Burundi, officially Rundi Republika y’Uburundi, French République du Burundi [repy Republic dy burun di], German Republic of Burundi, landlocked country in East Africa (2019) 11.5 million people; The capital is Gitega. At 27,830 km 2, it is one of the smallest states in Africa.



The interior of the country, which is poor in natural resources, is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economic development is caused by structural problems (dominance of the subsistence economy; low degree of urbanization; low income level; dispersed population, fragmentation of land; poor diversification of the economy; Dependence on raw material prices on the world market). A reform program started in 1986 failed. The fighting between Hutu and Tutsi that began in 1993 and an economic embargo imposed by neighboring countries (1996–99) prevented any planned economic policy. Fighting, death and displacement of large parts of the population (800,000 refugees and 400,000 displaced persons with 300,000 dead) led to a collapse of the economy and the partial destruction of the infrastructure. In cooperation with the IMF and the World Bank, the consolidation of the economy has now created a basis for reconstruction and development. However, due to the ongoing domestic political instability, the economy is repeatedly experiencing decisive setbacks. With a Gross national income (GNI) of US $ 290 per resident (2017), Burundi is dependent on international aid in the medium term despite extensive debt relief (2009) and poverty reduction programs.

Foreign trade: The foreign trade balance is chronically in deficit (import value 2015: 848.8 million US $, export value: 116.6 million US $). The export value is extremely strongly determined by the world market prices for the main export goods coffee and tea. The main imports are crude oil, chemical products, machinery, transportation equipment and food. The most important trading partners are Germany, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Uganda.


The most important branch of the economy is agriculture, which generates 42.9% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and almost 90% of the workforce. 90% of the arable land is used by small farmers and is used for self-sufficiency. Therefore, even during the civil war, Burundi was almost always able to meet the overwhelming need for food itself. However, the natural conditions have deteriorated due to decades of overexploitation, the consequences of the armed conflict (environmental destruction) and the increasing drought in connection with global warming. As a result, there have recently been periods of drought in individual regions. The most important staple foods are cassava, sweet potatoes and legumes. Bananas are grown to make beer. Main export products are Coffee and tea. The traditionally important livestock farming (goats, cattle, sheep, pigs) is operated extensively, but its population suffered greatly from the consequences of the civil war.

Forestry: Forest areas only take up 10% of the country, yet firewood has so far been the main source of energy (96%) and logging is considerable.

Fishing: Most of the fishing is for self-sufficiency and is concentrated on Lake Tanganyika and on smaller inland lakes on the Rwandan border.

Natural resources

Although Burundi has a multitude of mineral resources, only small amounts of gold, coltan, tungsten and peat have been mined so far. The nickel deposits (nickel) comprise 5% of the estimated world reserves. There are also deposits of vanadium, uranium, copper and cobalt.


The manufacturing industry is weak and is concentrated in Bujumbura. The consequences of the war, shortage of foreign exchange, little interest from investors and competition from neighboring countries make development difficult. The food, cement and textile industries dominate.


Tourism in Burundi is underdeveloped and has also suffered from the civil war.


The transport network is inadequate; most of the traffic routes are concentrated in the Bujumbura agglomeration. The remaining parts of the country are only poorly developed. There are no railroads. Of the 13,000 km long road network, 1,849 km are paved, especially the main connections between Bujumbura and Gitega, Kayanza and Nyanza-Lac. Almost all foreign trade takes place via the port of Bujumbura on Lake Tanganyika. The international airport is also located in Bujumbura.


Probably in the 15th / 16th In the 19th century, Tutsi (Hima) immigrated from the north subjugated the Twa and the rural Hutu and established the state of Burundi, whose hereditary kings (title: Mwami) rivaled the chief aristocracy in the 19th century. In 1890 Burundi became a part of German East Africa (1903 submission of Mwami Mwezi II. Gisabo [* 1840, † 1908]), 1923 (as Urundi) with Rwanda Belgian League of Nations mandate, 1946 Belgian UN trusteeship area Rwanda-Urundi. Both colonial regimes supported the power of Mwami Mwambutsa IV, who ruled 1915-66, through the system of »indirect rule« . (* 1912, † 1977). The dissolution of previous social structures began under Belgian rule in particular. This laid the foundation for the conflict between Hutu and Tutsi, which has determined domestic politics ever since.

On July 1, 1962, Belgium granted Burundi independence as a constitutional monarchy under the supervision of the UN. The most important party was the UPRONA. The increasing tensions between Hutu and Tutsi repeatedly led to bloody riots and allowed the military to occupy a key position that continues to this day. In July 1966, Prince Charles Ndinzeye (* 1947, † 1972) ousted his father Mwambutsa IV from the throne as Ntare V. and appointed Michel Micombero (* 1939, † 1983) to the prime minister. He deposed the king in November 1966, proclaimed the republic and took over the offices of President, Prime Minister and President of the Revolutionary Council. The UPRONA became a unity party. After a failed coup attempt by Hutu officers in which numerous Tutsis were killed, the army and armed civilian forces massacred the Hutu in April 1972 (around 100,000 dead). Thousands of Hutu fled to Tanzania. On November 1, 1976, Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Baptiste Bagaza (* 1946) overthrew President Micombero. Growing tensions with the influential Catholic Church and within the Tutsi, however, isolated him politically.

On September 3, 1987, after a military coup, Major P. Buyoya at the head of a military committee repealed the constitution. After the Tutsi-ruled army rioted against the Hutu in August 1988, killing thousands, he initiated democratization under pressure from Western donors.


According to ejinhua, Bujumbura, formerly Usumbura, is the capital of Burundi until 2019, today the economic center of the country with (2008) 497 200 residents.

Bujumbura is 774 m above sea level; Catholic archbishopric and Lutheran bishopric, university (founded in 1960), administrative college. Bujumbura is the country’s industrial center; Port at the northern end of Lake Tanganyika, international airport.

Burundi Economy

Burundi Economy and History
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