The first goal was to decentralise power, since it was felt Rwanda's centralised governing system was a contributing factor in aiding the genocide. Second, the new provinces are more multiethnic than the previous twelve, helping to weaken ethnic divisions. Finally, the new provinces will not have the associations the previous twelve did with events from the genocide.Until 2002, the provinces were called prefectures (perefegitura).
Since January 1, 2006, the five provinces of Rwanda are:
Kigali(Capital:Kigali City, Area:730km2, Population:1,132,686)
Southern(Capital:Nyanza, Area:5,963km2, Population:2,589,975)
Western(Capital:Kibuye, Area:5,883km2, Population:2,471,239)
Northern(Capital:Byumba, Area:3,276km2, Population:1,726,370)
Eastern(Capital:Rwamagana, Area:9,458km2, Population:2,595,703)