Policy & History

U.S.- Rwanda Relations

The United States established diplomatic relations with Rwanda in 1962, following its independence from a Belgian-administered trusteeship.  From 1990 to 1994, the country saw civil war and genocide.  Rwanda is one of the world’s poorest countries, but it has made progress in developing national and local government institutions, economic development, maintaining security, promoting reconciliation, achieving Millennium Development Goals, and strengthening the justice system.  The United States is committed to work with our Rwandan and international friends to help Rwanda meet the needs of its population, including increased social cohesion in a peaceful, democratic, and inclusive Rwanda that provides good governance and an economically enabling environment.  The United States supports Rwandan efforts to increase democratic participation, enhance respect for civil and political rights, and improve the quality and outcomes of health care and basic education.

U.S. Assistance to Rwanda

The U.S. Government is currently the largest bilateral donor to Rwanda.  With our Rwandan partners, the United States supports efforts to provide basic health services for the populace; expand economic opportunities in rural areas, particularly through a strengthened agricultural production and food security program; protect and promote the country’s unique biodiversity; strengthen democracy engagement between civil society and government; expand access to electricity; foster the professionalization of the Rwanda security services in support of peacekeeping operations; and improve the foundational educational system and skills (literacy, numeracy, and workforce readiness) that prepare Rwandan youth for a modern service-based economy.  U.S. assistance in Rwanda also supports regional economic integration to spur business development, entrepreneurship, and increased employment opportunities.  These goals are carried out through various presidential initiatives, including:  Feed the Future; Global Climate Change; Power Africa; Trade Africa; African Peacekeeping Rapid Response Partnership; and the Global Health Initiative, including the President’s Malaria Initiative, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Global Health Security Agenda.

Among the offices operating under the U.S. Mission to Rwanda are:

United States Department of State

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Peace Corps

Department of Defense (DOD)

Department of Treasury

PEPFAR