The Tutsi were also ruled by a King or Mwami and are thought to have first migrated into the area around the 14th century via a slow invasion that was mostly peaceful. The Tutsi owned lots of cattle and were advanced combatants and used these to achieve economic, political, and social control over the Hutu people. Over time ownership of land was taken from the Hutu and became the property of the Tutsi Mwami.
The economic relations between the Hutu-Tutsi took the form of a trade by barter contract called the ubuhake. Both tribes could for example exchange Tutsi cattle for personal and military service. These evolved though as the ubuhake became a feudal-type class system with power resting firmly in the hands of the Tutsi minority.
Rwanda was governed by various colonial powers including Germany and Belgium. Under the Belgians the political power of the Mwami was eroded, the ubuhake system was modified and the payments of tribute were abrogated. After several years, Rwandans were subsequently integrated into the political system after the United Nations (UN) was formed. The integration was meant to produce far-reaching socio-economic reforms, which would lead to political progress and social stability. However, this program allowed the Tutsi minority gain political, economic and social domination over the Hutu majority and was a contributing factor that led to civil unease in the country. After years of escalating conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi, the Belgian administrators with the support of the UN General Assembly, granted recognition to the republican Rwandan (and Burundi) State in order to avoid more social unrest. On June 27, 1962, the General Assembly voted to terminate the Belgian Trusteeship Agreement, paving the way days later for Rwanda to attain independence.
The new Rwandan nations first President was Gregoire Kayibanda, a Hutu leader. Rwanda introduced its own national unit of currency, the Rwanda franc. On November 7, a political system with multi-parties was legalized. Ethnic violence broke out in February 1993 causing hundreds of fatalities amongst both Hutus and Tutsis. On April 6, 1994, President Habyarimana and the President of Burundi were murdered when the airplane carrying both men was shot down in Kigali. This led the rounding up and eventual murder of Tutsis.
After the genocide, the government of Rwanda began reconstruction and reconciliation processes. A grassroots village-level justice system, known as gacaca was put in place, to address the enormous backlog of cases. By the end of 2006, 818,000 genocide suspects had been identified by the gacaca courts. Victims of genocide were over 1 million people.
Rwanda's major exports are coffee, tea, tin cassiterite, wolfframite, and pyrethrum. Agriculture contributes more than 40% of the nation's GDP. Principal food crops include bananas, sweet potatoes, cassava, sorghum and beans. Till date the majority of Rwandans are subsistence farmers who still live in the rural parts of the country. Intense demographic pressure, the shortage of arable land, and lack of access to the Indian Ocean have been three critical problems in Rwanda's economic development.
It is a fact that Rwanda has one of the lowest urbanization rates in Africa. Since independence, the ruling party has allocated government positions primarily on a controversial ethnocentric patronage