Burundi is a beautiful and well-resourced nation, filled with bold, passionate people. Although forgotten by much of the world, we are proud to be working alongside the best local leaders of passion, integrity and gifting for the transformation of the nation; bottom-up and top-down!
Burundi is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Much of its Western border is the world’s second largest freshwater lake, Lake Tanganyika.
There is a well known local saying: ‘Ahari amahoro umuhoro uramwa.’ (Rundi) means ‘Where there is peace, a sickle can be used to shave your beard or cut your hair.’ In other words, ‘Where there is peace, everything is possible.’ Ethnic groups in Burundi include the Hutus, Tutsis and Twa (Batwa or pygmies). The pygmies are former forest dwellers who have been displaced from their hunting ground. They often still live in mud huts with no sanitation.
The country has suffered terrible genocides rooted in tribal tensions, like Rwanda but far less publicized.
Over 300,000 people died in the ethnic conflict between 1993-2005.
In the years following the election of 2015, political unrest suffocated the economy, which has not yet recovered. Over 400,000 fled the country and over 100,000 were internally displaced. Some have since returned but many are still refugees in other countries including Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Population: 11.89 million
- Area: 27,816 sq m
- Burundi is the third-most densely populated nation in Africa. Many people seek to emigrate.
The prime economy is agricultural but the nation is land-poor. The main exports are tea, coffee and bananas. Burundi has the lowest GNI per capita in the world.
- Over 65% live in poverty.
- Over half the population is chronically food insecure.
- Fewer than seven people in every 100 have electricity in their home.
- Only 32% of children complete lower secondary education.
- There is approximately one physician per 10,000 people.
- Burundi was declared the world’s unhappiest nation by the United Nations Happiness report in March 2018.
- Average life expectancy is 62.