Burundi is a small landlocked country in East Africa. It became independent in 1962. The official languages are Kirundi (a Bantu language that is most widely spoken), and French.
In 1993, Burundi’s first democratically elected president was assassinated, triggering years of conflict between Hutu and Tutsi factions during which more than 200,000 Burundians died. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighbouring countries.
The Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement, signed in August 2000, brokered a power-sharing agreement between the Tutsis and Hutus and led to the signing of a new constitution in 2005. Controversial elections in 2010 and 2015, were beset by allegations of widespread intimidation. A peaceful transition of power was achieved during the 2020 election, held during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Burundi is predominantly reliant on agricultural exports of coffee and tea – agriculture employs more than 90 percent of the population and accounts for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings. Forty percent of Burundi's national income is derived from foreign aid, the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Australia’s diplomatic representation to Burundi is from the High Commission in Kenya.
Economic and trade information
- Country/economy fact sheet [PDF]
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