Burundi is a landlocked nation in East Africa’s African Great Lakes area. It is bordered to the north by Rwanda, to the east and south by Tanzania, and to the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Bujumbura is the capital of Burundi.
Burundi has been inhabited by the Twa, Hutu, and Tutsi peoples for at least 500 years. Burundi was an autonomous monarchy for more than 200 years, until Germany invaded the territory at the beginning of the twentieth century. Following Germany’s loss in World War I, it surrendered the region to Belgium. Both Germans and Belgians governed Burundi and Rwanda as part of the Ruanda-Urundi European colony. Contrary to popular belief, Burundi and Rwanda were never united under a single government prior to European invasion.
The European involvement worsened social divisions between Tutsi and Hutu and contributed to regional political instability. Burundi obtained independence in 1962 and initially had a monarchy, but a series of assassinations, coups, and a general environment of regional insecurity resulted in the formation of a republic and one-party state in 1966. Bouts of ethnic cleansing, followed by two civil wars and genocides in the 1970s and 1990s, left the nation underdeveloped and its inhabitants among the poorest in the world.
Large-scale political turmoil erupted in 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term, a coup attempt failed, and the country’s legislative and presidential elections were widely condemned by members of the international community.
Burundians frequently face corruption, inadequate infrastructure, limited access to health and education services, and hunger, in addition to poverty. Burundi is densely populated, and there has been significant emigration as young people seek better prospects overseas. According to the World Happiness Report 2016 Update, Burundi is the world’s unhappiest country.
The United Nations projected Burundi’s population in July 2015 to be 10,557,259 people. The population is growing at a rate of 2.5 percent per year, which is more than twice the world norm, and a Burundian woman has 6.3 children on average, which is almost triple the international fertility rate.
As a consequence of the civil conflict, many Burundians have fled to neighboring nations. The United States accepted approximately 10,000 Burundian refugees in 2006.
Burundi is a mostly agricultural country, with just 13% of the population residing in urban areas in 2013. The population density is approximately 315 people per square kilometer (753 people per square mile), which is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 85 percent of the population is Hutu, 15 percent is Tutsi, and less than 1 percent is indigenous Twa/Pygmies. Burundi has the world’s fifth highest total fertility rate, with 6.08 children born per woman (2012 estimates).
Burundi’s official languages are English, French, and Kirundi, but Swahili is prevalent near the Tanzanian border.
According to sources, the Christian population is 80–90 percent, with Roman Catholics being the biggest denomination at 60–65 percent. The remaining 15–25 percent are Protestant and Anglican practitioners. Traditional indigenous religious beliefs are held by an estimated 5% of the population. Muslims account up 2–5% of the population, the bulk of whom are Sunnis and reside in cities.
Burundi has a tropical highland climate in general, with a wide variation of daily temperatures in several places. Temperature also fluctuates greatly from one area to the next, owing mostly to variations in height. With an average temperature of 20°C, the center plateau enjoys nice cool weather. The region surrounding Lake Tanganyika is warmer, with an average temperature of 23°C; the highest mountain elevations are colder, with an average temperature of 16°C. The average annual temperature in Bujumbura is 23°C. Rain is pouring in sporadic showers, with the greatest amount falling towards the north-west. The duration of the dry season varies, and there are occasionally lengthy periods of drought. The long dry season (June–August), the short wet season (September–November), the short dry season (December–January), and the long wet season (February–May) may all be differentiated. The majority of Burundi gets between 1,300 and 1,600 millimeters of rain each year. Between 750 and 1,000 mm of rain fall in the Ruzizi Plain and the north-east.
Burundi, one of Africa’s smallest nations, is landlocked and has an equatorial climate. Burundi is a country located in the Albertine Rift, which is the western continuation of the East African Rift. The nation is located in the middle of Africa on a rolling plateau. The center plateau has an average height of 1,707 m (5,600 ft), with lower altitudes near the boundaries. Mount Heha, at 2,685 m (8,810 ft), is located to the southeast of the city, Bujumbura. The Nile River’s headwaters are in Bururi province, and the Ruvyironza River connects Lake Victoria to its headwaters. Lake Victoria is also a significant water supply, serving as a branch to the Kagera River. Lake Tanganyika, situated in Burundi’s southwestern portion, is another large lake.
Burundi’s land is mainly used for agriculture or grazing. Rural population settlement has resulted in deforestation, soil erosion, and habitat degradation. Overpopulation is nearly entirely to blame for the country’s deforestation, with just 600 km2 (230 sq mi) left and an annual loss of approximately 9%. Kibira National Park to the northwest (a tiny area of rain forest close to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda) and Ruvubu National Park to the northeast are the two national parks (along the Rurubu River, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were founded in 1982 with the goal of conserving animal populations.
Burundi is a landlocked nation with limited resources and an undeveloped industrial sector. The economy is mostly agrarian; agriculture accounts for little more than 30% of GDP and employs more than 90% of the workforce. Burundi’s main exports are coffee and tea, which contribute for 90 percent of foreign currency profits while accounting for a tiny portion of GDP. Burundi’s export profits – and capacity to pay for imports – are mostly determined by weather and worldwide coffee and tea prices.
Burundi is one of the poorest nations in the world, due to its landlocked location, weak legal system, lack of economic independence, lack of access to education, and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Approximately 80% of Burundi’s population is impoverished. Famines and food shortages have occurred across Burundi, most notably in the twentieth century, and the World Food Programme estimates that 56.8 percent of children under the age of five are chronically malnourished. According to one scientific survey of 178 countries, Burundi’s population has the lowest level of contentment with life in the world. Burundi is reliant on international assistance as a consequence of its extreme poverty.
Agriculture is Burundi’s most important sector, accounting for little more than 30% of GDP.
90 percent of agriculture is subsistence agriculture. Coffee, which accounts for 93 percent of Burundi’s exports, is the country’s most important source of income. Cotton, tea, maize, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca), cattle, milk, and hides are among the other agricultural goods. According to Foreign Policy, subsistence farming is heavily depended upon; yet, owing to rapid population increase and a lack of clear laws regulating land ownership, many people lack the means to support themselves. The average farm size in 2014 was approximately one acre. Burundi has the worst rates of hunger and malnutrition among the 120 nations listed in the Global Hunger Index.”
Natural resources of Burundi include uranium, nickel, cobalt, copper, and platinum. Other sectors outside agriculture include import component assembly, public works construction, food processing, and light consumer products such as blankets, shoes, and soap.
Burundi is rated second to last in the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index (NRI) for telecoms infrastructure – an indicator for assessing the degree of development of a country’s information and communication technology. In the 2014 NRI rating, Burundi was placed 147th overall, down from 144th in 2013.
The bulk of the population lacks access to financial services, especially in densely populated rural areas: just 2% of the entire population has a bank account, and less than 0.5 percent uses bank loan services. Microfinance, on the other hand, plays a bigger role, with 4% of Burundians members of microfinance organizations — a higher proportion of the population than banking and postal services combined. Savings, deposits, and short- to medium-term loans are available from 26 regulated microfinance institutions (MFIs). The sector’s reliance on donor aid is minimal.
Burundi is a member of the East African Community and a possible member of the East African Federation. Burundi’s economy is growing steadily, although it is still lagging behind neighboring nations.
Things To Know Before Traveling To Burundi
Although most visitors will be able to get about with a decent understanding of French (and increasingly English), some acquaintance with Swahili or the related indigenous language, Kirundi, is beneficial, especially in rural regions. The difficulty in learning Kirundi may be the issue. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda (Rwanda’s official language) are quite close.
The Burundian Elders are held in high regard. Young people in the many communities and kinships respect their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even strangers. Burundians also respect everyone.