Population

11.5

Million 2019

GDP

$3.08

Billion 2018

GDP Growth

3.8 %

2018

Inflation

-0.6%

2018

country brief

Burundi

Country Context &
Overview.

With a surface area of 27,830 sq km, an estimated population of 11.5 million inhabitants, and a landlocked territory, Burundi faces economic challenges including high transport costs, a high trade deficit, and a narrow export base. Burundi’s economy is heavily reliant on the agricultural sector, which, despite the paucity of arable land, employs 80% of the population

GDP growth improved to an estimated 3.8% in 2018, following a 0.2% contraction in 2017. This slight recovery in GDP was due to resurgence in the services sector (7.4%) and increased production of key export items such as coffee and tea. Manufacturing and agro-processing also contributed to the recovery by growing at 3.2%.

Economic growth is projected to continue at a slower pace— 0.4% in 2019 and 1.2% in 2020. 

Burundi’s most vulnerable in society remain at risk as the economy slowly stabilises. Private sector investment and more inclusive trading opportunties are needed for continued growth. Whilst improvements have been made in connecting Burundi to the region through the Northern and Central corridors, a supply response is in need of improvement. TMEA has adopted a market-integrated approach to economic development to address this contraint. The programme in Burundi focuses on investments in high potential areas and offer a mechanism for supporting vulnerable groups that have been socio-economically disadvantaged as a result of past political instability, thus integrate them into regional trade players.

Women’s economic empowerment remains a key cross-cutting issue. In line with TMEA’s strategy, we deliver programming based on a short term, medium term and long term approach.

In the short term,the programme leans towards private sector driven projects. Over the medium term, should the country macro-economic and governance structure stabilise, the programme shall strongly re-engage with wider public sector entities and diversify its portfolio by investing in trade facilitation measures.

Continuity and Innovation in
TMEA Strategy 2:

Whilst improvements have been made in connecting Burundi to the region through the Northern and Central corridors, a supply response is more or less in need of improvement. In Strategy 2, and in line with the country context, TMEA will adopt a market-integrated approach to economic development to address this constraint. The programme in Burundi is designed to focus investment in high potential areas and offer a mechanism for supporting vulnerable groups that have been socio-economically disadvantaged as a result of Burundi crisis, thus integrate them into regional trade players.

Women’s economic empowerment remains a key cross-cutting issue. In line with TMEA’s strategy, we deliver programming based on a short term, medium-term and long-term approach.

In the short term, the programme leans towards private sector-driven projects. Over the medium-term (second and third year of Strategy 2), should the country macro-economic and governance structure stabilize, the programme shall strongly re-engage with wider public sector entities and diversify its portfolio by investing in trade facilitation measures. A more substantive programme is also envisioned after year 3, where TMEA will up scale projects in line with the country context that will be prevailing. Programming is premised on the assumption that Burundi’s socio-economic context will further stabilise to allow for continued and stronger engagement. TMEA continues to adapt its programme to the conditions of fragile and conflict-affected states.

OUTCOME 1: REDUCING BARRIERS TO TRADE

Average time to transport goods along key routes and nodes in the EATN

DETAILS EXPECTED RESULTS BY 2023

Complementary work for Kobero OSBP (including IBM) Improved efficiency of cross-border infrastructure at OSBP Kobero
Gatumba/Kavinvira OSBP (DRC/ UVIRA – including IBM) and the secondary border posts Improved efficiency of cross border infrastructure at Gatumba/Kavinvira and at 7 selected secondary border posts
Upgrade the Port of Rumonge Improved efficiency of port infrastructure at Rumonge.
Safety and navigation on Lake Tanganyika Improved efficiency of port infrastructure at Bujumbura and Rumonge

Improved trading standards and reduced non-tariff barriers

DETAILS EXPECTED RESULTS BY 2023

Elimination of Non-Tariff Barriers Improved effectiveness of mechanisms and institutional coordination to respond to elimination of NTBs affecting exports from and imports to Burundi.
Quality and Standards Improved national framework for managing trading standards across the EAC

Improved and more transparent trade processes and systems

Trade processes and systems enhancement Improved efficiency in processing and approving key trade and transport transactions to fulfill import, export, and transit related regulations in Burundi

Improved regulatory environment for trade in Burundi

Regional Trade integration- policy and trade policy support Enhanced EAC regional integration for trade

OUTCOME 2: ENHANCING PRIVATE SECTOR MARKETS FOR TRADE

Better private sector-led advocacy for trade in Burundi

DETAILS EXPECTED RESULTS BY 2023

Enhance advocacy for trade led by private sector and civil society Enhanced quality of private sector/ civil society-led policy formulation for trade; Enhanced policy/regulatory environment for women traders and SMEs

Increased efficiency in private sector logistic service

DETAILS EXPECTED RESULTS BY 2023

Improve logistics infrastructure capacity and services in Burundi Enhanced logistics infrastructure capacity in Burundi; Enhanced capacity in provision of trade logistics services in Burundi

Increased export capacity of Burundi businesses

DETAILS EXPECTED RESULTS BY 2023

Export growth for export ready businesses, trade in services,market research and understanding the market dynamics Increased revenues and export in TMEA targeted areas and sectors

Greater inclusion of women and small businesses in trade

DETAILS EXPECTED RESULTS BY 2023

Women export growth for women export ready businesses and cross border trade Increased access to market and trading information by women traders

Increased Physical Access to Markets

Where We Work Results To Date
Infrastructure development at Kobero on the border with Tanzania to support physical access to market.
  • OSBP completed and handed over in July 2015
  • A 10% reduction in cross border clearance time already realized.

Enhanced Trade Environment

Where We Work Results To Date
Set up and operationalise the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) to improve government revenue collection.
  • Total government revenue increased to BIF 600 billion in 2015, from BIF 312.2 billion in 2009
  • Improved customs policies and processes leading to a reduction in customs clearance times from 7 to 3 days
Equipping the Burundi Bureau of Standards Increased number of product tests that can be performed from 3 to 47. Facilitate Bureau of Standards staff certification in ISO QMS 9001 and 22000

Improved Business Competiveness

Where We Work Results To Date
Give a voice to the private sector to influence policy Removal of Tanzanian transit levies for 20ft and 40ft containers, as well as a reduction of its overall fee for Burundi trucks in transit by 70% (from $500 to $152 per truck

Christian Nibasumba

Country Representative

Christian is responsible for growing the Burundi Country Programme and developing, managing and monitoring its strategy and programme delivery. Christian holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the United States International University (USIU) Nairobi and a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from Uganda Martyrs University. He brings a wealth of experience to TMEA in fields of economics, aid-for-trade, project management, inclusive markets and value chain development. He previously worked as Markets Advisor for Christian Aid’s Africa Division and Grants Manager at the US Embassy in Burundi. He is bilingual (French/English).

Email:Christian.nibasumba@trademarkea.com

Phone:+257 22 277 101

Stay updated

Our Projects are transforming Eastern Africa.

Learn More

Quick Contacts

Our Global Donors