Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Rwanda.

Country Summary

This page presents high-level information for Rwanda's climate zones and its seasonal cycle for mean temperature and precipitation for the latest climatology, 1991-2020. Climate zone classifications are derived from the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which divides climates into five main climate groups divided based on seasonal precipitation and temperature patterns. The five main groups are A (tropical), B (dry), C (temperate), D (continental), and E (polar). All climates except for those in the E group are assigned a seasonal precipitation sub-group (second letter).  Climate classifications are identified by hovering your mouse over the legend. A narrative overview of Rwanda's country context and climate is provided following the visualizations.

Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification, 1991-2020
  • Af
  • Am
  • As/Aw
  • BWh
  • BWk
  • BSh
  • BSk
  • Csa
  • Csb
  • Csc
  • Cwa
  • Cwb
  • Cwc
  • Cfa
  • Cfb
  • Cfc
  • Dsa
  • Dsb
  • Dsc
  • Dsd
  • Dwa
  • Dwb
  • Dwc
  • Dwd
  • Dfa
  • Dfb
  • Dfc
  • Dfd
  • ET
  • EF

Rwanda is a landlocked country located in central Africa just south of the equator. The country has a tropical climate that is moderated by hills and mountainous regions and has a dense hydrological network that includes the Congo and Nile basins. Subsistence agriculture dominates the economy and represents about 92% of the active populations’ employment. Therefore,  climate change poses a significant threat to growth and poverty reduction. Agriculture, together with forestry and fishing activities, contributes 39% of gross domestic product. Agricultural activities have caused considerable environmental degradation due to overexploitation of soil. Rwanda's Vision 2020 states that the country wants to shift away from subsistence agriculture toward a knowledge-based and service oriented economy with a strong and productive market-based agricultural sector. The country has seen development progress since the end of the 1994 genocide and civil war, but poor infrastructure, lack of access to electricity, limited generation capacity, and dependency on foreign oil all pose as constraints to growth.

The Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for climate change related policies in Rwanda and released the National Strategy for Climate Change and Low Carbon Development in 2011. The document aims to achieve energy security through a low carbon energy supply, sustainable land use and water resource management, appropriate urban development, preservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and improved health and disaster risk reduction. To achieve these objectives the document sets out 14 programs of action and a roadmap for their implementation. Rwanda ratified the Paris Agreement on October 6, 2016 and its Nationally Determined Contribution can be found here