Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda. It has served as the capital since Rwanda's independence in 1962. With a 2012 population of 1.13 million people, it is also Rwanda's largest city.
Founded in 1907, Kigali was not Rwanda's traditional capital. During the colonial period, which began in 1884 under the Germans and continued under the Belgians after World War I, Europeans exercised power from Butare, while the traditional seat of the mwami, or king, was Nyanza.
Following independence in 1962, the leaders of the new nation of Rwanda chose Kigali as the capital over Butare, as the former's location was in the center of the country.