A landlocked country in East Africa, Burundi is a low-income economy where 80% of the population are employed in the agricultural sector. Located in the Great Lakes region, Burundi is surrounded by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and bordered by Lake Tanganyika to the southwest. With a population of 12.2 million people, 50.6% of whom are women and 41.5% young people under 15, Burundi is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with a density ratio of 442 people per square kilometer (2020 population projection).
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 118% during the 2021/2022 school year without significant variation between provinces, gender or wealth levels.
President Evariste Ndayishimiye was elected in 2020 for a seven-year term of office. The ruling party, CNDD-FDD, has dominated the political scene since 2005, with a large majority in the National Assembly (87 out of 123 seats) and the Senate (38 out of 39 seats).
The main objective of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2027, which provides a socioeconomic diagnostic of the country, is to structurally transform Burundian economy, for robust, sustainable, resilient, inclusive growth, creating decent jobs for all and leading to improved social welfare. The National Peacebuilding Program was developed in 2020 to operationalize the NDP. This program serves as a reference for all intervention strategies and actions aimed at promoting economic growth, community recovery, reintegration and sustainable and inclusive resettlement in Burundi.
Burundi has experienced a difficult economic situation over the past seven years, which has led to fiscal deficit 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 the agriculture and an easing of restrictions related to COVID-19. Economic growth is projected at 2.1% 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. Inflation will remain high at around 12% in 2022, particularly following the impact of the war in Ukraine on food and oil prices worldwide.
With an additional financing of $60 million from the World Bank for the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project, Burundi gained access to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine through the AVAT initiative. Following a national COVID-19 vaccine deployment plan, the vaccination campaign began on October 18, 2021. Six vaccination sites are operational nationwide, including four in the city of Bujumbura, one in the province of Gitega, and another in the province of Ngozi (out of 18 provinces). The COVID-19 parent project has contributed to strengthening the country’s capacity to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 and other outbreaks as well as health system strengthening, through: (i) lab enhancements for COVID-19 diagnosis, ii) acquisition of drugs, equipment, and materials for COVID-19 treatment, including 60 respirators, iii) prevention and risk communication. The project also supported mass COVID-19 screening campaigns.
Last Updated: Sep 28, 2022