Located in east-central Africa and surrounded by Zaire, Rwanda, and Tanzania, the landlocked Republic of Burundi has a land mass of 27 834 km², a population of 12.55 million (2021) and a GDP of US$2.78 bn.
Burundi's primary natural resources are nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin and limestone. Operating industries include light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap, and beer, assembly of imported components, public works construction and food processing . Its major exports are coffee, tea, sugar, cotton and hides.
The Republic of Burundi is a constitutional, multiparty republic with an elected government.
Real GDP grew an estimated 4.0%, up from 3.1% in 2021, led by public investment. The effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine worsened the budget deficit, which widened to 5.1% of GDP in 2022 from 2.9% in 2021. Public debt fell slightly in 2022, to 66.4% of GDP from 66.6% in 2021, but the risk of overindebtedness remains high.
The higher cost for imports of oil products, fertilizer, and food products, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, worsened both inflation and the trade deficit. Inflation more than doubled from 8.4% in 2021 to 18.7% in 2022. The trade deficit rose from 28.0% of GDP in 2021 to 28.7% in 2022, and the current account deficit rose from 11.0% of GDP in 2021 to 13.4% in 2022.
Real GDP is projected to grow 4.5% in 2023 and 4.6% in 2024 due to public investment in transportation and energy. Measures aimed at boosting agricultural production and stabilizing the exchange rate are expected to reduce inflation, which is projected to drop to 10.3% in 2023 and 9.0% in 2024. Intensified mining, international economic and financial aid, and migrants’ remittances may help narrow the current account deficit, projected to be 12.1% of GDP in 2023 and 6.3% in 2024. Public debt is projected to grow to 67.6% of GDP in 2023 before falling to 65.5% in 2024 as a result of budget consolidation, exchange rate unification, and higher mining exports.
Sources: Who Owns Whom sector reports, CIA Factbook, African Development Bank, World Bank, Trading Economics, African Statistical Yearbook and IMF.