Burundi

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 7.3
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 10%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.9%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 27,830


Population origin

Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000.



Main Cities Population
Bujumbura 319 098
Gitega 23 500
Ngozi 18 500
Bururi 18 500
Cibitoke 11 500



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Bujumbura (GMT+2 ).



Languages
Official languages: Kirundi and French. Swahili is also spoken (along the Tanganyika Lake and in the Bujumbura area)

Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free French-English-French translation of texts and web pages





Religion
Religious practises : Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%


Political context

Burundi is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy. Burundi (official name: Republic of Burundi) has been devastated by civil war and persistent ethnic violence since its independence in 1962. It is one of the poorest countries in Africa and also in the world.
President is head of state as well as and head of government, and holds the executive powers. President is elected by popular vote to a five-year term. The constitution adopted in February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the parliament; vice presidents are nominated by the President but endorsed by parliament. 
The legislature is bicameral. The parliament consists of: National Assembly (the lower house) whose members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms and a Senate (the upper house) whose members are elected by indirect vote and nominations to serve five year terms. The people of Burundi have limited political rights. Country's 1 st democratically elected President was elected in 2005 since the start of Burundi's civil war.
Judiciary is not independent in Burundi. Country's judicial system is burdened by lack of resources. The main source of the law is the constitution of 2005 (ratified by popular referendum). The legal system is based on German and Belgian civil codes and the customary law. The country has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The judicial language in the country is Kirundi.
Burundi is not ruled by law. Though there has been certain degree of political stability after 2005 presidential elections but the country has a poor record of civil liberties. There is a high degree of corruption in the country. In the past, even some government revenues and expenditures have not been listed in the budget.


Major political parties

The main political parties in Burundi are: CNDD-FDD (National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy), FRODEBU (Front for Democracy in Burundi), UPRONA (Union for National Progress).


Major political leaders

President: Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since August 2005) – CNND-FDD
President of National Assembly: Immaculée NAHAYO (since August 2005) - CNDD-FDD


Next political election dates

National Assembly: Year 2010
Senate: Year 2010




Climate

 

 

Equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variations (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with the altitude from 23 to 17 degrees centigrade but is generally moderate as the average altitude is about 1,700 m; average annual rainfall is about 150 cm; wet seasons from February to May and September to November, and dry seasons from June to August and December to January
Required clothing: Lightweight cottons and linens with waterproofs for the rainy season. Warm clothes are recommended for the evening.

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Burundi 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 133 148 ..
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
The capital port-city of Bujumbura, located on the shore of the Tanganyika Lake, is a bustling town with a population of some 300,000 inhabitants. The area was colonised by Germany at the end of the 19th century, and there is still architecture dating from that period of Burundi's history, including the Postmaster's House. Other attractions include three museums and the Islamic Cultural Centre. Various cafés and restaurants line the lake, where (in normal circumtances) there are some opportunities for watersports, including sailing, water-skiing and fishing. There is an excellent market. Around ten kilometres south of the city, a stone marks the historic meeting-place of Stanley and Livingstone.
Other points of interest in the country include the former royal cities of Muramvya and Gitega (with its 'Chutes de la Kagera' waterfall and its recently renovated National Museum), and the monument near Rutovu, in Bururi Province, which marks Burundi's claim to the source of the Nile.

For more information about tourism in Burundi , check out the following web site(s) :
Governmental site of Burundi



Food


Traditional dishes
The choice is limited. Meals in Bujumbura's hotels are reasonable, but expensive and of fairly average quality. The French and Greek restaurants in the town are good. There are few restaurants outside the capital and Gitega.


Last modified on December 2006

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