Independence Day in Rwanda is annually observed on July 1. The holiday celebrates the day when Rwanda became an independent state from Belgium 1962.

Colonization of Rwanda began in 1884 when Germany assigned the territory of the African state as a part of German East Africa. Germany lost the territory of Rwanda during World War I when it was taken by Belgian forces. Belgium changed the administrative structure of Rwanda and introduced scaled projects of education, public works, health and agricultural supervision in the attempt to reduce the incidence of famine.

After World War II Rwanda became the UN Trust Territory of Belgium with a mandate to oversee independence. The Tutsi favored early independence and the Hutu began emancipation movement. The tensions between them rose and led to the Rwandan Revolution in 1959. Pro-Hutu Belgians held a referendum in 1961, ratifying establishment of the monarchy. Rwanda finally gained its independence from Belgium on July 1, 1962.