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Africa :: Burundi
page last updated on October 28, 2009
Flag of Burundi
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Location of Burundi
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Introduction ::Burundi
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Burundi's first democratically elected president was assassinated in October 1993 after only 100 days in office, triggering widespread ethnic violence between Hutu and Tutsi factions. More than 200,000 Burundians perished during the conflict that spanned almost a dozen years. Hundreds of thousands of Burundians were internally displaced or became refugees in neighboring countries. An internationally brokered power-sharing agreement between the Tutsi-dominated government and the Hutu rebels in 2003 paved the way for a transition process that led to an integrated defense force, established a new constitution in 2005, and elected a majority Hutu government in 2005. The new government, led by President Pierre NKURUNZIZA, signed a South African brokered ceasefire with the country's last rebel group in September of 2006 but still faces many challenges.
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Geography ::Burundi
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Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of the Congo
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3 30 S, 30 00 E
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total: 27,830 sq km
country comparison to the world: 146
land: 25,680 sq km
water: 2,150 sq km
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slightly smaller than Maryland
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total: 974 km
border countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo 233 km, Rwanda 290 km, Tanzania 451 km
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0 km (landlocked)
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none (landlocked)
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equatorial; high plateau with considerable altitude variation (772 m to 2,670 m above sea level); average annual temperature varies with 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; two wet seasons (February to May and September to November), and two dry seasons (June to August and December to January)
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hilly and mountainous, dropping to a plateau in east, some plains
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lowest point: Lake Tanganyika 772 m
highest point: Heha 2,670 m
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nickel, uranium, rare earth oxides, peat, cobalt, copper, platinum, vanadium, arable land, hydropower, niobium, tantalum, gold, tin, tungsten, kaolin, limestone
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arable land: 35.57%
permanent crops: 13.12%
other: 51.31% (2005)
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210 sq km (2003)
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3.6 cu km (1987)
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total: 0.29 cu km/yr (17%/6%/77%)
per capita: 38 cu m/yr (2000)
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flooding; landslides; drought
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soil erosion as a result of overgrazing and the expansion of agriculture into marginal lands; deforestation (little forested land remains because of uncontrolled cutting of trees for fuel); habitat loss threatens wildlife populations
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
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landlocked; straddles crest of the Nile-Congo watershed; the Kagera, which drains into Lake Victoria, is the most remote headstream of the White Nile
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People ::Burundi
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8,988,091
country comparison to the world: 89
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2009 est.)
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0-14 years: 46.2% (male 2,087,315/female 2,063,518)
15-64 years: 51.3% (male 2,291,123/female 2,320,839)
65 years and over: 2.5% (male 89,444/female 135,852) (2009 est.)
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total: 16.7 years
male: 16.5 years
female: 17 years (2009 est.)
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3.279% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 7
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41.42 births/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 14
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12.67 deaths/1,000 population (July 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 34
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4.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 26
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urban population: 10% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 6.8% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2009 est.)
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total: 59.64 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 38
male: 66.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 52.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2009 est.)
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total population: 52.09 years
country comparison to the world: 202
male: 51.2 years
female: 53.01 years (2009 est.)
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6.33 children born/woman (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6
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2% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
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110,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 44
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11,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
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degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2009)
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noun: Burundian(s)
adjective: Burundian
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Hutu (Bantu) 85%, Tutsi (Hamitic) 14%, Twa (Pygmy) 1%, Europeans 3,000, South Asians 2,000
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Christian 67% (Roman Catholic 62%, Protestant 5%), indigenous beliefs 23%, Muslim 10%
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Kirundi (official), French (official), Swahili (along Lake Tanganyika and in the Bujumbura area)
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definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 59.3%
male: 67.3%
female: 52.2% (2000 est.)
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total: 7 years
male: 8 years
female: 7 years (2006)
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5.1% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 69
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Government ::Burundi
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conventional long form: Republic of Burundi
conventional short form: Burundi
local long form: Republique du Burundi/Republika y'u Burundi
local short form: Burundi
former: Urundi
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republic
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name: Bujumbura
geographic coordinates: 3 22 S, 29 21 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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17 provinces; Bubanza, Bujumbura Mairie, Bujumbura Rurale, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke, Gitega, Karuzi, Kayanza, Kirundo, Makamba, Muramvya, Muyinga, Mwaro, Ngozi, Rutana, Ruyigi
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1 July 1962 (from UN trusteeship under Belgian administration)
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Independence Day, 1 July (1962)
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ratified by popular referendum 28 February 2005
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based on German and Belgian civil codes and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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18 years of age; universal (adult)
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chief of state: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Yves SAVINGUVU - Tutsi (since 9 November 2007); Second Vice President Gabriel NTISEZERANA - Hutu (since 9 February 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Pierre NKURUNZIZA (since 26 August 2005); First Vice President Yves SAVINGUVU - Tutsi (since 9 November 2007); Second Vice President Gabriel NTISEZERANA - Hutu (since 9 February 2007)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by president
elections: the president is elected by popular vote to a five-year term (eligible for a second term); note - the constitution adopted in February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the parliament; next elections to be held in August 2010; vice presidents nominated by the president, endorsed by parliament
election results: Pierre NKURUNZIZA was elected president by the parliament by a vote of 151 to 9; note - the constitution adopted in February 2005 permits the post-transition president to be elected by a two-thirds majority of the legislature
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bicameral Parliament or Parlement, consists of a Senate (54 seats; 34 members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms, with remaining seats assigned to ethnic groups and former chiefs of state) and a National Assembly or Assemblee Nationale (minimum 100 seats, 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi with at least 30% being women; additional seats appointed by a National Independent Electoral Commission to ensure ethnic representation; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 29 July 2005 (next to be held in July 2010); National Assembly - last held 4 July 2005 (next to be held in July 2010)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 30, FRODEBU 3, CNDD 1; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CNDD-FDD 58.6%, FRODEBU 21.7%, UPRONA 7.2%, CNDD 4.1%, MRC-Rurenzangemero 2.1%, others 6.2%; seats by party - CNDD-FDD 59, FRODEBU 25, UPRONA 10, CNDD 4, MRC-Rurenzangemero 2
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Supreme Court or Cour Supreme; Constitutional Court; High Court of Justice (composed of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court)
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governing parties: Burundi Democratic Front or FRODEBU [Leonce NGENDAKUMANA]; National Council for the Defense of Democracy - Front for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD-FDD [Jeremie NGENDAKUMANA]; Unity for National Progress or UPRONA [Aloys RUBUKA]
note: a multiparty system was introduced after 1998, included are: National Council for the Defense of Democracy or CNDD [Leonard NYANGOMA]; National Resistance Movement for the Rehabilitation of the Citizen or MRC-Rurenzangemero [Epitace BANYAGANAKANDI]; Party for National Redress or PARENA [Jean-Baptiste BAGAZA]
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Observatoire de lutte contre la corruption et les malversations economiques or OLUCOME [Gabriel RUFYIRI] (anti-corruption pressure group)
other: Hutu and Tutsi militias (loosely organized)
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ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AU, CEPGL, COMESA, EAC, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
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chief of mission: Ambassador Celestin NIYONGABO
chancery: Suite 212, 2233 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 342-2574
FAX: [1] (202) 342-2578
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chief of mission: Ambassador Patricia Newton MOLLER
embassy: Avenue des Etats-Unis, Bujumbura
mailing address: B. P. 1720, Bujumbura
telephone: [257] 223454
FAX: [257] 222926
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divided by a white diagonal cross into red panels (top and bottom) and green panels (hoist side and fly side) with a white disk superimposed at the center bearing three red six-pointed stars outlined in green arranged in a triangular design (one star above, two stars below)
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Economy ::Burundi
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Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. The economy is predominantly agricultural with more than 90% of the population dependent on subsistence agriculture. Economic growth depends on coffee and tea exports, which account for 90% of foreign exchange earnings. The ability to pay for imports rests primarily on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. The Tutsi minority, 14% of the population, dominates the coffee trade. An ethnic-based war that lasted for over a decade resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, forced more than 48,000 refugees into Tanzania, and displaced 140,000 others internally. Only one in two children go to school, and approximately one in 15 adults has HIV/AIDS. Food, medicine, and electricity remain in short supply. Burundi's GDP grew around 4% annually in 2006-08. Political stability and the end of the civil war have improved aid flows and economic activity has increased, but underlying weaknesses - a high poverty rate, poor education rates, a weak legal system, and low administrative capacity - risk undermining planned economic reforms. Burundi will continue to remain heavily dependent on aid from bilateral and multilateral donors; the delay of funds after a corruption scandal cut off bilateral aid in 2007 reduced government's revenues and its ability to pay salaries.
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$3.102 billion (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
$2.969 billion (2007 est.)
$2.865 billion (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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$1.097 billion (2008 est.)
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4.5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 95
3.6% (2007 est.)
5.1% (2006 est.)
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$400 (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 227
$400 (2007 est.)
$400 (2006 est.)
note: data are in 2008 US dollars
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agriculture: 33.4%
industry: 21%
services: 45.6% (2008 est.)
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4.245 million (2007)
country comparison to the world: 84
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agriculture: 93.6%
industry: 2.3%
services: 4.1% (2002 est.)
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NA%
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68% (2002 est.)
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lowest 10%: 4.1%
highest 10%: 28% (2006)
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42.4 (1998)
country comparison to the world: 54
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12.5% of GDP (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
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revenues: $295.2 million
expenditures: $355 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2008 est.)
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24.1% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 211
8.3% (2007 est.)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 36
10.12% (31 December 2007)
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NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 32
16.84% (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 154
$208.7 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 159
$141 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 153
$342 million (31 December 2007)
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$NA
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coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, manioc (tapioca); beef, milk, hides
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light consumer goods such as blankets, shoes, soap; assembly of imported components; public works construction; food processing
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5% (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46
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92 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 191
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125.6 million kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 185
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0 kWh (2008 est.)
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40 million kWh; note - supplied by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2007 est.)
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0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
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3,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
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0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 204
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2,495 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 174
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0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 200
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 115
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0 cu m (2008)
country comparison to the world: 197
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0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
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0 cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 199
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$-183 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 84
$-116.8 million (2007 est.)
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$79 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198
$52.9 million (2007 est.)
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coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
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Japan 22.3%, Germany 14.4%, Pakistan 7.5%, Rwanda 4.7%, Sudan 4.4% (2008)
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$350 million (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 188
$257.6 million (2007 est.)
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capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
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Saudi Arabia 18.3%, Kenya 10.7%, Belgium 7.9%, France 5.8%, Uganda 5.1%, China 4.9%, India 4.5%, Germany 4.3% (2008)
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$266.7 million (31 December 2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141
$177.1 million (31 December 2007 est.)
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$1.2 billion (2003)
country comparison to the world: 150
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Burundi francs (BIF) per US dollar - 1,198 (2008 est.), 1,065 (2007), 1,030 (2006), 1,138 (2005), 1,100.91 (2004)
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Communications ::Burundi
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30,400 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 178
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480,600 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 156
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general assessment: primitive system; telephone density one of the lowest in the world; fixed-line connections stand at well less than 1 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular usage is increasing but remains at a meager 5 per 100 persons
domestic: sparse system of open-wire, radiotelephone communications, and low-capacity microwave radio relay
international: country code - 257; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2008)
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AM 0, FM 4, shortwave 1 (2001)
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1 (2001)
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.bi
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191 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 189
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65,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 167
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Transportation ::Burundi
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8 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 161
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total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2009)
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total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 3 (2009)
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1 (2009)
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total: 12,322 km
country comparison to the world: 131
paved: 1,286 km
unpaved: 11,036 km (2004)
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mainly on Lake Tanganyika (2008)
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Bujumbura
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Military ::Burundi
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National Defense Force (Forces de Defense Nationale, FDN): Army (includes naval detachment and Air Wing), Gendarmerie (2009)
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military service is voluntary; the armed forces law of 31 December 2004 did not specify a minimum age for enlistment, but the government had previously specified that each recruit would need to have a primary school leaving certificate (2009)
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males age 16-49: 1,878,544
females age 16-49: 1,851,676 (2008 est.)
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males age 16-49: 1,124,072
females age 16-49: 1,102,729 (2009 est.)
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male: 101,402
female: 101,897 (2009 est.)
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5.9% of GDP (2006 est.)
country comparison to the world: 11
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Transnational Issues ::Burundi
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Burundi and Rwanda dispute sections of border on the Akanyaru/Kanyaru and the Kagera/Nyabarongo rivers, which have changed course since the 1960s, when the boundary was delimited; cross-border conflicts among Tutsi, Hutu, other ethnic groups, associated political rebels, armed gangs, and various government forces persist in the Great Lakes region
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refugees (country of origin): 9,849 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
IDPs: 100,000 (armed conflict between government and rebels; most IDPs in northern and western Burundi) (2007)
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current situation: Burundi is a source country for children trafficked for the purposes of child soldiering, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation; a small number of Burundian children may be trafficked internally for domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation; in early 2008, Burundian children were allegedly trafficked to Uganda, via Rwanda, for agricultural labor and commercial sexual exploitation
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Burundi is on the Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year for its failure to provide sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2007; the government's inability to provide adequate protective services to children accused of association with armed groups and to conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement activities continue to be causes for concern; Burundi has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol (2008)
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