In September 2005, visits were made to five sites within the Gisenyi province in northern Rwanda to investigate reports of a damaging banana disease affecting brewing, dessert and cooking varieties. Symptoms included progressive yellowing and wilting of leaves, shrivelling of male buds, premature ripening and internal discoloration of fruits plus a characteristic yellow ooze from the vascular tissue of cut pseudostems. These symptoms resembled those of banana bacterial wilt (BBW) caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum (Xcm). This is the first report of BBW in Rwanda and poses a serious threat to banana production, endangering the livelihoods of banana growing households throughout the country.