Rwanda Rugby Federation (RRF) has been announced as the 103rd member of World Rugby.
The RRF had been an associate member since April 2004, but has now had its full application ratified.
The news comes on the same day that the qualification process for the 2019 Rugby World Cup was revealed, with the winner of the Rugby Africa Championship earning a place at the tournament in Japan.
"These are exciting times for rugby in Africa and Rwanda's admission as a full World Rugby member union is reflective of a region where participation has double in the past eight years and where rugby continues to reach and attract new audiences," Rugby Africa chairman Abdelaziz Bougja said in a statement.
World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset added: "We are delighted to be welcoming Rwanda as a full member of World Rugby. These are very exciting times for our sport with unprecedented growth and interest around the world."
The decision is subject to a review in 24 months which will assess whether the union has progressed and still fulfils the criteria required to retain its full member status.