Burundi

Republic of Burundi
Population 10,742,276 (the world fact book of CIA)
Independence 1962, Belgium
Languages French (official), Kirundi (official), English (official), Swahili
Form of government Republic
GDP (2014) $3.094 billion; per capita: $900 (the world fact book)

Burundi, a small landlocked east central African country, shares its borders with DRC, Rwanda and Tanzania. Burundi has experienced peace and stability since 2005, when its 12-year civil war ended. The civil war, lasting from 1993, claimed the lives of about  300,000 people and was driven by ethnic tensions between Hutus and Tutsis. In 2005, rebel groups agreed to a ceasefire following an extensive peace process.

The Government of Burundi has taken steps to demobilize the armed population and integrate both Hutus and Tutsis into the public sector. In 2007, Burundi signed a Strategic Framework for Peacebuilding based on five pillars: (1) Good governance, (2) Ceasefire with rebel groups, (3) Security, (4) Justice & human rights and (5) Land issues & community recovery.

In 2012, after the successful implementation of this first strategic framework, Burundi adopted a Strategic Framework for Growth and Fight Against Poverty (CSLP II). This framework focuses on controlling population growth, improving agricultural development, and improving development cooperation, as well as more effective public spending, expanded electricity infrastructure, and a more robust private sector. Burundi has also adopted a “2025 Vision” for development.

Government Title Name
President H.E. Pierre NKURUNZIZA
First Vice President H.E. Prosper BAZOMBANZA
Second Vice President H.E. Gervais RUFYIKIRI
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Planning H.E. Tabu Abdallah MANIRAKIZA
g7+ Focal Point Mr. Cyriaque MIBURO, Economist, National Aid Coordination Committee

New Deal Implementation

Burundi joined the g7+ in 2010 and has subsequently endorsed the New Deal; a Partners Coordination Group has been established as the framework for dialogue between the Government of Burundi and development partners.

 The Head of State is the President of the Republic, who is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. President Nkurunziza was appointed by parliament for his first term in 2005, and elected for a second term in 2010. The President appoints two Vice Presidents, each from a different political party and ethnic group. The First Vice President is responsible for politics and administration, and the Second Vice President is responsible for the economy and social services. Cabinet members are appointed by the president; the cabinet must consist of 60% Hutus, 40% Tutsis, and a minimum of 30% women, and must include members of different parties in proportion to their members in the National Assembly.

The bicameral Burundi parliament includes the Senate and the National Assembly. The Senate is composed of two elected members from each of the 17 provinces, one from each ethnic group, and has a quota of 30% female members. Up to 17 additional at-large representatives may be appointed in order to meet quotas. The National Assembly is composed of 100 elected representatives and has quotas of 60% Hutu, 40% Tutsi and 30% female members; an additional 18 to 21 members are appointed to meet quotas. Elections are held every five years; the most recent parliamentary elections took place on June 29, 2015.

Local governance is managed by 116 communal councils, community-level elected governance units. The Government of Burundi is in the process of decentralizing to provide local communities with increased governance autonomy.

Burundi is densely populated, and 90 percent of its population engages in subsistence agriculture. Due to lack of inputs and lack of arable land, food security is a challenge, especially in rural areas. Life expectancy, education, and health outcomes have improved since 2005. These achievements are emblematic of Burundi’s improving human capacity, though progress in the security and justice sectors has been slow. The economy’s reliance on agriculture makes it especially vulnerable to external shocks, and the country’s limited infrastructure is an obstacle to economic diversification.

The government’s Vision 2025 offers a consensus-based vision for economic and social development built around eight pillars: (1) Good governance and capacity-building, (2) Human capital, (3) Economic growth and poverty reduction, (4) Regional integration, (5) Demographics, (6) Social cohesion, (7) Regional planning and urbanization, and (8) Partnership. National unity, increased employment and infrastructure development are highlighted as key priorities.

Burundi has targeted the energy, mining and agriculture sectors for both public and private investment in economic infrastructure and institutions. Its primary exports are tea and coffee, and the economy has benefitted from recent price increases for both goods on the global market. Exchange rates and inflation rates are relatively stable. In addition to energy, mining, and agriculture, the domestic market for telecommunications is growing.

Recent government fiscal policies designed to increase private investment have been successful, but have resulted in a short-term decline in domestic revenue. The World Bank cites Burundi’s limited fiscal base and narrow export market as key barriers to foreign direct investment. Property rights and land policy are also a constraint; demand for land is high and regulatory frameworks for land allocation are limited. Despite these challenges, progress in institutional capacity and infrastructure is ongoing. Burundi’s economic growth rate is improving, with steady increases projected through 2016 as a result of investment in energy and mining infrastructure.