least half a million people during just three months in 1994. In July of the same year, things changed when the Tutsi leaders took over.

Source : National Geographic

Woluwe-Saint-Pierre and District Ruyumba (formerly Musambira) :

The twinning of Musambira became the twinning with the District Ruyumba. Since 1970, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is twinned with the Rwandan municipality of Musambira. An administrative reform has been implemented since March 2001 in Rwanda. The municipality of Musambira is today part of the District Ruyumba. The municipalitys do not exist anymore as administrative entities. The District Ruyumba retakes the equivalent of 89 % of the municipality of Musambira, plus the bordering municipality of Mugina and some sectors of other municipalitys. The territory of this district was thought by the Rwandan authorities to be the most homogeneous possible. The unanimous municipal council wanted to continue the friendly relations between our municipality and the new Rwandan administrative entity.

Ruyumba is a rural municipality, mainly agricultural, located at 35 km from the capital of Rwanda between Kigali and Gitarama on the road to Butare and the Rwandan capital, Bujumbura. The help from our municipality to the people of Rwanda, helped to build “The healthcenter of Musambira”. Musambira is a former municipality integrated in the District Ruyumba. This center is unique for this part of the district of 40.000 inhabitants spread over about 100 km², so a density of 400 inh/km². Woluwe-Saint-Pierre has, more or less, the same population but the density is about 4.400 inh/km². The healthcenter was built in 1972, there are now 45.000 inhabitants and the center receives about 120 patients every day. This center, lighted by the energy from the sun, is known for its efficacity, hospitable reception and availability. Besides the hospital and sanitary problems, one of the biggest problem for the officials of Rwanda is the insufficient drinking water.

Since the twinning with the district, Musambira has a 25 km canalization that supply water to the healthcenter, the administrative building, the prison and some public taps. The third necessity for this country based on agriculture and breeding is to inform and to form the local population to more technical performances.

Financing a guide (main) farm permitted to practice the breed of chickens and rabbits in a convincing way. Co-financements lead punctual projects meeting the needs of the Musambirian population. In this respect, we worked with the Consultative Council of the Women (Cocof) which is a cooperative which practises an interdependent system of credit granted to the co-operators. Only the projects that gives a guarantee to the independence and offers all guarantees, as for the affectation and the control of the investment funds will be adopted.

In October 2002, a mission from the municipality chaired by Mr Serge de Patoul, deputy- mayor of the Twinnings, went to the district Ruyumba. The municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre is in keeping with a logic of co-operation supported by the United Nations, registered in a program of the Belgian co-operation and a program of development of the Rwandan government.

Thus in 2002, a euro invested by the municipality was multiplied by 5 thanks to a financial assistance of the Belgian co-operation. In other words, the experts positively judged our projects of co-operation for a good gouvernance, for the transfer of competence in the data-processing matter, for the supply of solar energy, of medical and school material.

Projects within the framework of the twinning (only available in French) :

  • Project of partnership and sponsorship of pupils
  • Project of medical collaboration
  • Training of the teachers of the vocational school of Mugina (in gestation)
  • Programme of improvement of the productivity of the small farms : With the association Belgium-Rwanda, a two-year program to contribute to the improvement of the food safety of the area will be carried out. The objective is to make the small farms more productive by benefitting more from the natural resources available without exhausting them.
  • Project of good gouvernance : This project consists in implementing a system of internal organization in the district and ensuring a better operation of it, by the installation of the decentralization of the services, accompanied by a communication and control system of the carried out work.