BURUNDI AT A GLANCE
Population (2011): 8.3 million
2009 GNI per capita (current US$): 188.5
Burundi has enjoyed relative peace since the end of a long civil war in 2009 and with increased stability has made slow but significant progress on economic and social indicators.
The landlocked country’s economy depends heavily on agriculture, especially coffee and tea production, and is hampered by a lack infrastructure. Few in Burundi have a bank account or access to financial services and the country’s private sector is small, though the economy has been one of the fastest growing in sub Saharan Africa in recent years.
IFC and CASA are working with public and private sector partners in Burundi to improve the country’s business climate, support the growth of smaller businesses, and strengthen financial institutions.
Improving the Business Environment
With backing from IFC, Burundi enacted a number of reforms to its business climate in 2011, making it easier to start a business, register property, and obtain construction permits.
The reforms helped Burundi become one of the world’s top reforming countries in the World Bank Group’s 2012 Doing Business Report, which ranks the ease of conducting business for countries around the world.
IFC is promoting investment in Burundi through its LEAP (Liquidity Enhanced Asset Program) Program, which is establishing a local currency, long-term lending instrument in the country.
Strengthening Smaller Businesses and Financial Infrastructure
Helping smaller businesses more easily access finance and training is another focus of IFC’s work in Burundi.
IFC’s long-standing partnership with Banque de crédit de Bujumbura, a local bank, is helping smaller businesses obtain the financial support they need to grow and take on more employees.
To further strengthen smaller businesses, IFC has launched its Business Edge training program in Burundi, which is helping businessmen, women and private sector institutions in the country acquire the skills they need to succeed.