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Country Profile

Capital City: Bujumbura

Internet Links


Map of Burundi



Background:  Burundi's first democratically elected president was
assassinated in October 1993 after only four months 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. Burundian troops, seeking to secure their
borders, intervened in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the
Congo in 1998. More recently, many of these troops have been redeployed
back to Burundi to deal with periodic upsurges in rebel activity. A new
transitional government, inaugurated on 1 November 2001, was to be the
first step towards holding national elections in three years. However,
the unwillingness of the Hutu rebels to enact a cease fire with Bujumbura
continues to obstruct prospects for a sustainable peace.

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 water: 2,180 sq km land: 25,650 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; wet seasons from February to May and September to November,
and dry seasons from June to August and December to January

Terrain:  hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some

Elevation extremes:  lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m highest point:
Mount Heha 2,670 m

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

Land use:  arable land: 30% permanent crops: 13% other: 57% (1998 est.)

Irrigated land:  740 sq km (1998 est.)

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, Nuclear Test Ban

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:  6,373,002 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 2002 est.)

Age structure:  0-14 years: 46.5% (male 1,497,865; female 1,466,455)
15-64 years: 50.7% (male 1,592,253; female 1,640,254) 65 years and over:
2.8% (male 71,915; female 104,260) (2002 est.)

Population growth rate:  2.36% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  39.87 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  16.3 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.02
male(s)/female 15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female 65 years and over:
0.69 male(s)/female total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  69.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:   46.83 years (2002 est.)  male: Total fertility
rate:  6.07 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  11.32% (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  360,000 (1999 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  39,000 (1999 est.)

Nationality:  noun: Burundian(s) adjective: Burundi

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: 35.3% male: 49.3% female: 22.5% (1995 est.)

Government Burundi

Country name:   Republic of Burundi conventional short form:  former:

Government type:  republic

Capital:  Bujumbura

Administrative divisions:  16 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi,
Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya,
Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi

Independence:  1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian

National holiday:  Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Constitution:  13 March 1992; provided for establishment of a plural
political system; supplanted on 6 June 1998 by a Transitional Constitution
which enlarged the National Assembly and created two vice presidents

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 BUYOYA (a Tutsi,
was sworn in as president of a transition government on 1 November 2001;
he is scheduled to hold office for 18 months before transferring power
to his vice president, a Hutu); Vice President Domitien NDAYIZEYE (since
1 November 2001) head of government: President Pierre BUYOYA (a Tutsi,
was sworn in as president of a transition government on 1 November 2001;
he is scheduled to hold office for 18 months before transferring power
to his vice president, a Hutu); Vice President Domitien NDAYIZEYE (since
1 November 2001) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: NA; current president assumed power following a coup on 25
July 1996 in which former President NTIBANTUNGANYA was overthrown

Legislative branch:  bicameral, consists of a National Assembly or
Assemblee Nationale (expanded from 121 to approximately 140 seats under
the transitional government inaugurated 1 November 2001; members are
elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and a Senate (54 seats;
term length is undefined, the current senators will likely serve out the
three-year transition period) elections: last held 29 June 1993 (next
was scheduled to be held in 1998, but were suspended by presidential
decree in 1996; elections are planned to follow the completion of the
three-year transitional government) election results: percent of vote
by party - FRODEBU 71.04%, UPRONA 21.4%, other 7.56%; seats by party -
FRODEBU 65, UPRONA 16, civilians 27, other parties 13

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 two national, mainstream, governing
parties are: Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Luc RUKINGAMA,
president]; Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Jean MINANI, president]
note: a multiparty system was introduced after 1998, included are:
Burundi African Alliance for the Salvation or ABASA [Terrence NSANZE];
Rally for Democracy and Economic and Social Development or RADDES [Joseph
NZENZIMANA]; Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA];
People's Reconciliation Party or PRP [Mathias HITIMANA]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  Loosely organized Hutu and
Tutsi militias, often affiliated with Hutu and Tutsi extremist parties
or subordinate to government security forces

International organization participation:  ACCT, ACP, AfDB, CCC, CEEAC,

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas
NDIKUMANA chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington,
DC 20007 FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578 telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
Mary Carlin YATES embassy: Avenue des
 B. P. 1720, Bujumbura telephone:
Flag description:  divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top
and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and outer 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 roughly 90% of the population dependent on subsistence
agriculture. Its economic health depends on the coffee crop, which
accounts for 80% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for
imports therefore rests largely on the vagaries of the climate and
the international coffee market. Since October 1993 the nation has
suffered from massive ethnic-based violence which has resulted in the
death of more than 200,000 persons and the displacement of about 800,000
others. Only one in four children go to school, and more than one in ten
adults has HIV/AIDS. Foods, medicines, and electricity remain in short
supply. Doubts regarding the sustainability of peace continue to impede
development. A Geneva donors' conference in November 2001 brought $800
million in pledges, and an IMF-staff-monitored program could lead to a
further agreement in 2002.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $3.7 billion (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  1.4% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $600 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 50% industry: 18% services:
32% (2001 est.)

Population below poverty line:  70% (2001 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: 3.4%
highest 10%: 26.6% (1992)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  33.3 (1992)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  14% (2001 est.)

Labor force:  1.9 million

Labor force - by occupation:  NA

Unemployment rate:  NA%

Budget:  revenues: $125 million expenditures: $176 million, including
capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)

Industries:  light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly
of imported components; public works construction; food processing

Industrial production growth rate:  6.3% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production:  148 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 0.68% other: 0% (2000)
hydro: 99.32% nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  166.64 million kWh (2000)

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh (2000)

Electricity - imports:  29 million kWh note: supplied by the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (2000)

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

Exports:  $24 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

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

Exports - partners:  EU 52.5%, US 11.5%, Kenya 11.5%, Switzerland 4.9%
(2000 est.)

Imports:  $125 million (f.o.b., 2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs

Imports - partners:  EU 37.6%, Tanzania 10.3%, Zambia 4.3%, India 3.4%,
China 3.4% (2000 est.)

Debt - external:  $1.12 billion (2001 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:  $74 million (1999)

Currency:  Burundi franc (BIF)

Currency code:  BIF

Exchange rates:  Burundi francs per US dollar - 865.14 (January 2002),
830.35 (2001), 720.67 (2000), 563.56 (1999), 477.77 (1998), 352.35 (1997)

Fiscal year:  calendar year

Communications Burundi

Telephones - main lines in use:  20,000 (2000)

Telephones - mobile cellular:  16,300 (2000)

Telephone system:  general assessment: primitive system domestic: sparse
system of open wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity
microwave radio relay international: 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 Service Providers (ISPs):  1 (2000)

Internet users:  2,000 (2000)

Transportation Burundi

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 14,480 km paved: 1,028 km unpaved: 13,452 km (1996)

Waterways:  Lake Tanganyika

Ports and harbors:  Bujumbura

Airports:  7 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 1 over 3,047 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 6 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m:
3 (2001)

Military Burundi

Military branches:  Army (including naval and air units), Gendarmerie

Military manpower - military age:  16 years of age (2002 est.)

Military manpower - availability:  males age 15-49: 1,439,032 (2002 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:  males age 15-49: 752,584
(2002 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  males: 79,360
(2002 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $36.9 million (FY01)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  5.3% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Burundi

Disputes - international:  Tutsi, Hutu, and other conflicting ethnic
groups, political rebels, and various government forces continue fighting
in Great Lakes region, transcending the boundaries of Burundi, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Agence Burundaise de Presse

Nouvelles du Burundi






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