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Burundi is a small country in East Africa bordered by Tanzania, Rwanda, and Lake Tanganyika. Burundi gained its independence from Belgium in 1962. Much of its history has been turbulent, and Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office. The internationally brokered Arusha Agreement ended the 1993-2005 civil war, paving the way for a new constitution and 2005 elections. Pierre NKURUNZIZA was elected president in 2005 and 2010 and again in a controversial election in 2015. Burundi continues to face many political and economic challenges.


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

Natural Resources

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

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

Kirundi 29.7% (official), Kirundi and other language 9.1%, French (official) and French and other language 0.3%, Swahili and Swahili and other language 0.2% (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area), English (official) and English and other language 0.06%, more than 2 languages 3.7%, unspecified 56.9%
BUJUMBURA (capital) 751,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Burundi
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republique du Burundi/Republika y'u Burundi
Local short form
presidential republic
Geographic coordinates
3 22 S, 29 21 E
Time difference
UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
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 60% of foreign exchange earnings. Thus, Burundi's export earnings - and its ability to pay for imports - rest primarily on favorable weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices, although exports are a relatively small share of GDP. Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Foreign aid represented 48% of Burundi's national income in 2015, one of the highest percentages in Sub-Saharan Africa, but decreased to 33.5% in 2016. Burundi joined the East African Community (EAC) in 2009.
External debt stocks
US$ 625,980,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -374,695,607
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 959,704,091
Exports of goods and services
US$ 187,667,205
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 49,584,377
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 19,278,919
coffee, cotton, tea, corn, beans, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, cassava (manioc, tapioca); beef, milk, hides
light consumer goods (sugar, shoes, soap, beer); cement, assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing (fruits)
coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Germany 12.9%, Pakistan 11.2%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 11.2%, Uganda 8.5%, Sweden 8.2%, US 7.5%, Belgium 6.6%, Rwanda 4.8%, France 4.6% (2015)
capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Kenya 15%, Saudi Arabia 14%, Belgium 10%, Tanzania 8.4%, Uganda 7.4%, China 7.1%, India 4.9%, France 4% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A high-risk political and economic situation and an often very difficult business environment can have a very significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is very high.
Business Climate Rating
The highest possible risk in terms of business climate. Due to a lack of available financial information and an unpredictable legal system, doing business in this country is extremely difficult.
  • Natural resources (coffee, tea, minerals)
  • Cancellation of 75% of external public debt in 2009
  • Membership of the East Africa Community (EAC) and the African Union (AU)
  • Tense political context
  • Growing tensions on the border with Rwanda
  • Poorly diversified economy and vulnerable to external shocks
  • Geographic isolation
  • Activity hampered by lack of infrastructure and limited access to electricity
  • International aid suspended following political crisis

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