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Overview

A landlocked country in East Africa, Burundi is a low-income economy where 80% of the population are employed in the agricultural sector. Surrounded by Rwanda to the North, Tanzania to the East, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the West, it is bordered by Lake Tanganyika to the Southwest. With a population of 11.8 million, of which 50.4% (2019) are women, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the Great Lakes region.

Burundi has made significant progress in terms of quality and access to education. Since the introduction of free primary education in 2005, the Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) in primary education reached 115% during the 2020/2021 school year without significant variation between provinces, gender or wealth levels.

 

Political Context 

Burundi is a constitutional Republic whose second largest city, Gitega, became the country’s political capital city in 2019. Gitega is home to the Presidency of the Republic and the Senate, while the main state institutions are still located in Bujumbura, the economic capital city.

Burundi’s new constitution provides for a renewable term of 7 years for the Presidency of the Republic and establishes the Offices of Vice-President and Prime Minister. These three bodies constitute the country’s highest authorities. 

The Government’s priorities are: (i) tackle the coronavirus (COVID19); (ii) strengthen health services; (iii) fight against corruption  (iv) revitalize the agricultural sector; (v) youth employability; and (vi)support for state pensioners.

 

Socio-economic Context

Burundi has experienced a difficult economic situation over the past seven years, which has led to fiscal and balance of payments difficulties. To compensate for the loss of external resources, the Government mobilized internal resources, but this has not been sufficient for an ever-increasing social demand, driven by sustained population growth.

The shock linked to the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted a still fragile economic recovery and intensified macroeconomic imbalances.

Economic growth was estimated at 1.8% in 2021 compared to 0.3% in 2020, supported by an easing of restrictions related to COVID-19. Economic growth is projected at 2.5% in 2022, supported by gains across all sectors.

Inflation remained high at around 8.3% in 2021 against 7.5% in 2020, driven by rising food prices and monetization of the fiscal deficit. Inflation will remain high at around 9% in 2022, particularly following the impact of the Russia/Ukraine conflict on food and oil prices worldwide.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Thanks to Additional Funding of US$60 million from the World Bank through the AVAT COVID-19 response initiative, Burundi was able to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. At the national level, the vaccination campaign started on October 18, 2021. Six vaccination sites are open in the province of Bujumbura (out of 18 provinces). The national vaccination rate is still low; as of March 8, 2022, less than 1% of the population was vaccinated, against a WHO vaccination target of 70% per country. A nationwide vaccination deployment plan has just been approved and will gradually extend vaccination to 102 sites nationwide. The COVID-19 epidemiological situation has stabilized since January 2022, after a huge wave linked to the omicron variant in December 2021.

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2022

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Burundi: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments
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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
3 Avenue de l'Aviation
Bujumbura
Burundi
+257-22-20-6200
For general information and inquiries
Ange Dany Gakunzi
External Affairs Officer
+257-22-20-6200
For project-related issues and complaints