Country Context

Since 2005, Burundi’s annual economic growth rate has averaged 4.5%. As a land locked country, it faces economic challenges including high transport costs, a high trade deficit, a narrow export base. 90% of the population is dependent on subsistence agriculture. Following presidential elections in April 2015, the situation has descended into political insecurity and economic decline in the country. If the current political situation persists, Burundi may remain fragile in medium term, causing risk to the most vulnerable in society. Allegations of human rights abuses also constrain economic activity.  Private sector investment has shrunk and the public sector is constrained by falling domestic revenue as well as reduction in external aid flows from donors.

Strategy 2 Total Programme Budget Summary

  • Outcome 1 -reducing barriers to trade



    Reducing Barriers to Trade

  • OUTCOME 2 - Enhancing Private Sector Markets for Trade



    Enhancing Private Sector Markets for Trade




Total Budget US $25 Million

TMEA in Burundi

TMEA’s programme is well aligned with Burundi’s key priorities while meeting TMEA’s core mission of generating prosperity through trade. TMEA funded a total of 28 projects valued at $ 61.7M in Strategy 1.

Table: Highlights of key projects and impact in Burundi – 2010 to 2017

Increased Physical Access to Markets Infrastructure development at Kobero on the border with Tanzania to support physical access to market. Reduce by 30% the time taken to cross the border • OSBP completed and handed over in July 2015

• A 10% reduction in cross border clearance time already realized

Enhanced Trade Environment Set up and operationalise the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) to improve government revenue collection. • Increase revenue collection (to >720 Billion BIF)

• Reduce cross border clearance time from 7 to 2 days

• 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 Increase no. of testing parameters for different products to 70 for 20  export products 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


Give a voice to the private sector to influence policy • No. of position paper developed and successfully advocated

• No. of businesses process simplified

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

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 lacking. In Strategy 2, TMEA will adopt a market-integrated approach to economic development to address this constraint. The programme will focus investment in high potential areas and offer a mechanism for supporting vulnerable groups should Burundi’s political situation deteriorate.

Women’s economic empowerment remains a key cross-cutting issue.  In line with TMEA’s strategy on fragile and conflict countries, TMEA will deliver programming based on a short term, medium term and long-term approach. In the short term, the programme will lean towards private sector driven projects. Over the medium term (second and third year of Strategy 2), and if the country’s governance record improves, the programme will re-engage with the Government and diversify its portfolio by investing in trade facilitation measures.  A more optimistic programme is envisioned after year 3, where TMEA will upscale projects if the political and security situation allows. Programming is premised on the assumption that Burundi’s political situation will stabilise to allow for continued engagement. TMEA will adapt its programme to the conditions of fragile and conflictaffected states.

Intermediate Impact

  • economic growth
    Economic growth

    $ 1.2B net added to total trade

    (2.4% increase above trend)

  • Exports from EAC to the rest of the world
    Exports from EAC to the rest of the world

    $ 0.4B net added to exports

    (4.3% increase above trend)

  • Intra EAC exports (US$ billion)
    Intra EAC exports (US$ billion)

    $ 0.4B net added to exports

    (4.3% increase above trend)

Table: Highlights of TMEA Burundi Programmes 2017-2023

OUTCOME 1: REDUCING BARRIERS TO TRADE Average time to transport goods along key routes and nodes in the EATN 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 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

for trade in Burundi

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 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

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


Results in Burundi

Increased physical access to markets

  • no-Imgae

    Border Agencies trained

    Number of one trained participants trained on one-stop border post procedures.
  • no-Imgae

    Completion of works at Kobero OSBP

    Percentage of completion of works at Kobero one stop border post (OSBP) in Burundi. Expected to reduce time and cost in crossing borders.
  • no-Imgae

    Integrated border management

    Number of border posts implementing integrated border management in Burundi – Kobero/Kabanga along the Burundi/Tanzania border. Expected to reduce time and cost in crossing borders.

Enhanced trade environment

  • 5-i

    Office Burundais des Recettes

    Amount of revenues collected by the Office Recette Burundais in 2013 which represents a 2.1% increase versus collection in 2012.
  • 5-i

    Tests Performed

    Number of tests being performed by BBN per month.
  • 5-i

    Laws harmonised

    Percentage of identified laws and regulations of Burundi that are harmonised in compliance with EAC treaties/decisions.

Improved business competitiveness

  • 5-i


    Public-Private policy dialogues involving the CFCIB led to the adoption of 15 new reforms under the 2014 Doing-Business report
  • 5-i

    Number of media programmes

    Increased awareness on opportunities and challenges of regional integration
  • improved


    Number of trainings for small traders and border officials