A landlocked country in East Africa, Burundi is a low-income economy, with 80% of the population 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 12.8 million people (2022), 50.3% 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 the quality of and access to education. Since the introduction of free primary education in 2005, the Gross Enrollment Rate in primary education reached 118.5% during the 2021/2022 school year without significant variation between provinces, gender, or level of income.
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, and 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 for displaced persons in Burundi.
Burundi’s economic activity remains fragile and vulnerable to shocks. GDP growth is projected to be 2.9% in 2023 from 1.8 % in 2022 driven by agriculture and services. Agricultural production is expected to recover, assuming favorable rainfall and good distribution of fertilizer. Growth in the services sector will continue to be supported by transport, telecommunications, and the financial sector. Industry growth remains weak due to disruption of mining activities and the energy deficit. Government consumption and investment supported growth on the demand side and public investment is projected to increase supported by increases in donor-financed public infrastructure programs. Private investment is expected to be subdued following the increase in the monetary policy rate and its expected impact on credit and the ceiling on withdrawals from bank accounts, while high inflation is expected to weigh on private consumption.
Headline inflation accelerated to 26% in July 2023 driven by increases in food and fuel prices. The price of basic foodstuffs increased, bringing food inflation to 35.8% in July 2023 compared to 24.5% in July 2022. Fuel shortages worsened in June 2023 due to supply disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine. The fiscal deficit is projected to decline to 6.7% of GDP in 2023 from 12.1% in 2022, due to cuts in current expenditure and small increases in revenues. Public debt is expected to reach 72.7% of GDP in 2023, from 68.4% of GDP in 2022, driven by disbursements under the supported IMF's Extended Credit Facility Program.
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2023