This vegetation anomaly satellite image distinguishes healthy and drought-withered vegetation ringing Lake Victoria. Regions that are drier than normal are brown, while areas with thicker, healthier vegetation are green. In large swaths of Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya dark brown stressed areas prevail. In Burundi, the situation appears less dire. Photo courtesy of NASA.
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Introduction

Background

Established in the 1600s, the Burundi Kingdom has had borders similar to those of modern Burundi since the 1800s. Burundi’s two major ethnic groups, the majority Hutu and minority Tutsi, share a common language and culture and largely lived in peaceful cohabitation under Tutsi monarchs in pre-colonial Burundi. Regional, class, and clan distinctions contributed to social status in the Burundi Kingdom, yielding a complex class structure. German colonial rule in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Belgian rule after World War I preserved Burundi’s monarchy. Seeking to simplify administration, Belgian colonial officials reduced the number of chiefdoms and eliminated most Hutu chiefs from positions of power. In 1961, the Burundian Tutsi king’s oldest son, Louis RWAGASORE was murdered by a competing political faction shortly before he was set to become prime minister, triggering increased political competition that contributed to later instability. Burundi gained its independence from Belgium in 1962 as the Kingdom of Burundi.

Revolution in neighboring Rwanda stoked ethnic polarization as the Tutsi increasingly feared violence and loss of political power. A failed Hutu-led coup in 1965 triggered a purge of Hutu officials and set the stage for Tutsi officers to overthrow the monarchy in 1966 and establish a Tutsi-dominated republic. A Hutu rebellion in 1972 that resulted in the death of several thousand Tutsi civilians sparked a brutal crackdown on Hutu civilians by the Tutsi-led military, which ultimately killed 100,000-200,000 people. International pressure led to a new constitution in 1992 and democratic elections in June 1993. Burundi's first democratically elected president, Hutu Melchior NDADAYE, was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office by Tutsi military officers fearing Hutu domination, sparking a civil war. His successor, Cyprien NTARYAMIRA, died when the Rwandan president’s plane he was traveling on was shot down in April 1994, which triggered the Rwandan genocide and further entrenched ethnic conflict in Burundi. The internationally brokered Arusha Agreement, signed in 2000, and subsequent cease-fire agreements with armed movements ended the 1993-2005 civil war. Burundi’s second democratic elections were held in 2005, resulting in the election of Pierre NKURUNZIZA as president. He was reelected in 2010 and again in 2015 after a controversial court decision allowed him to circumvent a term limit. President Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE - from NKURUNZIZA’s ruling party - was elected in 2020.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Central Africa, east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, west of Tanzania

Geographic coordinates

3 30 S, 30 00 E

Area

total: 27,830 sq km

land: 25,680 sq km

water: 2,150 sq km

country comparison to the world: 146

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

Land boundaries

total: 1,140 km

border countries (3): Democratic Republic of the Congo 236 km; Rwanda 315 km; Tanzania 589 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees Celsius but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)

Terrain

hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains

Elevation

highest point: unnamed elevation on Mukike Range 2,685 m
note - the Factbook map is incorrect; it shows the wrong high elevation

lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m

mean elevation: 1,504 m

Natural resources

nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone

Land use

agricultural land: 73.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 38.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 15.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 18.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 6.6% (2018 est.)

other: 20.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

230 sq km (2012)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Tanganyika (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia) - 32,000 sq km

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)

Population distribution

one of Africa's most densely populated countries; concentrations tend to be in the north and along the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika in the west; most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

flooding; landslides; drought

Geography - note

landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile

Map description

Burundi map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries.

People and Society

Population

12,696,478 (2022 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly taken into account the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

country comparison to the world: 77

Nationality

noun: Burundian(s)

adjective: Burundian

Ethnic groups

Hutu, Tutsi, Twa (Pygmy)

Languages

Kirundi only 29.7% (official); French only .3% (official); Swahili only .2%; English only .1% (official); Kirundi and French 8.4%; Kirundi, French, and English 2.4%, other language combinations 2%, unspecified 56.9% (2008 est.)

major-language sample(s):
Igitabo Mpuzamakungu c'ibimenyetso bifatika, isoko ntabanduka ku nkuru z'urufatiro. (Kirundi)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

note: data represent languages read and written by people 10 years of age or older; spoken Kirundi is nearly universal

Religions

Roman Catholic 58.6%, Protestant 35.3% (includes Adventist 2.7% and other Protestant 32.6%), Muslim 3.4%, other 1.3%, none 1.3% (2016-17 est.)

Demographic profile

Burundi is a densely populated country with a high population growth rate, factors that combined with land scarcity and poverty place a large share of its population at risk of food insecurity. About 90% of the population relies on subsistence agriculture. Subdivision of land to sons, and redistribution to returning refugees, results in smaller, overworked, and less productive plots. Food shortages, poverty, and a lack of clean water contribute to a 60% chronic malnutrition rate among children. A lack of reproductive health services has prevented a significant reduction in Burundi’s maternal mortality and fertility rates, which are both among the world’s highest. With two-thirds of its population under the age of 25 and a birth rate of about 6 children per woman, Burundi’s population will continue to expand rapidly for decades to come, putting additional strain on a poor country.

Historically, migration flows into and out of Burundi have consisted overwhelmingly of refugees from violent conflicts. In the last decade, more than a half million Burundian refugees returned home from neighboring countries, mainly Tanzania. Reintegrating the returnees has been problematic due to their prolonged time in exile, land scarcity, poor infrastructure, poverty, and unemployment. Repatriates and existing residents (including internally displaced persons) compete for limited land and other resources. To further complicate matters, international aid organizations reduced their assistance because they no longer classified Burundi as a post-conflict country. Conditions have deteriorated since renewed violence erupted in April 2015, causing another outpouring of refugees. In addition to refugee out-migration, Burundi has hosted thousands of refugees from neighboring countries, mostly from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and lesser numbers from Rwanda.

Age structure

0-14 years: 43.83% (male 2,618,868/female 2,581,597)

15-24 years: 19.76% (male 1,172,858/female 1,171,966)

25-54 years: 29.18% (male 1,713,985/female 1,748,167)

55-64 years: 4.17% (male 231,088/female 264,131)

65 years and over: 3.06% (2020 est.) (male 155,262/female 207,899)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 91

youth dependency ratio: 86.4

elderly dependency ratio: 4.5

potential support ratio: 22 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 17.7 years

male: 17.4 years

female: 18 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 217

Birth rate

35.17 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Death rate

5.96 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 161

Net migration rate

7.09 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 12

Population distribution

one of Africa's most densely populated countries; concentrations tend to be in the north and along the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika in the west; most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil as shown in this population distribution map

Urbanization

urban population: 14.4% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 5.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.139 million BUJUMBURA (capital) (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

21.5 years (2016/17 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-49

Maternal mortality ratio

548 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 16

Infant mortality rate

total: 37.84 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 42.02 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 33.54 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 67.42 years

male: 65.32 years

female: 69.59 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 98.7% of population

rural: 78.9% of population

total: 81.6% of population

unimproved: urban: 1.3% of population

rural: 21.1% of population

total: 18.4% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

0.07 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

0.8 beds/1,000 population (2014)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 87.4% of population

rural: 53.7% of population

total: 58.4% of population

unimproved: urban: 12.6% of population

rural: 46.3% of population

total: 41.6% of population (2020 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 4.07 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 1.84 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 2.23 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 95

Tobacco use

total: 11.8% (2020 est.)

male: 17.4% (2020 est.)

female: 6.1% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 123

Child marriage

women married by age 15: 2.8%

women married by age 18: 19%

men married by age 18: 1.4% (2017 est.)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 68.4%

male: 76.3%

female: 61.2% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 11 years

male: 11 years

female: 11 years (2018)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 2.9%

male: 4.4%

female: 2% (2014 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 35.61 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 0.5 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 1.42 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees Celsius but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)

Land use

agricultural land: 73.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 38.9% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 15.6% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 18.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 6.6% (2018 est.)

other: 20.1% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 14.4% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 5.43% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

forest revenues: 10.31% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 3

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 72

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Food insecurity

widespread lack of access: due to the effects of weather - about 646,000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure between June and September 2022; the main drivers are poor rains in May in some central and southern eastern areas that affected pulses production, the socio-economic impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, and high food prices due to elevated fuel prices inflating transport costs (2022)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 1,872,016 tons (2002 est.)

Major lakes (area sq km)

Fresh water lake(s): Lake Tanganyika (shared with Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia) - 32,000 sq km

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Congo (3,730,881 sq km), (Mediterranean Sea) Nile (3,254,853 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 43.1 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 15 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 222 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

12.536 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Burundi

conventional short form: Burundi

local long form: Republique du Burundi (French)/ Republika y'u Burundi (Kirundi)

local short form: Burundi

former: Urundi, German East Africa, Ruanda-Urundi, Kingdom of Burundi

etymology: name derived from the pre-colonial Kingdom of Burundi (17th-19th century)

Government type

presidential republic

Capital

name: Gitega (political capital), Bujumbura (commercial capital); note - in January 2019, the Burundian parliament voted to make Gitega the political capital of the country while Bujumbura would remain its economic capital; all branches of the government are expected to have moved from Bujumbura to Gitega by 2022

geographic coordinates: 3 25 S, 29 55 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: the naming origins for both Gitega and Bujumbura are obscure; Bujumbura's name prior to independence in 1962 was Usumbura

Administrative divisions

18 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rural, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rumonge, Rutana, Ruyigi

Independence

1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)

National holiday

Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Constitution

history: several previous, ratified by referendum 28 February 2005

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic after consultation with the government or by absolute majority support of the membership in both houses of Parliament; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote by the Senate membership and at least four-fifths majority vote by the National Assembly; the president can opt to submit amendment bills to a referendum; constitutional articles including those on national unity, the secularity of Burundi, its democratic form of government, and its sovereignty cannot be amended; amended 2018 (amendments extended the presidential term from 5 to 7 years, reintroduced the position of prime minister, and reduced the number of vice presidents from 2 to 1)

Legal system

mixed legal system of Belgian civil law and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; withdrew from ICCt in October 2017

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Burundi

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE (since 18 June 2020); Vice President Prosper BAZOMBANZA (since 24 June 2020); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE (since 18 June 2020); Vice President Prosper BAZOMBANZA (since 24 June 2020); Prime Minister Gervais NDIRAKOBUCA (since 7 September 2022)


 

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 May 2020 (next to be held in 2025); vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by Parliament; note - a 2018 constitutional referendum effective for the 2020 election, increased the presidential term from 5 to 7 years with a 2-consecutive-term limit, reinstated the position of the prime minister position, and reduced the number of vice presidents from 2 to 1 (2020)

election results: Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE elected president; percent of vote - Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE (CNDD-FDD) 71.5%, Agathon RWASA (CNL) 25.2%, Gaston SINDIMWO (UPRONA) 1.7%, OTHER 1.6%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate or Inama Nkenguzamateka (39 seats in the July 2020 election); 36 members indirectly elected by an electoral college of provincial councils using a three-round voting system, which requires a two-thirds majority vote in the first two rounds and simple majority vote for the two leading candidates in the final round; 3 seats reserved for Twas, and 30% of all votes reserved for women; members serve 5-year terms)
National Assembly or Inama Nshingamateka (123 seats in the May 2020 election; 100 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 23 co-opted members; 60% of seats allocated to Hutu and 40% to Tutsi; 3 seats reserved for Twas; 30% of total seats reserved for women; members serve 5-year terms)

elections:
Senate - last held on 20 July 2020 (next to be held in 2025)
National Assembly - last held on 20 May 2020 (next to be held in 2025)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 87.2%, Twa 7.7%, CNL 2.6%, UPRONA 2.6%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 34, CNL 1, UPRONA 1, Twa 3; composition - men 23, women 16, percent of women 37.2%
National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 70.9%, CNL 23.4%, UPRONA 2.5%, other (co-opted Twa) 3.2%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 86, CNL 32, UPRONA 2, Twa 3; composition - men 76, women 47, percent of women 38.2%; note - total Parliament percent of women 38%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of 9 judges and organized into judicial, administrative, and cassation chambers); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 members)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Service Commission, a 15-member independent body of judicial and legal profession officials), appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate and serve 6-year nonrenewable terms

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; County Courts; Courts of Residence; Martial Court; Court Against Corruption; Commercial Court

Political parties and leaders

Front for Democracy in Burundi-Nyakuri or FRODEBU-Nyakuri [Keffa NIBIZI]
Front for Democracy in Burundi-Sahwanya or FRODEBU-Sahwanya [Pierre Claver NAHIMANA]
National Congress for Liberty or CNL [Agathon RWASA]
National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Evariste NDAYISHIMIYE]
National Liberation Forces or FNL [Jacques BIGITIMANA]
Union for National Progress (Union pour le Progress Nationale) or UPRONA [Abel GASHATSI]

International organization participation

ACP, AfDB, AU, CEMAC, CEPGL, CICA, COMESA, EAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Jean de Dieu NDIKUMANA (since 7 July 2021)

chancery: 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574

FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578

email address and website:
burundiembusadc@gmail.com

https://burundiembassy-usa.com/index.php

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Melanie Harris HIGGINS (since 2 March 2021)

embassy: B.P. 1720, Avenue Des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura

mailing address: 2100 Bujumbura Place, Washington DC  20521-2100

telephone: [257] 22-207-000

FAX: [257] 22-222-926

email address and website:
BujumburaC@state.gov

https://bi.usembassy.gov/

Flag description

divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and fly side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below); green symbolizes hope and optimism, white purity and peace, and red the blood shed in the struggle for independence; the three stars in the disk represent the three major ethnic groups: Hutu, Twa, Tutsi, as well as the three elements in the national motto: unity, work, progress

National symbol(s)

lion; national colors: red, white, green

National anthem

name: "Burundi Bwacu" (Our Beloved Burundi)

lyrics/music: Jean-Baptiste NTAHOKAJA/Marc BARENGAYABO

note: adopted 1962

Economy

Economic overview

Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. Agriculture accounts for over 40% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the population. Burundi's primary exports are coffee and tea, which account for more than half of foreign exchange earnings, but these earnings are subject to fluctuations in weather and international coffee and tea prices, Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as foreign exchange earnings from participation in the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Foreign aid represented 48% of Burundi's national income in 2015, one of the highest percentages in Sub-Saharan Africa, but this figure decreased to 33.5% in 2016 due to political turmoil surrounding President NKURUNZIZA’s bid for a third term. Burundi joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2009.

 

Burundi faces several underlying weaknesses – low governmental capacity, corruption, a high poverty rate, poor educational levels, a weak legal system, a poor transportation network, and overburdened utilities – that have prevented the implementation of planned economic reforms. The purchasing power of most Burundians has decreased as wage increases have not kept pace with inflation, which reached approximately 18% in 2017.

 

Real GDP growth dropped precipitously following political events in 2015 and has yet to recover to pre-conflict levels. Continued resistance by donors and the international community will restrict Burundi’s economic growth as the country deals with a large current account deficit.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$8.69 billion (2020 est.)

$8.67 billion (2019 est.)

$8.51 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 165

Real GDP growth rate

0% (2017 est.)

-1% (2016 est.)

-4% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 192

Real GDP per capita

$700 (2020 est.)

$800 (2019 est.)

$800 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 229

GDP (official exchange rate)

$3.027 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

-0.6% (2019 est.)

-2.5% (2018 est.)

15.9% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 39.5% (2017 est.)

industry: 16.4% (2017 est.)

services: 44.2% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 83% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.8% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 16% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 5.5% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -25.3% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

cassava, bananas, sweet potatoes, plantains, beans, vegetables, potatoes, cashew nuts, maize, taro

Industries

light consumer goods (sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 93.6%

industry: 2.3%

services: 4.1% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 4.1%

highest 10%: 28% (2006)

Budget

revenues: 536.7 million (2017 est.)

expenditures: 729.6 million (2017 est.)

Public debt

51.7% of GDP (2017 est.)

48.4% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 96

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$418 million (2017 est.)

-$411 million (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 118

Exports

$290 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$283 million (2018 est.)

$315 million (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 200

Exports - partners

United Arab Emirates 50%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 7% (2019)

Exports - commodities

gold, coffee, tea, raw earth metal ores, wheat flours (2019)

Imports

$910 million (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$927 million (2018 est.)

$1.295 billion (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 191

Imports - partners

China 14%, Saudi Arabia 14%, India 9%, Kenya 7%, United Arab Emirates 7%, Tanzania 5%, Zambia 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, packaged medicines, cement, raw sugar, cars (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$97.4 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$95.17 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 181

Debt - external

$610.9 million (31 December 2017 est.)

$622.4 million (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 174

Exchange rates

Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar -

1,945 (2020 est.)

1,876.25 (2019 est.)

1,800.495 (2018 est.)

1,571.9 (2014 est.)

1,546.7 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 11% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 66% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 2% (2019)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 100,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 440.774 million kWh (2019 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2019 est.)

imports: 100 million kWh (2019 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 15.96 million kWh (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 33.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 2.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 62.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 5,000 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 barrels/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

715,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 715,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 183

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 18,300 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: (2020 est.) less than 1

country comparison to the world: 177

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 6,631,151 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 56 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 111

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Burundi provides an attractive telecom market given its high population density and existing low subscription rates for all services; one downside for investors is that the country has a very low economic output, disposable income is also very low, and fixed-line infrastructure is poor outside the main urban areas; this is a greater motivation for investors to focus on improving mobile networks than in expanding fixed-line infrastructure; to overcome difficulties associated with the poor telecom infrastructure, the government has supported a number of prominent telcos building a national fiber backbone network; this network offers onward connectivity to submarine cable infrastructure landings in Kenya and Tanzania; the first sections of this network were switched on in early 2014, and additional provinces have since been connected; in addition, the government in early 2018 kick-started the Burundi Broadband project, which aims to deliver national connectivity by 2025; based on this improved infrastructure the government and ITU have developed an ICT strategy to make use of telecoms to promote the country’s socio-economic development through to 2028; progress made by Tanzania with its own national backbone network has benefited Burundi, which has been provided with onward connectivity to most countries in the region; International bandwidth capacity has continued to increase in recent years, including a 38% increase in the nine months to September 2021, resulting in lower retail prices for consumers; two of the mobile operators have launched 3G and LTE services to capitalize on the growing demand for internet access; the number of mobile subscribers increased 7% in the third quarter of 2021, quarter-on-quarter; similar growth is expected for the next two years at least, which will help bring the mobile level closer to the average for the region. (2022)

domestic: telephone density one of the lowest in the world; fixed-line connections stand at less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage is about 56 per 100 persons (2020)

international: country code - 257; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean); the government, supported by the Word Bank, has backed a joint venture with a number of prominent telecoms to build a national fiber backbone network, offering onward connectivity to submarine cable infrastructure landings in Kenya and Tanzania (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress towards 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

Broadcast media

state-controlled Radio Television Nationale de Burundi (RTNB) operates a TV station and a national radio network; 3 private TV stations and about 10 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available in Bujumbura (2019)

Internet users

total: 1,070,170 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 9% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 145

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 4,230 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 0.04 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 190

Transportation

Airports - with paved runways

total: 1

over 3,047 m: 1 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 6

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2021)

Heliports

1 (2021)

Roadways

total: 12,322 km (2016)

paved: 1,500 km (2016)

unpaved: 10,822 km (2016)

country comparison to the world: 130

Waterways

673 km (2022) (mainly on Lake Tanganyika between Bujumbura, Burundi's principal port, and lake ports in Tanzania, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo)

country comparison to the world: 83

Ports and terminals

lake port(s): Bujumbura (Lake Tanganyika)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

National Defense Forces (Forces de Defense Nationale, FDN): Army (includes maritime wing, air wing); Ministry of Public Security: National Police (Police Nationale du Burundi) (2022)

Military expenditures

2% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.1% of GDP (2020 est.)

3% of GDP (2019 est.) (approximately $120 million)

2.3% of GDP (2018 est.) (approximately $100 million)

2.1% of GDP (2017 est.) (approximately $95 million)

country comparison to the world: 56

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 30,000 active duty troops, the majority of which are ground forces (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FDN is armed mostly with weapons from Russia and the former Soviet Union, with some Western equipment, largely from France; since 2010, the FDN has received small amounts of mostly second-hand equipment from China, South Africa, and the US (2021)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service (2021)

Military deployments

760 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 5,400 Somalia (ATMIS) (2022)

Military - note

in addition to its foreign deployments, the FDN was focused on internal security missions, particularly against rebel groups opposed to the regime such as National Forces of Liberation (FNL), the Resistance for the Rule of Law-Tabara (aka RED Tabara), and Popular Forces of Burundi (FPB or FOREBU); these groups were based in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and have carried out sporadic attacks in Burundi (2022)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

cross-border conflicts persist among Tutsi, Hutu, other ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces in the Great Lakes region

Burundi-Rwanda:
Burundi's Ngozi province and Rwanda's Butare province dispute the two-kilometer-square hilly farmed area of Sabanerwa in the Rukurazi Valley where the Akanyaru/Kanyaru River shifted its course southward after heavy rains in 1965 around Kibinga Hill in Rwanda's Butare Province


Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 85,470 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2022)

IDPs: 84,791 (some ethnic Tutsis remain displaced from intercommunal violence that broke out after the 1993 coup and fighting between government forces and rebel groups; violence since April 2015) (2022)

stateless persons: 767 (mid-year 2021)

Trafficking in persons

current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Burundi and victims from Burundi abroad; traffickers take advantage of Burundians in precarious or desperate situations, including returned refugees; children were reportedly recruited by armed groups and forced to participate in anti-government activities; non-state armed groups allegedly used threats, intimidation, and physical assaults to coerce refugees in a camp in Rwanda to support the Burundian opposition; children and young adults are trafficked by relatives, neighbors, and friends and are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, mining, informal commerce, charcoal production, and fishing; some girls and young women are forced into domestic servitude and sex trafficking in restaurants and bars around Lake Tanganyika; women and girls who go to the Middle East for domestic service jobs report physical and sexual abuse

tier rating: Tier 3 — Burundi does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government worked with an international organization to provide training to immigration officials, identified victims of trafficking abroad, and conducted public awareness campaigns with an international organization; however, authorities did not convict any traffickers for the fifth consecutive year and did not investigate, prosecute, or convict officials allegedly complicit in human trafficking; the government did not have standard operating procedures to identify and refer victims to services and did not have adequate protection services for victims; authorities continued to lack a clear understanding of trafficking despite the government providing training to immigration officials (2020)