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Fishing activities at Lake Tanganyika, Burundi
Fishing activities at Lake Tanganyika, Burundi.
Image: SuSanA Secretariat
Flag of Burundi
Flag of Burundi
Location map of Burundi. Where in Africa is Burundi?
Location map of Burundi
A virtual guide to Burundi, a small landlocked country in the African Great Lakes region in central Eastern Africa bordering Lake Tanganyika in south west. The country shares borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

With an area of 27,834 km², the country is somewhat smaller than half the size of Croatia, or slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland.

The country has a population of 10.11 million people (2016). Capital and largest city is Bujumbura. Spoken languages are French (official 0.3%) and Kirundi (spoken by nine million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa), other dialects like Rundi and Kiga. More than 80% percent of the population are Christians.

This page aims to give you an overview of Burundi's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.

Republic of Burundi | Republika y'u Burundi

Country Profile

Burundi is a small nation in east-central Africa's Great Lakes region.
Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only one hundred days in office. Since then, some 200,000 Burundians have perished in widespread, often intense ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. Hundreds of thousands have been internally displaced or have become refugees in neighboring countries. Burundi troops, seeking to secure their borders, briefly intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1998.
A new transitional government, inaugurated on 1 November 2001, signed a power-sharing agreement with the largest rebel faction in December 2003 and set in place a provisional constitution in October 2004. Implementation of the agreement has been problematic, however, as one remaining rebel group refuses to sign on and elections have been repeatedly delayed, clouding prospects for a sustainable peace.

Elections in August 2005 have radically transformed Burundi's political landscape. The success of the former CNDD-FDD rebels, including the selection of Pierre Nkurunziza as president on 19 August, gives the party control of all branches of government. Concurrently, the security sector has been profoundly restructured with CNDD-FDD fighters now making up 40 per cent of the army. They provide a safeguard against attempted coups to interrupt the peace process and thus a guarantee that further reforms required under the Arusha agreement for peace and reconciliation will be realized. Nonetheless, the elections are just one, albeit important, step toward a lasting peace.

related countries: Belgium

Official Name:
Republika y'u Burundi
République du Burundi
Republic of Burundi
short form: Burundi
formerly: Urundi

ISO Country Code: bi, bdi

Local Time = UTC +2h
Actual Time: Tue-May-28  04:18

Country Calling Code: +257

Capital City: Bujumbura (pop 300 000)

Other Cities: Cibitoke, Muyinga, Ngozi, Bubanza, Gitega, Bururi.

Type: Republic; democratically elected, post-transition government established 26 August 2005.
Independence: 1 July 1962 (from Belgium).

Location: East-central Africa south of the Equator.
Area: 27,834 km² (10,746 sq mi)
Terrain: Hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains.
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Heha 2,670 m

Climate: Tropical equatorial, with wet and dry seasons, temperature varies with altitude.

Nationality: Burundian(s).
Population: 10.11 million (2016)
Ethnic groups (estimated): Hutu 85%; Tutsi 14%; Twa 1.0%.
Religions (estimated): Roman Catholic 60%-65%; Protestant 10%-15%; traditional beliefs 15%-20%; Muslim 5%.
Languages: Rundi (Kirundi), and French (offiocial), Swahili (trade and governmental language)
Literacy: 37%

Natural resources: Nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium, arable land, hydropower.

Agriculture products: Coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, hides.

Industries: Light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components.

Exports - commodities: coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides

Exports partners: Germany 12.3%, Pakistan 10.7%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 10.7%, Uganda 8.1%, Sweden 7.8%, USA 7.1%, Belgium 6.3%, Rwanda 4.6%, France 4.4% (2015)

Imports - commodities: capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs

Imports partners: Kenya 15%, Saudi Arabia 14%, Belgium 9.9%, Tanzania 8.3%, Uganda 7.3%, China 7.1%, India 4.9%, France 4% (2015)

Currency: Burundi franc (BIF)
Group photo of East African leaders
East African Community Head of States, Burundi's president who runs the country since 2005 on the far right. From left to right: Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Mwai Kibaki of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Pierre Nkurunzinza of Burundi.
Image: nukta77

Political System
Burundi's political system is a presidential representative democratic republic based upon a multi-party state. The President of Burundi is the head of state, head of government, and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The cabinet consists of the Council of Ministers appointed by president. In defiance of the constitution, the sitting President of Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza, was re-elected for a third term in the July 2015 presidential election.
The legislative branch is a bicameral parliament with a Senate and a National Assembly, both with a 5 years election cycle.

Official Sites of Burundi

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

République du Burundi - Portail du Gouvernement
Official website of the Burundi government. (in French)

Présidence Burundi
Burundi's President Office.

Assemblée Nationale du Burundi
Burundi's National Assembly. (in French)

Diplomatic Missions
Embassy of The Republic of Burundi in the US
Embassy of Burundi in Washington, in the U.S.
Embassy of the Republic of Burundi to Germany
Embassy of Burundi in Berlin, Germany.
Ambassade du Burundi à Paris
Embassy of Burundi in Paris, France.

L'Institut de Statistiques et d’Etudes Economiques du Burundi (ISTEEBU)
Institute for Statistics and Economic Research of Burundi.

ONUB - United Nations Operation in Burundi
ONUBS mission is to support and help to implement the efforts undertaken by Burundians to restore lasting peace and bring about national reconciliation, as provided under the Arusha Agreement.


Map of Burundi
Political map of Burundi.

Google Earth Google Earth Burundi
Searchable map and satellite view of Burundi.
Google Earth Google Earth Bujumbura
Searchable map and satellite view of Burundi's capital city.

Map of Africa
Political Map of Africa.
Relief Map of Africa

Burundi News

Operating in a turbulent political climate, Burundi's media are subject to self-censorship and occasional government censorship.
Radio is the main source of information for many Burundians. The government runs the sole TV station, the only radio station with national coverage, as well as the only newspaper that publishes regularly.

Net Press
Agence Burundaise de Presse; privately owned Burundi Press Agency (in French).

Les voix de Burundi (The Voices of Burundi), Burundi news in French and English.

Burundi Realities
Kind of outdated Analysis, Research, Information and Data on Burundi (French and English)

Africatime Burundi
Central news (in French).
afrol News - Burundi
Burundi related news in English and Spanish.

IRIN Africa: Burundi
Burundi News and background information.


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Arts & Culture

Culture, Religion, Dance, Music, Arts & Literature
Expressions of Burundian Life and Culture, article about Burundi culture by the Embassy of the Republic of Burundi in Germany.

Burundi : Musique
AfroMix provide a list of contemporary Burundi musicians.
Election Burundi, a woman voting
Election Burundi - a woman voting
© ONUB Photo: Martine Perret 2005

Business & Economy

Burundi is a 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 90% of foreign exchange earnings. Burundi is heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors.

Ministère de l’Agriculture et de l’Elevage
Burundi's Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Banque de la République du Burundi
Central Bank Burundi.

Banque de Credit de Bujumbura
Belgium based private bank group.

Coffee Board of Burundi (offline)
Site provides information about the Coffee Board and arabica coffee farming.

Landscapes of Burundi
Landscapes of Burundi
Image: Dave Proffer 

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination Burundi

Discover Burundi
Lake Tanganyika (one of the African Great Lakes, shared by Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Zambia); Kibira National Park (sacred primary montane rainforest); Rusizi National Park (nature reserve at the Rusizi River near Bujumbura)

Burundi presentation - Travel and Tourism
Some information about tourism in Burundi by the Embassy of the Republic of Burundi in Washington DC.

Tourism in Burundi
Wikipedia entry about tourism in Burundi.

Great blue turaco, one of the bird species found in Kibira National Park in northwestern Burundi.
Image: Michael Gwyther-Jones



Université du Burundi
It is the only public university in Burundi. Official university web site with information about its mission, its institutions and its organisation structure. (in French)



History of Burundi
Wikipedia entry about Burundi's History.

Burundi genocide
Wikipedia article about the ethnic conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi Tribes in Burundi.

WWW-VL History Index of Burundi
Collection of web resources related to the history of Burundi.


Human Rights and Humanitarian Crisis

According to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) sitrep of December 2016:
2.1 million people lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food, of which more than 800,000 are severely food-insecure.
30,000 ha of farmland destroyed by climate hazards related to El Niño for the 2015/16 season.
428,170 people displaced by ongoing crisis and climate hazards, of which 139,000 were internally displaced and the rest in neighbouring countries.

Ligue Burundaise des Droits de l'Homme
Human Rights League of Burundi with information on the work of the league (in French.)

OPDE - Oeuvre humanitaire pour la Protection et le Développement de l'Enfant en difficulté
A humanitarian charity for the protection and development of the street children of the Great Lakes.

Relief Web: Burundi
The UN administered Relief Web with Humanitarian information on Burundi.

Peace and Collaborative Development Network:
Early warning for Burundi - It needs violence-prevention now!
Article by Jan Oberg.

Sources and additional Information on Burundi

Country Profiles:
BBC Country Profile: Burundi

The Transnational Foundation: Burundi

FAO Country Profile Burundi

GlobalEDGE: Burundi

Human Rights Watch: Burundi

OEC: Burundi

Reporters Without Borders: Burundi

Wikipedia: Burundi

The World Factbook -- Burundi 

Web resources:
Africa South of the Sahara: Burundi
Stanford University.

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