Where is Burundi?

Located in Central Africa, Burundi has a 1,140.00 km border with Democratic Republic of the Congo (236 km), Rwanda (315 km) and Tanzania (589 km). Burundi and Rwanda are involved in a dispute over two square kilometers of Sabanerwa.

The capital city of Burundi is Bujumbura. This city sits at an elevation of 2,539 feet above sea level and is located in the central western region of the country. Bujumbura borders Lake Tanganyika, which is recorded as the second deepest lake in the world. This city first served as an administrative center as a mandate of Belgium after World War I and went on to become the capital city of Burundi after its independence in 1962. This city has a population size of nearly 500,000, although the entire metropolitan area has approximately 800,000 individuals. This city is politically divided into 13 communes, each with its own community administrator and council. Currently, Burundi is experiencing political instability, which has caused several countries to issue travel advisories against visiting. For those tourists who decide to visit, Bujumbura is home to several interesting sites, including Musée Vivant, a natural history museum with some live animal exhibits, the Unity Monument, the lake beaches, and the Rusizi National Park. Bujumbura is located within a tropical savannah climate, which means it experiences both wet and dry seasons.

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Burundi is an African country covering 27,830.00 km2 of which 7.73% is water and 25,680.00 km2 is land. This makes it the 53rd smallest country in the world and slightly smaller than Maryland. Its geographic coordinates are 3 30 S, 30 00 E and Bujumbura is the capital city.

The country's name is derived from the pre-colonial kingdom of Burundi.

Its ISO code is BI.

Geography

Burundi has a mean elevation of 1,504 m above sea level.

It has an equatorial climate where rainfall varies by altitude, although the climate generally is moderate. Its terrain is hilly and mountainous with some plateaus.

Population

Burundi has a population of 11,099,298 making it the 80th largest in the world.

Kirundi, French, and English are all official languages. Major ethnic groups reported are Hutu and Tutsi. The population is mostly made up of Catholic and Protestant Christians.

The two officially recognized languages of Burundi are French and Kirundi. Of these languages, Kirundi is the most widely spoken. It belongs to the Bantu subgroup of the larger Niger-Congo language family. Linguists dispute the number of consonants utilized in this language with estimates ranging from between 19 and 26. Kirundi also uses 5 vowel sounds. This language is spoken by approximately 98% of the population, making Burundi one of the only nations in Africa where the vast majority of the population speaks a single indigenous language. The French language here is a byproduct of the Belgian colonial-era. It is spoken by only 3% to 10% of the population and is primarily used by government officials. Swahili is one of the most widely spoken minority languages and can be heard primarily in the African Great Lakes region of the country. Visiting Burundi can present a unique challenge to travelers, who may not be familiar with the Kirundi language. Learning some key phrases is strongly encouraged.

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The dialing code for the country is 257.

Government

Burundi is an independent country. It gained independence in 1962. Its constitution was last ratified in 1992.

The government of Burundi is carried out under as a representative democratic republic in which the President acts as both the Head of State and the Head of Government. This country is currently transitioning to this type of government after years of civil war and political unrest. Legislation is carried out by the bicameral Parliament, which consists of the Senate (49 seats) and the National Assembly (118 seats). Both houses of Parliament meet in the Congressional Palace (known as Palais des Congrès de Kigobe) located in the capital city Bujumbura. Members of the National Assembly are elected to serve a 5-year term based on proportional representation, while Senators are chosen by the communal councils with 2 representatives from each province.

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Economy

Factoring in Purchasing Power Parity, Burundi's GDP is $7,892,000,000.00 (USD) with $800.00 (USD) per capita. This makes it the 162nd largest economy and its citizens the 217th richest in the world. The currency of Burundi is the Franc (BIF).

Its major export partners are Germany, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its main exports are coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, and hides. Its major import partners are Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and Belgium. Its major imports include capital goods, petroleum products, and foodstuffs.

Flag

The current flag of Burundi was officially established on June 28, 1967. It is rectangular in shape with 2 white lines running diagonally across its surface from one corner to the other. A white circle is located at the center of the flag. Three 6-pointed stars can be found at the center of the circle. The spaces to the top and bottom of the circle are red in color, while those to the left and right are green. Each of the colors as well as the stars have a special meaning. The original flag was designed by the monarch of Burundi after the country’s independence. It is believed to have been based on the cross of Burgundy, which was previously used by Belgium.

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This page was last modified on January 17th, 2018