[Country map of Burundi]



Location: Central Africa, east of Zaire

Map references: Africa

total area: 27,830 sq km
land area: 25,650 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than Maryland

Land boundaries: total 974 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km, Zaire 233 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none; landlocked

International disputes: none

Climate: temperate; warm; occasional frost in uplands; dry season from June to September

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

Natural resources: nickel, uranium, rare earth oxide, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum (not yet exploited), vanadium

Land use:
arable land: 43%
permanent crops: 8%
meadows and pastures: 35%
forest and woodland: 2%
other: 12%

Irrigated land: 720 sq km (1989 est.)

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
natural hazards: flooding, landslides
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban

Note: landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed


Population: 6,262,429 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 48% (female 1,489,721; male 1,494,730)
15-64 years: 50% (female 1,606,307; male 1,498,021)
65 years and over: 2% (female 105,446; male 68,204) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.18% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 43.35 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 21.51 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
note: in a number of waves since April 1994, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled the civil strife between the Hutu and Tutsi factions in Burundi and crossed into Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zaire; the refugee flows are continuing in 1995 as the ethnic violence has persisted

Infant mortality rate: 111.9 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 39.86 years
male: 37.84 years
female: 41.95 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.63 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundi

Ethnic divisions:
Africans: Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%
non-Africans: Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000

Religions: Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 32%, Muslim 1%

Languages: Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990 est.)
total population: 50%
male: 61%
female: 40%

Labor force: 1.9 million (1983 est.)
by occupation: agriculture 93.0%, government 4.0%, industry and commerce 1.5%, services 1.5%


conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local long form: Republika y'u Burundi
local short form: Burundi

Digraph: BY

Type: republic

Capital: Bujumbura

Administrative divisions: 15 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi

Independence: 1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 July (1962)

Constitution: 13 March 1992; provides for establishment of a plural political system

Legal system: based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: universal adult at age NA

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Sylvestre NTIBANTUNGANYA (since September 1994)
note: President Melchior NDADAYE, Burundi's first democratically elected president, died in the military coup of 21 October 1993 and was succeeded on 5 February 1994 by President Cyprien NTARYAMIRA, who was killed in a mysterious airplane explosion on 6 April 1994
head of government: Prime Minister Antoine NDUWAYO (since February 1995); selected by President NTIBANTUNGANYA following the resignation of Anatole KANYENKIKO on 15 February 1995
cabinet: Council of Ministers; appointed by prime minister

Legislative branch: unicameral
National Assembly (Assemblee Nationale): elections last held 29 June 1993 (next to be held NA); results - FRODEBU 71%, UPRONA 21.4%; seats - (81 total) FRODEBU 65, UPRONA 16; other parties won too small shares of the vote to win seats in the assembly
note: The National Unity Charter outlining the principles for constitutional government was adopted by a national referendum on 5 February 1991

Judicial branch: Supreme Court (Cour Supreme)

Political parties and leaders: Unity for National Progress (UPRONA); Burundi Democratic Front (FRODEBU); Organization of the People of Burundi (RBP); Socialist Party of Burundi (PSB); People's Reconciliation Party (PRP); opposition parties, legalized in March 1992, include Burundi African Alliance for the Salvation (ABASA); Rally for Democracy and Economic and Social Development (RADDES); and Party for National Redress (PARENA)

Other political or pressure groups: NA;


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: post vacant since recall of Ambassador Jacques BACAMURWANKO in November 1994
chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert C. KRUEGER
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] (2) 23454
FAX: [257] (2) 22926

Flag: 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)


Overview: A landlocked, resource-poor country in an early stage of economic development, Burundi since October 1993 has suffered from massive ethnic-based violence that has displaced an estimated million people, disrupted production, and set back needed reform programs. Burundi is predominately 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 continues to rest largely on the vagaries of the climate and the international coffee market. As part of its economic reform agenda, launched in February 1991 with IMF and World Bank support, Burundi is trying to diversify its agricultural exports, attract foreign investment in industry, and modernize government budgetary practices. Although the government remains committed to reforms, it fears new austerity measures would add to ethnic tensions.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $3.7 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: -13.5% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $600 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 10% (1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $318 million
expenditures: $326 million, including capital expenditures of $150 million (1991 est.)

Exports: $68 million (f.o.b., 1993)
commodities: coffee 81%, tea, cotton, hides, and skins
partners: EC 57%, US 19%, Asia 1%

Imports: $203 million (c.i.f., 1993)
commodities: capital goods 31%, petroleum products 15%, foodstuffs, consumer goods
partners: EC 45%, Asia 29%, US 2%

External debt: $1.05 billion (1994 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 11% (1991 est.); accounts for about 15% of GDP

capacity: 55,000 kW
production: 100 million kWh
consumption per capita: 20 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 50% of GDP; cash crops - coffee, cotton, tea; food crops - corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc; livestock - meat, milk, hides and skins

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $71 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $10.2 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $32 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $175 million

Currency: 1 Burundi franc (FBu) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Burundi francs (FBu) per US$1 - 248.51 (December 1994), 252.66 (1994), 242.78 (1993), 208.30 (1992), 181.51 (1991), 171.26 (1990), 158.67 (1989), 140.40 (1988)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 0 km

total: 5,900 km
paved: 640 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone 2,260 km; improved, unimproved earth 3,000 km (1990)

Inland waterways: Lake Tanganyika

Ports: Bujumbura

total: 4
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 2


Telephone system: 8,000 telephones; primative system; telephone density - 1.3 telephones/1,000 persons
local: NA
intercity: sparse system of wire, radiocommunications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay links
international: 1 INTELSAT (Indian Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 2, FM 2, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army (includes naval and air units), paramilitary Gendarmerie

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,350,042; males fit for military service 705,864; males reach military age (16) annually 73,308 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $25 million, 2.6% of GDP (1993)