Overview of Burundi

  • Burundi remains primarily a rural society, with just 13.4% of the population living in urban areas in 2019.[6] The population density of around 315 people per square kilometre (753 per sq mi) is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa.[14] Roughly 85% of the population are of Hutu ethnic origin, 15% are Tutsi, and fewer than 1% are indigenous Twa.[19] The official languages of Burundi are Kirundi and French, Kirundi being recognised officially as the sole national language.[20]
  • Burundi’s life expectancy, as of 2015, was 60.1 years.[133] In 2013, Burundi spent 8% of their GDP on healthcare.[133] While Burundi’s fertility rate is 6.1 children per women, the country’s mortality rate is 61.9 deaths for every 1,000 live births.[133] According to the WHO, the average life expectancy in the country is 58/62 years.[134] Common diseases in Burundi include malaria and typhoid fever.[133]
  • Burundi has the severest hunger and malnourishment rates of all 120 countries ranked in the Global Hunger Index.[126] The civil war in 1962 put a stop on the medical advancements in the country.[131] Burundi, again, went into a violent cycle in 2015, jeopardising the citizens of Burundi’s medical care.[132] Like many Sub-Saharan Africa countries, Burundi uses indigenous medicine in addition to biomedicine.
  • Burundi (/bəˈrʊndi/ (listen), /-ˈrʌn-/), officially the Republic of Burundi (Kirundi: Republika y’Uburundi,[10] [u.βu.ɾǔː.ndi]; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; French: République du Burundi, [buʁundi] or [byʁyndi]), is a landlocked country in the Great Rift Valley where the African Great Lakes region and East Africa converge.
  • Burundi has made tentative progress towards peace and stability since a power-sharing government was set up in 2001 and most rebel groups agreed to disarm, but in 2015 President Nkurunziza’s bid to change the constitution and stand for a third term sparked mass protests and a violent response from the state.
  • Burundian daily life has since been conditioned by the exigencies of survival in a time of civil strife and ethnic hatred, and many important social institutions, which include the family and the village council, have lost their force, weakened by political chaos and the wholesale displacement of populations.
  • Burundi’s constitution mandates representation in the Transitional National Assembly to be consistent with 60% Hutu, 40% Tutsi, and 30% female members, as well as three Batwa members.[14] Members of the National Assembly are elected by popular vote and serve five-year terms.[90]
  • Burundi is a member of various international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the African Union, and the African Development Bank, and became a member of COMESA, the free-tariff zone of eastern and southern Africa, in 2004.
  • Burundians have also excelled in athletics (track and field), none more than Vénuste Niyongabo, who won a gold medal (Burundi’s first medal) in the 5,000-metre race at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Burundi possesses reserves of: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, and limestone.
  • Continent

    In 1885, Germany declared present-day Burundi and Rwanda part of its sphere of influence, forming a territory it called German East Africa; however, Germans did not begin to settle in the area until 1906.In 1923, Burundi and Rwanda were officially declared a Belgian mandate by the League of Nations.The European conflict of the World War I spread to the African continent, and in 1916 Belgium sent 1,400 troops to Burundi.The territory was known as Ruanda-Urundi.They made a deal with the Tutsi king, guaranteeing him protection from his enemies in exchange for following German commands, thus making the king a puppet.They wrested control of the land from the Germans with little opposition.


    As of July 2018, Burundi was estimated by the United Nations to have a population of 11,175,374 people,[123][124] compared to only 2,456,000 in 1950.[125] The population growth rate is 2.5 percent per year, more than double the average global pace, and a Burundian woman has on average 6.3 children, nearly triple the international fertility rate.[126] Burundi had the fifth highest total fertility rate in the world in 2012.[6]


    Burundi is a small country in East Africa about the size of Maryland, located between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.Burundi is divided into 18 provinces, with its capital in Gitega.While the primary languages of Burundi are Kirundi, Swahili and French, the primary language of business (and associated opportunity) throughout Africa is English.

    Who is Burundi’s new president, Evariste Ndayishimiye?

    Ndayishimiye inherits an isolated country under sanctions with a national psyche damaged by years of political violence.

    What does TRIAL International do on Burundi?

    Until 2016, TRIAL International’s staff was allowed to enter the country and liaise directly with victims.After its representative’s expulsion, it must conduct its work from outside the county, relying on its Great Lakes regional strategy.

    Malaria grips Burundi: What happens when half the country gets sick?

    In Burundi, a malaria outbreak is affecting more than 5 million people.Diomede, a volunteer health worker, provides diagnosis and treatment to vulnerable children.

    What is UNHCR doing to help?

    UNHCR and its partners are working together every day to aid and protect Burundi’s refugees in Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and other nearby countries.Together, we are helping families reunite with lost loved ones and training camp community workers to spot signs of sexual exploitation and abuse.We are helping mothers give birth in proper health facilities and enlisting water engineers to drill new boreholes to supply water for refugees.

    International Engagement in Fragile States: Can’t we do better?

    The 2011 Monitoring Report synthesises main findings and recommendations from across 13 countries, providing evidence from the ground of what works and what doesn’t.

    Promoting responsibly sourced minerals: What can donors do?

    About the work of the DAC International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) to support implementation of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

    History of Burundi

  • In 1871 two more Britons, Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone, also explored the lake.
  • In 1871, Stanley and Livingstone landed at Bujumbura and explored the Ruzizi River region.
  • In 1885, Germany declared present-day Burundi and Rwanda part of its sphere of influence, forming a territory it called German East Africa; however, Germans did not begin to settle in the area until 1906.
  • In 1916 Belgian troops occupied the area.
  • In 1919, the area called Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi) was ceded to Belgium under a League of Nations mandate, which in turn became a United Nations trustee-ship after World War II.
  • In 1920, Belgium signed a treaty of military assistance with France, and in 1921, concluded an economic union with Luxembourg.
  • In 1923, Burundi and Rwanda were officially declared a Belgian mandate by the League of Nations.
  • In 1923, the League of Nations awarded Belgium a mandate to the region of Ruanda-Urundi.
  • In 1923, the League of Nations gave Belgium control of the region known as Ruanda-Urundi (present-day Rwanda and Burundi).
  • In 1923, the League of Nations mandated to Belgium the territory of Ruanda-Urundi, encompassing modern-day Rwanda and Burundi.
  • In 1946, RuandaUrundi became a United Nations Trust Territory under Belgian administration.
  • In 1946, Ruanda-Urundi became a United Nations trust territory under Belgian control.
  • In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU).
  • In 1959 the mwami was made a constitutional monarch in Burundi.
  • In 1960, the Hutu took power in Rwanda after they won Belgian-run elections.
  • In 1961, Prince Rwagasore was assassinated following an UPRONA victory in legislative elections.
  • In 1961, Prince Rwagas-ore was assassinated following an UPRONA victory in legislative elections.
  • In 1962, Burundi gained independence and became a kingdom under Mwami Mwambutsa IV, a Tutsi.
  • In 1963, King Mwambutsa appointed a Hutu prime minister, Pierre Ngendandumwe, but he was assassinated on 15 January 1965 by a Rwandan Tutsi employed by the US Embassy.
  • In 1964, provisional notes were created for use in Rwanda by handstamping (20 to 100 francs) or embossing (500 and 1,000 francs) Rwanda-Burundi notes bearing their original dates and signatures.[6] These were followed by regular issues for the same amounts dated 1964 to 1976.
  • In 1965, a Hutu rebellion was put down violently.
  • In 1965, the assassination of the prime minister, and Mwambutsa’s subsequent refusal to appoint a Hutu prime minister even though the Hutu won a parliamentary majority, began a destabilizing cycle of Hutu uprisings and government repression.
  • In 1966, King Mwambutsa was deposed by his son, Prince Ntare IV, who himself was deposed the same year by a military coup lead by Capt.
  • In 1969 and 1972, the Micombero government was threatened by Hutu-led takeover attempts, the second of which resulted in widespread civil war and 100,000 deaths.
  • In 1969, an alleged Hutu coup attempt ended in the arrest of 30 prominent businessmen and officials.
  • In 1970?1971, a civil war erupted, leaving more than 100,000 Hutu dead.
  • In 1972, an aborted Hutu rebellion triggered the flight of hundreds of thousands of Burundians.
  • In 1972, the Hutu Burundi Workers’ Party (UBU) carried out attacks on Tutsis to attempt to exterminate the entire group.
  • In 1976, Col.
  • In 1976, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, a Tutsi, led a bloodless coup to topple Micombero and set about promoting reform.
  • In 1976, Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, a Tutsi, led a bloodless coup.
  • In 1980 Burundi’s total external debt stood at US$166 million, but with a government surplus of 9.8 percent of gross domestic product (including external aid) the country was able to pay interest on its debt.
  • In 1981, a new constitution was promulgated.
  • In 1984, Bagaza was elected head of state, as the sole candidate.
  • In 1985 illiteracy amongst the population aged 15 and above was 68 percent.
  • In 1985, Amoco began a major oil exploration program in Burundi.
  • In 1986 the government agreed to a program of economic liberalization with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
  • In 1987 there were 64 tribunals of first instance.
  • In 1987–97, science and engineering students accounted for 18% of college and university enrollments.
  • In 1987, Maj.
  • In 1987, the African Development Bank awarded a 50-year loan of CFA Fr218 billion to finance the construction of a shipyard in Bujumbura.
  • In 1990, before the violence began, 36 percent of the population lived below the poverty line; in rural areas, this number approached 85 percent.
  • In 1991, Buyoya approved a Constitution that provided for a president, multi-ethnic government, and a parliament.
  • In 1992, 40,000 metric tons of Burundian coffee was sold abroad.
  • In 1992, before the outbreak of the political crisis, 86,000 tourists arrived in Burundi (the majority from Africa and Europe), by 1996 only 26,670 were recorded entering the country.
  • In 1994, with the outbreak of the civil war in Rwanda, 270,000 Burundi refugees who were there returned home.
  • In 1995, 2,297 cases of cholera were reported.
  • In 1995, BFr249.76 bought US$1, while in 2000 a dollar was
  • In 1995, the Zairian Parliament ordered the return of all people of Rwandan or Burundian descent to return to be repatriated.
  • In 1996 Major Pierre Buyoya became president after a military coup.
  • In 1996, 40 percent of all government tax receipts were received from only 1 brewery, the Dutch-and government-owned company Brarudi.
  • In 1996, Major Pierre Buyoya seized power in a coup.
  • In 1996, Pierre Buyoya (Tutsi) again took power through a coup d’état.
  • In 1997, 11,000 passengers traveled on international and domestic flights.
  • In 1997, Burundi’s most important exports were coffee, which sold US$45.2 million, tea (US$20.7 million), hides (US$4.6 million), and cassiterite (US$3.7 million).
  • In 1998 Buyoya ushered in a new constitution, which gave executive powers to an elected president and gave legislative power to the 812-member elected Assembly.
  • In 1998, the minimum wage in Burundi for urban areas was US$0.37 a day and $0.24 a day for the rest of the country; this represents a considerable decline from the 1994 minimum wage of $0.63 and $0.42 respectively.
  • In 1998, the position of prime minister was abolished.
  • In 1999 the deficit stood at US$52 million on exports of US$56 million and imports of US$108 million.
  • In 1999 the parastatal Office du Thé du Burundi raised the price of tea by 15 percent in order to encourage farmers to raise production for 2000.
  • In 1999, Burundi immunized children up to one year of age as follows: diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 74% and measles, 75%.
  • In 1999, in his new role as facilitator of the Arusha Peace Process, Nelson Mandela asked all parties—the government, rebel forces, and international organizations—to sit down and discuss the issues.
  • In 1999, only 9 percent of Burundians lived in urban habitats, which was one of the lowest levels of urbanization in Africa.
  • In 2000 GDP grew at a negative growth rate of 0.9% but bounced back in 2001 and 2002 to 3.2% and 3.6% respectively.
  • In 2000 the birth rate stood at 40.46 births per 1,000 population while the death rate was 16.44 deaths per 1,000.
  • In 2000 the World Bank encouraged a 50 percent reduction of tanker trucks bringing in fuel to Burundi to reduce the erosion of the country’s roads.
  • In 2000, Burundi joined with 19 other nations to form Africa’s first free-trade area, and the World Bank and other international donors pledged
    to give $440 million in reconstruction aid to Burundi.
  • In 2000, the province encompassing Bujumbura was separated into two provinces, Bujumbura Rural and Bujumbura Mairie.[13] The newest province, Rumonge, was created on 26 March 2015 from portions of Bujumbura Rural and Bururi.[102]
  • In 2000, there was only one Internet service provider serving 2,000 people.
  • In 2000,[65] the Burundian President signed the treaty, as well as 13 of the 19 warring Hutu and Tutsi factions.
  • In 2001, estimated production of electricity totaled 0.155 billion kWh, of which 0.154 billion kWh was from hydroelectric sources, with geothermal and thermal sources accounting for the rest.
  • In 2001, recorded production was about 0.155 billion kilowatt hours, of which 0.154 was hydroelectric.
  • In 2001, the National Assembly was expanded from 121 to approximately 140 seats under the transitional constitution adopted October 18, 2001.
  • In 2001, there were about 11,000 students enrolled in some type of higher education program.
  • In 2001, there were four FM radio stations, including the government-run Voice of the Revolution, broadcasting in Kirundi Swahili, French, and English.
  • In 2001, there were four FM radio stations, two of which were owned by the government, including the Voice of the Revolution, broadcasting in Kirundi Swahili, French, and English.
  • In 2002, opposition leaders and foreign donors criticized the president’s costly new $21 million personal jet.
  • In 2002, the inflation rate was 14%.
  • In 2003 there were 24,000 passenger cars and 23,500 commercial vehicles.
  • In 2003, a combination of floods and insect infestation resulted in a severe drop in coffee production.
  • In 2003, Burundi had three mainline telephones and nine mobile phones for every 1,000 people.
  • In 2003, FRODEBU leader Domitien Ndayizeye (Hutu) was elected president.[60] In early 2005, ethnic quotas were formed for determining positions in Burundi’s government.
  • In 2003, Ndayizeye signed for Rwandan club Kiyovu Sports, playing for the club for four seasons, before retiring in 2006.[1]
  • In 2003, roundwood production was at 8.6 million cubic meters (303 million cubic feet), of which 99% was for fuel.
  • In 2003, there were 24,000 passenger cars and 23,500 commercial vehicles.
  • In 2003, there were 381,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) within the country.
  • In 2003, there were 381,000 internally displaced persons living in Burundi.
  • In 2003, there were an estimated 220 radios and 35 television sets for every 1,000 people.
  • In 2004 over 19,500 Burundians sought refuge in the DROC and over 440,000 in Tanzania.
  • In 2004, Burundi’s imports exceeded its exports by 266%.
  • In 2004, Burundi’s imports exceeded its exports by 266%.
  • In 2004, gold mine production totaled an estimated 2,900 kg.
  • In 2004, production of columbite-tantalite (gross weight) was 23,356 kg, and of peat, 4,643 metric tons.
  • In 2004, the US Department of State estimated the cost of staying in Burundi at $184 per day.
  • In 2004, there was only one television station, which was owned by the government.
  • In 2004, there were 5 doctors, 1 pharmacist, and 28 nurses per 100,000 people in Burundi.
  • In 2005, approximately 3% of the population was over 65 years of age, with another 47% of the population under 15 years of age.
  • In 2005, Burundi had 50,500 active personnel in its armed forces.
  • In 2005, Burundi had an army of about 50,500 soldiers.
  • In 2005, Burundi’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $4.4 billion, or $700 per person.
  • In 2005, however, Burundi benefited from international debt forgiveness.
  • In 2005, the infant mortality rate was 64.39, down from 102 per 1,000 live births.
  • In 2006, the last active rebel group – the National Liberation Forces (Forces Nationales de Libération, or FNL) – signed a ceasefire agreement with the government, thereby putting an official end to the Burundian civil war.
  • In 2006, the United States accepted approximately 10,000 Burundian refugees.[127]
  • in 2006.
  • In 2007, Rwanda and Burundi joined the East African Community.
  • In 2008, 1,184 Burundian francs were needed to equate to one U.S.
  • In 2008, Ndayizeye was appointed manager of Académie Tchité.
  • In 2009 the Burundian government criminalized homosexual acts between males; LGBT people should exercise caution when travelling to Burundi.
  • In 2009, the adult literacy rate in Burundi was estimated to be 67% (73% male and 61% female), with a literacy rate of 77% and 76%, respectively, for men and women between the ages of 15 to 24.[144] By 2015, this had increased to 85.6% (88.2% male and 83.1% female).[145] Literacy among adult women has increased by 17% since 2002.[146] Burundi’s literacy rate is relatively low due to low school attendance and because literacy in Kirundi only provides access to materials printed in that language, though it is higher than many other African countries.
  • In 2014, the average farm size was about one acre.
  • In 2016, the Kenya section has largely finished construction.
  • In 2017, TRIAL International conducted a fact-finding mission among refugee populations outside of Burundi, with a special focus on sexual violence.
  • In 2018, the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) documented attacks, killings, and disappearances of Burundian refugees at Uganda’s Nakivale refugee camp.
  • In 2018, UNHCR and its partners received just 33 percent of the required US$391 million requested to support Burundian refugees.
  • In 2019, Burundi established a new unit within the Ministry of Justice focused on the protection of witnesses involved in cases of abuse or exploitation.
  • In 2019, Burundi GDP was an estimated $3.6 billion (current market exchange rates); real GDP was up by an estimated 1.8%; and the population was 12 million.
  • In 2019, Burundi made a moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.
  • In 2019, criminal law enforcement agencies in Burundi took actions to combat child labor (Table 7).
  • In 2019, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) responded to major outbreaks of malaria and cholera across Burundi, while continuing to offer high-quality care for victims of trauma in the capital Bujumbura.
  • In 2019, labor law enforcement agencies in Burundi took actions to combat child labor (Table 6).
  • In 2019, there was a malaria outbreak in Burundi with nine million cases reported.
  • In 2020, after a spell with Burundian club Le Messager, Ndayizeye was appointed manager of Burundi.[5]
  • In 2020, the EU provided nearly €8.5 million in humanitarian funding to assist Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries and refugees voluntarily repatriated in Burundi.
  • In the 1980s Burundi’s health authorities asked the United Nations Development Program for support to develop quality control and begin new research on pharmaceuticals from medicinal plants.[131] At the same time, the Burundi Association of Traditional Practitioners (ATRADIBU) was founded, which teamed up with the governments agency to set up the Centre for Research and Promotion of Traditional Medicine in Burundi (CRPMT).[131] The recent influx of international aid has supported the work of biomedical health systems in Burundi.
  • On 1 July 1962, Burundi became an independent, constitutional monarchy headed by Mwami (King) Mwambutsa IV.
  • On 3 February 2003, the African Union authorized an African Mission in Burundi (AMIB), which fielded troops from South Africa, Ethiopia, and Mozambique to safeguard cantonment areas and to provide technical assistance to the disarmament and demobilization process.
  • On 4 December the UN Security Council decided to end mandatory reporting on Burundi, while noting continued concern about human rights violations and abuses and the need to hold perpetrators accountable.
  • On 4 June, the Constitutional Court ruled that the election had been held “in a regular fashion”.
  • On 4 October 1943, powers were split in the legislative division of Burundi’s government between chiefdoms and lower chiefdoms.
  • On 5 July Gabon gained another impressive victory, beating Rwanda 3–0.
  • On 6 April 1994, the deaths of the Presidents of Burundi and Rwanda in a plane crash caused by a rocket attack, ignited several weeks of intense and systematic massacres.
  • On 9 July they faced Group A winners the Congo, and were narrowly beaten 1–0.