Research and consulting in Burundi
In recent years, Burundi has been the focus of various research and consulting projects by IOA. Informed by such work, our analysts have determined that, after decades of political violence and authoritarian government, Burundi is unable to meet the basic needs of one of the world’s most densely populated countries. A large majority (80%) of Burundians are engaged in subsistence or low-paying agriculture, perpetuating the cycle of poverty. Burundi is the poorest country in the world in terms of GDP, and high inflation has come at a time of low economic growth. However, good progress in education is resulting in a population better able to demand and achieve good governance.
The country’s exports are largely agricultural, IOA’s economic researchers have noted. Coffee, spices and tea comprise half of export revenue. The Gulf of Guinea coastline offers opportunities for commercial fishing.
Key opportunities in Burundi:
- Coffee is the main export product, and production can be greatly increased
- A unique traditional African culture that thrives today in pageants could be tourist draws for a developing tourism industry
- Burundi’s high elevation mitigates the country’s tropical location, resulting in a mild climate suitable for industrialised agriculture
Key concerns/risks in Burundi:
- The country’s authoritarian regime has cracked down on human rights in 2023
- Ethnic violence in neighbouring DRC and Rwanda often spills across Burundi’s borders
- The country’s natural vegetation has almost entirely disappeared, and poaching has decimated natural wildlife