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Introduction Burundi
Background:
Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. Over 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The new government, led by President Pierre NKURUNZIZA, faces many challenges, particularly from the country's last rebel group who remains outside of the peace process and continue attacks in the western provinces of Burundi.
Geography Burundi
Location:
Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
Geographic coordinates:
3 30 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
Africa
Area:
total: 27,830 sq km
land: 25,650 sq km
water: 2,180 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundaries:
total: 974 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)
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
Natural resources:
nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone
Land use:
arable land: 35.57%
permanent crops: 13.12%
other: 51.31% (2005)
Irrigated land:
210 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
flooding, landslides, drought
Environment - current issues:
soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography - note:
landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile
People Burundi
Population:
8,090,068
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 46.3% (male 1,884,825/female 1,863,200)
15-64 years: 51.1% (male 2,051,451/female 2,082,017)
65 years and over: 2.6% (male 83,432/female 125,143) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.6 years
male: 16.4 years
female: 16.9 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
3.7% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
42.22 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
13.46 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
8.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 63.13 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 70.26 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 55.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 50.81 years
male: 50.07 years
female: 51.58 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
6.55 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
6% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
250,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
25,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria (2005)
Nationality:
noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundian
Ethnic groups:
Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
Religions:
Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
Languages:
Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 51.6%
male: 58.5%
female: 45.2% (2003 est.)
Government Burundi
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local long form: Republique du Burundi/Republika y'u Burundi
local short form: Burundi
former: Urundi
Government type:
republic
Capital:
name: Bujumbura
geographic coordinates: 3 23 S, 29 22 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
17 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rurale, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi
Independence:
1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
Constitution:
28 February 2005; ratified by popular referendum
Legal system:
based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
NA years of age; universal adult
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Martin NDUWIMANA - Tutsi (since 29 August 2005); Second Vice President Alice NZOMUKUNDA - Hutu (since 29 August 2005)
head of government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Martin NDUWIMANA - Tutsi (since 29 August 2005); Second Vice paresident Alice NZOMUKUNDA - Hutu (since 29 August 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: the president is elected by popular vote to a five-year term (eligible for a second term); note - the constitution adopted in February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the parliament; vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by parliament
election results: Pierre NKURUNZIZA was elected president by the parliament by a vote of 151 to 9; note - the constitution adopted in February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the legislature
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament or Parlement, consists of a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (minimum 100 seats - 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi with at least 30% being women; additional seats appointed by a National Independent Electoral Commission to ensure ethnic representation; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and a Senate (54 seats; 34 by indirect vote to serve five year terms, with remaining seats assigned to ethnic groups and former chiefs of state)
elections: National Assembly - last held 4 July 2005 (next to be held in 2010); Senate - last held 29 July 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 58.6%, FRODEBU 21.7%, UPRONA 7.2%, CNDD 4.1%, MRC-Rurenzangemero 2.1%, others 6.2%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 59, FRODEBU 25, UPRONA 10, CNDD 4, MRC-Rurenzangemero 2; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 30, FRODEBU 3, CNDD 1
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal (there are three in separate locations); Tribunals of First Instance (17 at the province level and 123 small local tribunals)
Political parties and leaders:
the three national, mainstream, governing parties are: Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Leonce NGENDAKUMANA, president]; National Council for the Defense of Democracy, Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Hussein RADJABU, president]; Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Aloys RUBUKA, president]
note: a multiparty system was introduced after 1998, included are: National Council for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD; National Resistance Movement for the Rehabilitation of the Citizen or MRC-Rurenzangemero [Epitace BANYAGANAKANDI]; Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People - National Liberation Front (Palipehutu - FNL); note - as of December 2005, the only insurgent group still fighting the government
International organization participation:
ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CEPGL, COMESA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Antoine NTAMOBWA
chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574
FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia Newton MOLLER
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] 223454
FAX: [257] 222926
Flag description:
divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and fly side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below)
Economy Burundi
Economy - overview:
Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural with more than 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Economic growth depends on coffee and tea exports, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports, therefore, rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. The Tutsi minority, 14% of the population, dominates the government and the coffee trade at the expense of the Hutu majority, 85% of the population. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 10 adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply. Political stability and the end of the civil war have improved aid flows and economic activity has increased, but underlying weaknesses - a high poverty rate, poor education rates, a weak legal system, and low administrative capacity - risk undermining planned economic reforms.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$5.654 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$730 million (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
1.1% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$700 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 46.3%
industry: 20.3%
services: 33.4% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
2.99 million (2002)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
NA%
Population below poverty line:
68% (2002 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.8%
highest 10%: 32.9% (1998)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
33.3 (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
16% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
11.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
revenues: $215.4 million
expenditures: $278 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
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; public works construction; food processing
Industrial production growth rate:
18% (2001)
Electricity - production:
141.3 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.6%
hydro: 99.4%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
141.4 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
10 million kWh; note - supplied by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2003)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2003)
Oil - consumption:
3,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
NA bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
-$29 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
$52 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
Exports - partners:
Germany 24.7%, Belgium 11.2%, Netherlands 8.1%, Switzerland 5.9%, US 4.7%, Pakistan 4.1% (2005)
Imports:
$200 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
Imports - partners:
Kenya 13.1%, Tanzania 10.7%, Belgium 10.6%, Italy 8.2%, France 5.5%, Uganda 5.4%, China 5.1% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$105 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
$1.2 billion (2003)
Economic aid - recipient:
$105.5 million (2003)
Currency (code):
Burundi franc (BIF)
Currency code:
BIF
Exchange rates:
Burundi francs per US dollar - 1,138 (2005), 1,100.91 (2004), 1,082.62 (2003), 930.75 (2002), 830.35 (2001)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Burundi
Telephones - main lines in use:
27,700 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
153,000 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: primitive system
domestic: sparse system of open-wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay
international: country code - 257; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
Radios:
440,000 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2001)
Televisions:
25,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
.bi
Internet hosts:
155 (2005)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
25,000 (2005)
Transportation Burundi
Airports:
8 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2006)
Roadways:
total: 14,480 km
paved: 1,028 km
unpaved: 13,452 km (1999)
Waterways:
mainly on Lake Tanganyika (2003)
Ports and terminals:
Bujumbura
Military Burundi
Military branches:
National Defense Force (Forces de Defense Nationales, FDN): Army (includes Naval Detachment and Air Wing), National Gendarmerie (being disbanded) (2006)
Military service age and obligation:
16 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2001)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,676,855
females age 16-49: 1,656,366 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 955,616
females age 16-49: 932,767 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
males age 18-49: 91,331
females age 16-49: 90,685 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$43.9 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
5.6% (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Burundi
Disputes - international:
Tutsi, Hutu, other conflicting ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces continue fighting in the Great Lakes region, transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda in an effort to gain control over populated and natural resource areas; government heads pledge to end conflict, but localized violence continues despite the presence of about 6,000 peacekeepers from the UN Operation in Burundi (ONUB) since 2004; although some 150,000 Burundian refugees have been repatriated, as of February 2005, Burundian refugees still reside in camps in western Tanzania as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 48,424 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
IDPs: 145,000 (armed conflict between government and rebels; most IDPs in northern and western Burundi) (2005)

This page was last updated on 19 September, 2006