|R®¶publique du Burundi
(French), Republika y'Uburundi (Kirundi)
|Form of government
||UTC + 2
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Burundi is located in the east of
Africa and, with an area of 27.834 km², is one of the
smallest countries in Africa. The country borders Rwanda
in the north, Tanzania in the east and south , and the
western border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo
runs partly through Lake Tanganyika.
Much of the country's area is occupied by a plateau,
which is on average 1,500 m above sea level. The
partially severely cut plateau gradually rises from the
northeast (Lake Victoria Valley) to the west to the edge
of the Central African Rift. Here heights up to a
maximum of 2,760 m are reached. The plateau drops
steeply to the Tanganyika valley in southern Burundi.
Lake Tanganyika (approx. 660 km long, up to 80 km wide,
depth up to 1,435 m), in which the neighboring states of
Tanzania,Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo
also participate, is 773 m above sea level.
The mountain range in Burundi forms the watershed
between the Nile in the east and the Congo in the west.
The longest river in the country (Ruvubu) is one of the
source rivers of the Nile.
The capital Bujumbura is located on the shores of
Lake Tanganyika in the south-west of the country.
Burundi has a tropical climate with two rainy seasons
(March / April and September to December). Most
precipitation is measured on the eastern slopes of the
mountains (on average 1,500 mm), on the plateaus and in
the valley of Lake Tanganyika it is on average 1,000 mm
per year. The temperatures are consistently high all
year round, depending on the altitude they average 16 °„
C to 20 °„ C on the plateau and around 24 °„ C on Lake
Flora and fauna
Wet savannah with eucalyptus trees, acacias and oil
palms dominates on the plateau. The forest areas are
strongly decimated due to the strong deforestation, on
the eastern slopes of the mountains there are still
areas with tropical rain or cloud forest in higher
altitudes. The lower lying, less precipitation areas are
characterized by dry savannah.
Due to the heavy deforestation and dense settlement
of Burundi, the habitat of many animal species was
severely restricted or destroyed. The remaining areas
are home to zebras, antelopes, buffalos, warthogs,
baboons, lions, leopards, crocodiles and hippos.
Mountain gorillas live in the rain and cloud forests in
According to COUNTRYAAH,
around 7.1 million people live in the Republic of
Burundi, about 90% of them in smaller rural settlements.
An estimated 800,000 civil war refugees are still in the
surrounding states. With an average of 255 residents per
square kilometer, the country is as densely populated as
Germany, for example. The largest city in the country is
the capital Bujumbura with about 319 100 residents
(agglomeration). Other large cities are Bururi (19,000
residents), Cibitoke (12,000) and Gitega (24,000).
The largest population group in Burundi with around
85% are the Hutu, second largest group the Tutsi with
around 14%. Twa pygmies still live in the forest areas
of the mountains, which make up about 1% of the total
population. The first official language in Burundi is
the Bantu language Kirundi, the second official language
is French, and various dialects are spoken. Almost 70%
of the population are Christians (mostly Catholics), who
often practice indigenous religious practices. About 23%
practice natural religions, Muslims form a strong
religious minority with 10%.
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world,
not least because of the decades-long civil war between
Hutu and Tutsi. Social and health services are
practically non-existent. Despite compulsory schooling,
literacy is only 51.6%. Almost half of the population is
younger than 15 years, life expectancy is around 44
years. 3.3% of the total population are infected with
the HI virus. The population growth is 3.9%.
Burundi is a presidential republic under the 2005
constitution. The head of state is the president, who is
also head of the government (Pierre Nkurunziza, since
August 2005). He is elected directly by the people every
five years, a one-time re-election is possible.
The legislature lies with the parliament, which
consists of two chambers: the national assembly and the
senate. The National Assembly consists of up to 118
members. 100 of them are elected, 60% of these mandates
are reserved for the Hutu, 40% for the Tutsi. In
addition, at least 30% of all MPs must be women. Three
mandates are given to Twa representatives, up to 15 can
be co-opted. The Senate consists of 49 indirectly
elected members; the seats are distributed equally
between Hutu and Tutsi and Twa. The term of office for
MPs and senators is five years. The parties in Burundi
reflect the contrast between the two groups of the
population. The most influential party is the former
Hutu rebel movement,Conseil National pour la Defense de
la Democratie-Forces pour la Defense de la Democratie
(CNDD-FDD). The Unit®¶ pour le Pogr®¶s National (UPRONA)
is dominated by the Tutsi, the Front pour la D®¶mocratie
au Burundi (FRODEBU) by the Hutu.
The legal system is based on the German and Belgian.
Burundi is divided into 16 provinces and the capital
The Republic of Burundi is one of the most
underdeveloped and poorest countries in the world. Due
to the bloody clashes since 1993 and a temporary
economic embargo, two thirds of the Burundians live
below the poverty line.
Agriculture is the most important sector in Burundi's
economy and is the basis of life for almost 90% of the
population. The main export commodity, coffee, accounts
for almost 80% of exports, and the dependence on the
world market price is correspondingly large. Coffee and
cotton are grown on large plantations, and the
cultivation of tea is becoming increasingly important.
For their own use, legumes, millet, corn, bananas, sweet
potatoes and manioc are grown. The rapid growth of the
population and the leaching of the soil due to intensive
agricultural use, the mining during the civil war and
the flight or displacement of numerous farmers meant
that the population's food needs could no longer be met.
Cattle breeding (cattle, goats) is traditionally
practiced by the Tutsi, is not economically significant.
The industry is poorly developed and focuses on the
processing of agricultural products. Textiles, shoes and
soap are also manufactured. Burundi has mineral deposits
of gold, copper, cobalt, uranium and nickel, which are
mined only to a small extent.
When it comes to exports (coffee, tea, minerals),
Switzerland is the leading trading partner with almost a
quarter of its size, followed by Belgium and Great
Britain. When it comes to imports (especially of food,
machinery, industrial goods and oil), these are Kenya,
Tanzania, the USA, Belgium and France with relatively
The road network covers a total of around 10,000 km,
but is very poorly developed and in some cases only
accessible during the dry season. Lake Tanganyika is
used as a waterway from the capital Bujumbura to Kigoma
in Tanzania. There is an international airport in
The currency is the Burundi Franc (= 100 centimes).