Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-Progress Report

The government of Burundi undertook to prepare the first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (GPRSF). The general framework for most economic and social development programs initiated by Burundi and its donors has been established. A general balance sheet of performance has also been established. Economic development efforts have generally had an impact on the population’s material well-being. The principal objective of the second strategic axis focusing on economic growth was annual growth between 6 and 7 percent, capable of doubling per capita GDP in 15 years.


The government of Burundi undertook to prepare the first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (GPRSF). The general framework for most economic and social development programs initiated by Burundi and its donors has been established. A general balance sheet of performance has also been established. Economic development efforts have generally had an impact on the population’s material well-being. The principal objective of the second strategic axis focusing on economic growth was annual growth between 6 and 7 percent, capable of doubling per capita GDP in 15 years.


1. Approved in 2006, the first GPRSF has been completed. Before undertaking to prepare a second GPRSF, the government decided to evaluate the performance and impact of the first strategy, based on the three progress reports.

2. The first GPRSF had four principal objectives: governance and security, sustainable and equitable growth, development of human capital, and combating AIDs. For each of these four objectives, the report examines the situation at the start, measures taken during the GPRSF implementation period, and results obtained. This summary emphasizes (i) the impact of the first GPRSF on the country’s economic and social life and (ii) lessons to be drawn, with particular attention to the priorities that should dominate the future policies of the government and its partners in the area of poverty reduction and economic growth.

I. Impact of the First GPRSF

A. Governance and Security

3. It is clear that some substantial results were obtained in this area and that they should be consolidated to establish conditions sufficient to promote sustainable growth.

4. Significant progress was made toward normalization of political life. Elections were organized in 2005 and 2010. In the area of political governance, a particular characteristic of the approach adopted was the regional sessions held thanks to the “dialogue frameworks.” The principal achievement was the organization of a national forum bringing together all political parties. Thanks to this advance, the CENI could be set up based on broad consensus and has developed a complete and detailed schedule for holding elections.

5. Internal security has been reestablished throughout the country since the end of 2008. Negotiations with the FNL since September 2006 failed several times, but an agreement reached in 2008 and the transformation of the rebel movement into a political party marked the end of hostilities. The restoration of security eliminates the major obstacle to a strong resurgence of economic growth.

6. The Arusha Accords and the recent accords with the FNL provide for integrating former combatants into the armed forces and security services. On the other hand, the restoration of civil peace justifies the reduction of military and police personnel. The DRR program demobilizes combatants and organizes their reinsertion and reintegration. The number of the demobilized continues to grow, but the effectiveness of programs to support reintegration is limited. Army troops have fallen from close to 32,000 in 2005 to fewer than 28,000 in 2009. National police forces have fallen from 19,500 to 17,000. The government’s objective is to retain 25,000 military troops and 15,000 police officers.

7. Disarmament of the civilian population continues but is still far from the objective of 100,000 weapons to be seized. Mines are being successfully cleared. The three provinces most affected are now considered clear of mines.

8. Progress made in administrative reform is still limited. The communes lack capabilities and resources. The construction/rehabilitation of 49 communal offices gave 40 percent of the communes an initial basic structure, but much more must still be done to professionalize and decentralize the civil service. Progress made in reforming public finances has been satisfactory. Procedures and systems are modernized (Organic Law, Procurement Code, Customs Code), the SIGEFI has been extended to virtually all financial management and cash flow, and commitment plans provide for better control of budgetary execution.

9. Finally and most importantly, the percentage allocated to expenditures for priority sectors went from 40.9 percent in 2005 to 54.4 percent in 2009. New structures were set up in the context of the policy to combat corruption and controls are carried out on a regular basis. Cumulative efforts are made to recover misappropriated funds.

10. Reform of the judicial system is an area where progress has been very inadequate. Judges have been trained and courts have been built, but judicial backlogs are increasing, the percentage of decisions enforced is declining, and the number of detainees far exceeds prison capacity. Property disputes predominate; they alone represent 56 percent of the disputes recorded in 2008.

B. Sustainable and Equitable Growth

11. The results obtained in this area are not as good as expected. A growth rate barely above four percent from 2006 to 2009 represents progress compared to the results for the early 2000s but this rate is in no way sufficient to reduce the poverty rate, which reached 67 percent in 2006. In addition, growth rates are relatively satisfactory in the secondary and tertiary sectors, while 97 percent of the poorest Burundians work in the primary sector. Even though livestock has made significant progress, limited progress in agricultural production results in modest growth in the primary sector (less than 3% from 2006 to 2009).

12. Weak agricultural growth has several causes: (i) lack of security; (ii) generally unfavorable weather conditions; (iii) slow reestablishment of research and agricultural extension efforts, including the production of seed and the distribution of fertilizers; and finally (iv) the decline of the major export crop (coffee).

13. Two other factors – poor infrastructure conditions and an anemic private sector –have had a negative effect on the recent performance of the Burundi economy.

14. With respect to infrastructure, roads were constructed and rehabilitated, most provinces are no longer isolated, and notable efforts have been made to improve road maintenance: FRN resources doubled from 2006 to 2009. A serious problem is the routing of the country’s imports and exports from and to Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. International transportation costs represent 23 percent of the value of Burundi exports.

15. Production of electricity is extremely weak and reaches only three percent of the population. Projects have been carried out to rehabilitate and extend the network and the production of electricity grew in 2007 and 2008, although it declined in 2009. Technical losses are declining but remain significant. The rate structure does not ensure the financial viability of REGIDESO.

16. Mobile telephones are one of the rare areas where expansion is strong, thanks to the private sector, but this expansion is primarily for those who are less poor.

17. At the private sector level, it should be noted that Burundi receives very low ratings in business climate surveys. At another level, some measures have been taken, particularly the settlement of government arrears in 2006-2007. Several codes (commerce, corporations, investment) were revised and a framework was created for public/private sector collaboration. Nonetheless, many of these reforms are recent and have not yet been implemented.

C. Development of Human Resources

18. This is indisputably the area in which the most significant progress has been made, thanks in particular to the social sectors’ increased share of budgets and development assistance.

19. In the area of education, there was spectacular growth in the rate of primary school enrollment while net rates went from 59.8 percent in 2005 to 89.7 percent in 2009. In 2006, the system’s ability to absorb growth was overburdened: the pupil/classroom and pupil/teacher ratios deteriorated and are now improving. Grade repetition rates remain very high, but completion rates are improving. Gender parity rates are improving. Progress in secondary and higher education remains relatively limited despite the construction of communal colleges, the rehabilitation of high schools, and the construction of facilities at the University of Burundi and the ENS.

20. In the health sector, significant efforts have been made to train paramedical nurses and increase capacity by building infrastructure (hospitals and health centers). Moreover, the introduction of contractual arrangements has made it possible to better motivate personnel and tie compensation to the volume and quality of services rendered.

21. In addition, free health care for women giving birth and children under the age of five has increased utilization rates. Thus, the number of women who give birth in health facilities is increasing and maternal and child mortality rates are declining although access to medications remains a problem.

22. Available figures on water and sanitation indicate some progress has been made. However, the data are still imprecise and perhaps contradictory and must be better measured and evaluated.

D. Combating HIV/AIDS

23. Considerable resources have been mobilized and substantial results obtained. Prevention and screenings are progressing. The number of patients treated with antiretrovirals has tripled and prevalence is declining: (i) from an average of 3.2 percent to 2.9 percent nationally; (ii) from 9.4 percent to 4.6 percent in urban areas; and (iii) from 10.5 percent to 4.4 percent in semi-urban areas. Nonetheless, it has increased in rural areas: from 2.5 percent to 2.8 percent.

II. Principal Lessons Learned

24. On balance, the GPRSF has had a very good track record. Progress in governance and security is substantial in nearly all subsectors. The results obtained in the primary education and basic health sectors are remarkable. It is only in terms of growth that progress has been clearly insufficient. It is this outcome alone that defines the priorities that must dominate future action by government agencies and the international community.

  • (i) Much more must be done to stimulate growth, particularly in rural areas where most poor people live.

  • (ii) Efforts made to improve governance must be continued and intensified, particularly with respect to reform of the judicial system.

  • (iii) Development of social sectors and combating HIV/AIDS must continue.

  • (iv) Now that the primary school enrollment rate is approaching 100 percent, high priority must be assigned to quality and adjustments in the other levels (secondary and tertiary) in order to accommodate the gradual increase in the number of students in primary schools.

A. Much more to be done for growth.

25. In this area, a particular effort must be made in agriculture, livestock, and rural development in general. At the same time, reconstruction of an effective research and extension system must be accelerated, the distribution of fertilizers and other inputs must be modernized, and better use must be made of the country’s hydrological potential so as to better utilize marshes and all forms of small and medium-scale irrigation.

26. Export crops must be reformed and diversified: coffee, tea, and non-traditional exports. Only the mobilization of a competent and effective private sector will allow the country to produce and sell the high-quality products that the country’s ecological conditions makes possible. It is also important to diversify the economy, particularly the mining sector (abundant and promising nickel deposits) as well as the country’s tourism potential, which is not negligible.

27. A visible effort must be considered to develop infrastructures (large and small) in (i) transportation (domestic and international) (ii) energy, and (iii) ICTs (connection to the fiber optic network). This effort assumes that additional resources will be mobilized not only in terms of the national budget and international assistance but also in terms of national and international private investment.

28. Development of the private sector will no doubt be the top priority for providing new and strong impetus to growth. To this end, not only should the recently revised codes and reforms be implemented but the effective operation of the public/private sector collaboration framework created in 2009 must be assured. Accelerating the program to privatize government enterprises would provide a strong signal for the national and international private sector.

29. SMEs and the informal sector create more jobs than the modern sector. The government – in collaboration with national and international NGOs – will strive to develop SMEs, microenterprise, and microfinance. Extending HLI methods wherever possible will also have a significant impact on employment.

B. Much to be Done for Governance. Four Priorities Predominate.

30. First protect what has already been achieved. This means continuing to build a democratic political system, strengthening security, reducing army and police personnel, and reducing defense and security expenses so that the country can continue to increase the resources allocated to growth and social development.

31. Then intensify reform of government finance. From this perspective, procedural and structural reforms that have already yielded good results must continue and oversight bodies must be further strengthened.

32. A vigorous campaign to combat corruption is needed to improve the image of Burundi, as its current image severely limits the mobilization of resources from donors and the private sector.

33. At the same time, it will be important to launch decisive administrative reform, the goal being to professionalize civil service, accelerate decentralization, involve beneficiary associations in planning, and monitor basic services.

34. Finally, accelerated reform of the judicial system is imperative. Recommendations are to build and provide more equipment for courts, provide more training for judges, and strengthen the independence of the judiciary. Other important tasks are to deal with property disputes at the local level, secure land ownership, and establish transitional justice also important tasks.

C. Still More Must be Done to Develop Human Resources and Combat HIV/AIDS.

Six types of measures should be considered.

  • (i) Develop school infrastructure and equipment, continue to increase the primary school enrollment rate, emphasize quality (teacher training, academic manuals, reducing grade repetition, increasing completion rates).

  • (ii) Adapt the supply of secondary and tertiary education to the increase in the number of children being taught in primary schools and to market requirements.

  • (iii) Continue reform of the healthcare system, particularly by redeploying human resources and providing incentives for health professionals,

  • (iv) Strengthen CAMEBU, reform its by-laws, improve provisions and medications (quantity and quality), particularly with respect to essential medications.

  • (v) Make a special effort in the area of water and sanitation so as to significantly improve public health.

  • (vi) Continue efforts to mobilize the resources necessary to combat AIDS.


35. In 2004 the government of Burundi—with the support of its partners—undertook to prepare the first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (GPRSF). Based on an extended process of consultations with all the public and private institutions involved and with representatives from the provinces, communes, and civil society, this framework was approved by the government and Parliament in September 2006, and then evaluated by the Bretton Woods institutions (IMF and World Bank) in March 2007. Considered by the government and its partners as the general framework for most economic and social development programs initiated by Burundi and its donors, the first GPRSF established four principal objectives:

  • (i) Good governance – an essential condition for the Burundi population’s acceptance of the government’s development policies – and security – the principal condition for the country’s economic renewal after thirteen years of civil war.

  • (ii) Equitable and sustainable growth, broadly based on the development of rural areas where 90 percent of the Burundi population and 97 percent of the poor reside.

  • (iii) Development of human capital, the basis of economic and social development and efforts to combat poverty.

  • (iv) Combating HIV/AIDS, the incidence of which is still relatively limited although it does represent a potential threat to the future of the Burundi population.

36. Conceived as a four-year strategy (2006-2009), the first GPRSF is at an end. It will be replaced by a second GPRSF, one of the prerequisites for which is to prepare the evaluation of the first GPRSF.

37. The purpose of this report is to establish a general balance sheet of performance during the three years of GPRSF implementation, that is, a review of the principal reforms and activities undertaken during this period and an analysis of the results obtained in each of the four priority axes.

38. This report is based on the three progress reports prepared by the SP/REFES for 2007, 2008, and 2009. In effect, the GPRSF monitoring and evaluation system is based on these reports. These three reports were based on a process of extensive consultations not only with sectoral representatives but also with representatives from the provinces, communes, and civil society, thus reflecting the view of the beneficiaries.


39. Upon the conclusion of the General Population and Housing Census of 2008 (2008 RGPH), the population totaled 8,053,574 inhabitants, 49.2 percent of them men and 50.8 percent of them women. There were only four million inhabitants in the early 1980s but this quickly grew to 5.3 million according to the 1990 RGPH and to 8,243,638 inhabitants in 2008. With an annual growth rate of 2.4 percent, Burundi’s population could double over the next 30 years.

40. The major cause for this growth is fertility that is still high (SFI greater than 6.1). In addition, this fertility is accompanied by a high percentage of those under the age of 15 (approximately 45.1%) and a low percentage for the elderly population (between 3 and 4%) as illustrated in the chart below.

Chart 1:

Age Pyramid of Burundi Population in 2008

Source: General Population and Housing Census

41. Although this population dynamic may represent an asset to the extent that human capital is an important agent of development, it can represent a real challenge given the pressure that it exerts on all socioeconomic sectors.


42. Economic development efforts have generally had an impact on the population’s material well-being (Box 1). As shown in the chart below, the distribution of the well-being score in 2009 is consistently below the distribution of the well-being score in 2005. However, significant efforts must still be made to create employment and activities that generate monetary wealth in order to increase per capita income to at least its pre-crisis levels. Per capita income1 has in fact increased to about US$140 at present, but it is still below the level achieved in 1992.

Chart 2:

Distribution of Well-Being Score by Household from 2005 to 2009 (Weighted)

Source: Government estimates based on the 2005 MICS and 2009 PMS Surveys

43. Along the same lines, overall well-being, which also includes progress in education, health, and nutrition, has improved nationally. Between 2005 and 2009, recent estimates indicate that the multidimensional poverty index (MPI) decreased from 0.50 to 0.42, indicating a reduction in the population’s deprivation in terms of the goods and services used to calculate the index.

44. This progress is basically due to growth in the indicators for access to education. In effect, while in 2005 52.3 percent of the population lived in a household in which no one had completed primary school and 43.7 percent lived in a household in which at least one school-aged child did not go to school, these percentages fell to 41.3 percent and 31.9 percent, respectively, in 2009. This progress is confirmed even in households considered poor, pointing to the success of national efforts promoting recovery of the educational sector. In contrast, progress made in public health is not fully reflected in this poverty index. Moreover, the survey data are not exhaustive enough to calculate the contribution that malnutrition makes to the multidimensional poverty index.

Indicators Used in Calculating the Wealth Score in 2005 and 2009

Material well-being is calculated based on the wealth score by applying the principal components analysis (PCA) method. The wealth (well-being) score this method yields is calculated for each household surveyed in 2005 and 2009. The indicators developed and precisely defined in the two household surveys were used to calculate this score. These indicators are: the primary source of drinking water, the type of toilet used, the soil type of the house, the type of roof on the house, the type of walls in the house, the fuel used for cooking, ownership of at least one bicycle, a radio, television, a motorcycle/moped, refrigerator, car/truck, fixed telephone, mobile telephone, access to electricity (Regideso, DGHR, private, etc.), ownership of at least one chair, a sewing machine, ownership of cattle, goats, poultry, rabbits, pigs, guinea pigs, the number of rooms in the house, and the number of people per room/bedroom. Thus, the wealth score combines the ownership/presence or absence of these indicators within each household to assign a synthetic indicator. The more its values increase, the more the household is considered to enjoy a significant level of material well-being (limited, of course, to the indicators used).


45. The Governance and Security axis is the first priority of GPRSF I. This axis includes three principal objectives: (i) peace, national reconciliation, and security; (ii) promoting the rule of law, combating impunity, and promoting justice for all; (iii) prevention and management of land disputes and other disputes of the past; and (iv) good governance (political, administrative, and economic).

I. Peace, National Reconciliation, and Security

A. The Situation in 2005-2006

46. The security situation. The first GPRSF was approved six years after the signing of the Arusha Accords. Although these accords had marked the beginning of the national reconciliation process, internal security was still far from being assured as of that date. Moreover, this factor was by itself the major obstacle to renewed economic activity, particularly in rural areas. Although a cease fire agreement had been reached with the last rebel group (FNL-PALIPEHUTU) in September 2006, it took two years of negotiations and disputes for this first agreement to be reflected in the cessation of hostilities.

47. Demobilization. The Arusha Accords provided for integrating former combatants in the armed forces and security services. On the whole, these accords worked well. The integration of former rebels (including the standardization of ranks) had been effected under quite good conditions, but it had led to surplus personnel. Of course, the demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration program (DRR), in operation since 2004, had already demobilized 1,681 soldiers and combatants from the rebel groups, transferring the gendarmerie to the police and increasing the number of police officers offset the reduction in the number of military personnel. As a result, defense and security expenditures still represented 36 percent of expenses executed2 in financial year 2006, limiting opportunities for reallocating resources to the priority economic and social sectors.

48. Disarmament and demining. Demobilization of the army and former combatants was not the only issue of insecurity to be resolved. The civilian population was armed (about 100,000 weapons) and landmines and unexploded ordnance represented a major risk, particularly in the three of the country’s provinces. It was also necessary to demobilize and reinsert the 20,000 guardians of the peace.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

49. Negotiations with the FNL. The final outcome of the negotiations with the FNL-PALIPEHUTU was a major event. After the 2006 accord, a new accord in September 2007 had not been any more successful in reestablishing civilian peace.

50. The breakdown of negotiations in 2008 even led to renewed hostilities, particularly in the provinces of Bubanza and Bujumbura Rural. It is thanks in particular to the involvement of subregional leadership and the international community that a third accord was concluded in December 2008. The integration of the movement under the DRR program and the transformation of the FNL into a political party led to a clear improvement in the security situation, even though the resurgence of criminal activity has continued to affect urban and rural areas.

51. Demobilization/reinsertion/reintegration. The conduct of the DRR program is continuing during implementation of the GPRSF. The program not only demobilizes the armed forces and rebel group combatants but also encourages them to rejoin civilian society (distribution of a payment upon discharge) and initiates reintegration programs (training sessions and material assistance for new activities). On the whole, demobilization has been successful and the total number of demobilized adults has increased regularly from 18,755 in 2006 to 29,527 in 2009. In addition, the cohort of 20,000 guardians of the peace was entirely dismantled. All the demobilized received a payment upon discharge and many of them (24,890 in the four years from 2006 to 2009) benefited from a program of support. However, the performance of the support programs is somewhat limited. Reintegration is actually easier if the demobilized return to their original communities and are able to resume agricultural activities. Many have chosen to create small businesses or to launch handcraft activities, often without having the basic education or professional training necessary to succeed in their new venture.

52. Change in army and police forces. The table below shows the development of army and police forces from 2005-2006 to 2010. Despite the integration of 2,229 FNL members, the number of army personnel fell by 14 percent (from 31,839 to 27,736) and the number of police fell by 17 percent (from 19,573 to 16,183).

Table 1.

Change in the Number of Army and Police Personnel

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Sources: Ministry of National Defense and Former Combatants/Ministry of Public Security – Census of forces

53. Professionalization of the defense and security corps. Parallel to the demobilization process, the government is also committed to professionalizing its defense and security corps.

54. The objective is to consolidate the integration of combatants from the rebel movements, to create a republican and professional army, and to transform the National Police into a local police force. Training programs have accompanied and supplemented the integration of former combatants. Thus, academic, normative, and technical training sessions (6,608 in 2007, 22,127 in 2009) were organized for the security and defense corps. An important measure initiated in 2008 involves preparing quarters for military personnel by rehabilitating existing camps. In effect, quarters are essential not only to strengthen discipline and ensure the training and instruction of the troops, but also to reassure the civilian population. To date, 17 barracks for 7,395 military personnel have been rehabilitated. Finally, the role that Burundi troops play in peacekeeping operations in Somalia, the Sudan, Chad, and Central Africa should be noted. The PNB is also present in several countries in the context of UNPOL (Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur, CAR/CHAD), and in Haiti.

55. Disarmament of the Civilian Population/Demining. A commission on disarmament of the civilian population and combating the proliferation of light and small-caliber weapons is responsible for operations to disarm civilians and former combatants. The goal is to seize a total of 100,000 weapons by 2015. This goal is far from being achieved, as the number of weapons seized went from 7,299 in 2007 to only 33,257 in 2009. More spectacular progress has been made in the area of demining and the three provinces most affected by landmines and unexploded ordnance are now considered totally cleared.

II. Rule of Law, Combating Impunity, Justice for All

A. The Situation in 2005-2006

Development of judicial system performance indicators

56. The ineffectiveness of the justice system is reflected in the limited number of cases handled by judges (two per month/per judge in the higher jurisdictions), by the volume of the “judicial backlog” (more than 27,000 cases in 2006), and the low percentage of judgments enforced (46%).

57. Regarding the justice system, the consultations preliminary to the preparation of the first GPRSF showed the importance the population assigned to respect for human rights, the installation of an accessible, impartial, and effective system of justice, and an end to impunity. In 2005-2006, the situation in the justice sector was characterized by a shortage of resources and qualified personnel and by the uneven distribution of human resources among the country’s different provinces. Another problem associated with the performance of the justice sector is the disturbing situation in the prisons. The number of prisoners was particularly high (107 for every 100,000 inhabitants) and far exceeded prison capacity (more than double the available capacity). The excess prison population was to a large part due to significant preventive custody (66% of the total number of prisoners).

58. Under such conditions, it is not surprising that the first GPRSF emphasized access to justice (particularly for the most vulnerable categories), strengthening human and material resources, the independence of judges, reform of the legal framework (adoption/revision of legal texts), and modernization of prison administration.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

59. Efforts to consolidate the judicial system generally revolved around four basic groups of activities. First, in order to improve the system, in 2007 the Government began projects to construct, rehabilitate and equip nearly 90 local courts distributed throughout the entire country. In addition, 33 additional local courts will be built next year to provide more local justice. In 2008, legal aid and assistance afforded 750 people access to the courts and tribunals.

60. To lend credibility to and improve the capacity of the justice system, activities were carried out to build awareness of judicial ethics among judges in the grass roots judicial apparatus, perception surveys were conducted (one on the type of justice acceptable to all and the other on the quality of local justice), and a study was carried out on the operation of local courts. The Sectoral Policy on Justice is also prepared using this approach.

61. In 2008, professional capacities were strengthened with the combined support of the development partners. Thus, 167 judges throughout the country benefited from a training session on ethics. Training sessions were conducted on administrative disputes (Administrative Courts of Bujumbura and Gitega and the Court of Appeals of Ngozi), the management of courts and tribunals (12 trainers and 205 judicial personnel), and justice for miners (12 trainer-judges, 17 social workers, 16 judicial police officers). In order to ensure emergency retraining of personnel and prepare for the creation of a Professional Judicial Training Center, an evaluation was begun to determine the training needs of judges and other judicial personnel.

62. Implementation has begun on the initial stages of an ambitious program of refresher training courses for judges. A Professional Judicial Training Center was created and has begun to operate. Nevertheless, judges’ qualifications are still inadequate: the number of judges with a degree in law is on the order of 41 percent. To date, very few have received adequate professional training.

63. The Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor’s Office, and the Judicial Inspectorate were strengthened to improve the instruction of judges. Focal points were appointed at the general prosecutor and superior court level to handle cases involving minors and gender-based violence. Finally, control of the prison population has become one of the government’s priority objectives.

64. Finally, to reestablish litigants’ confidence in the justice system, the government has launched a program to enforce judicial decisions with preference given to on-site visits. In this way, 505 clerks and judges were given preliminary training on decision-writing techniques, methods for enforcing orders and decisions, civil and criminal procedure, classification and archiving, and case management and handling. In this way, 1,855 matters were handled and 1,945 reports were issued in 2008.

65. Clearly judicial reform is a long-term undertaking and its results will not be felt for many years. Progress made during the period of the first GPRSF is actually still limited. The number of judges has increased, of course (from 15.5 for every 100,000 inhabitants in 2006 to 18.4 in 2009), but the judicial backlog continues to grow (from 27,195 cases in 2006 to 45,511 cases in 2009) and the percentage of decisions enforced is falling (from 46% of cases judged in 2006 to 39% in 2009). Finally, while the percentage of preventive detentions compared to the total number of prisoners is slightly lower (from 66% in 2006 to 63% in 2009), the number of detainees for every 100,000 inhabitants continues to increase (from 107 in 2006 to 132 in 2009) and the prison occupancy percentage went from 215 percent in 2006 to 268 percent in 2009.

66. The promotion and defense of human rights is the other priority for improving good governance and security. In this context, a notable achievement in 2007 was the organization3 of several information and awareness-building workshops on the fundamental principles of human rights and children’s rights. Other workshops informed the population and local authorities regarding the missions of the National Independent Human Rights Commission (CNIDH), for which two draft laws were produced. The institutional bases for the exercise of transitional justice were begun with the installation of a tripartite committee responsible for organizing national consultations on the subject.4 The installation of the Independent Human Rights Commission and revision of the criminal procedure code bringing the age of criminal majority to 15 have begun. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created in the same year.

67. In the following year, concrete initiatives were undertaken regarding various aspects of the defense of human rights. First, the government took measures to ensure stricter discipline with respect to the security forces and more dialogue with the partners and civil society. Mention should also be made of the finalization and promulgation of the new penal code bringing the legal majority to age 15; abolishing the death penalty; and criminalizing torture, genocide, crimes against humanity, and gender-based violence. The government and its partners are also financing a series of actions to combat sexual violence and abuse of women and children, provide training on human rights and peaceful coexistence,5 and distribute equipment to the National Police of Burundi (motorbikes, communication methods, office equipment, etc.).

68. Even though some cases of murders, rapes of women and children, and human rights violations were reported during 2009, it must nonetheless be noted that the cases reported indicate some reduction in comparison with earlier years.

69. In 2009, the ITEKA Leagues services recorded 269 murders (organized crime, property disputes, political assassination, popular justice, spousal violence, infanticide, etc.), but this number is lower than in preceding years (more than 600 a year in 2007 and 2008). Torture has not disappeared but the ITEKA League notes a reduction in the number of cases (127 in 2009, compared to 535 in 2007 and 334 in 2008). In order to move forward, the government proceeded to revise the draft law establishing the National Independent Human Rights Commission, to hold consultations with stakeholders with a view to development of a national human rights education policy, and to prepare a draft law on the press, decriminalizing press crimes.

III. Land Disputes and Other Disputes Associated with the Past

A. Situation in 2005-2006

70. Land disputes. One inheritance from the past was numerous land disputes, exacerbated by the return of refugees, the displaced, and the demobilized. The large number of these disputes made justice even slower. To relieve the courts, the government planned to have these disputes dealt with at the community level.

71. Transitional justice. It seemed difficult to foster national reconciliation if nothing was done to appease the resentments of victims and facilitate the coexistence of former adversaries. In this context, many demanded the creation of transitional justice.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

72. Management of land disputes. Land issues are by far the major cause of the disputes referred to the various jurisdictions (56.3% of disputes recorded in 2008).

73. Land issues are being handled within a social cohesion framework that gives preference to sustainable solutions. With the support of the National Commission on Land and Other Assets6 (CNTB), civil society, and the Bashingantahe [elders], in 2007 the government of Burundi conducted a survey on available land (16,429 undeveloped hectares, 30,896 hectares illegally assigned, 110,961 hectares occupied) in order to lend more equity to the management of land assets. The assignment documents were checked to confirm the data provided. Preparation of a draft law on inheritance, matrimonial regimes, and bequests, the creation of an Expanded Inter-Ministry Technical Committee (CTIE) to draw up a land tenure policy paper, and revision of the 1986 land tenure code are also among the achievements recorded in 2007.

74. An important study was also conducted on land tenure issues and alternative solutions for dealing with the challenges of reintegration. In 2008 the search for sustainable solutions to the land tenure issue was expedited, particularly through: (i) recognition of the CTIE in September 2008; (ii) validation of a land tenure policy paper; and (iii) with high-level patronage from the President of the Republic, the organization in November 2008 of a workshop on the proposed new land tenure code.7 To settle the thorny issue of the landless and the limited amount of land available, three pilot villages in the provinces of Makamba and Rutana were selected for testing the integrated rural villages strategy promoting access to land by vulnerable populations, with preference given to women. Building the capacity of the CNTB made it possible to record 10,461 land disputes, settle 3,389 cases, and confirm the amicable settlement of another 702 cases. These results will certainly improve with the upcoming doubling of the number of Commission members.

75. A law on the missions, organization, and operations of the National Commission on Land and Other Assets (CNTB) was promulgated on September 4, 2009. It makes the Commission’s decisions enforceable and will accelerate the handling of cases when an amicable settlement is reached at the provincial commission level. A land tenure policy paper adopted by the Council of Ministers in April 2009 provides for modernizing the Land Tenure Code, decentralizing land use management, taking inventory of properties, and possible solutions to the problem of landless peasants.

76. Pilot projects to record and secure properties were launched in 2008. The Integrated Rural Villages program, conceived for the reintegration of landless returnees and the internally displaced, is in its early stages. Five new villages were created and the number of houses being built is increasing (13,200 in 2008; 17,700 planned in 2009).

77. Transitional justice. In this area, the government set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but wanted to consult the population beforehand. In June 2008, it signed a PBF project document with the United Nations to support national consultations on transitional justice mechanisms. An inter-ministry commission for consultation with the population was created and awareness-building and information campaigns were organized for civil society, religious denominations, the Bashingantahe, youth, and the media, who should follow the process. The inter-ministry commission has produced a report the content of which will be published after it is approved by the proper authorities.

IV. Political, Administrative, and Economic Governance

A. Situation in 2005-2006

78. Political governance. In 2005-2006, significant progress had already been made in this area. After two transitional governments and the approval of a new Constitution in February 2005, communal, legislative, and presidential elections considered democratic and transparent had put in place the political institutions established by the Constitution and a new government began to operate in September 2005.

79. Administrative and financial governance. In 2005-2006, progress made in political governance had not been accompanied by similar progress at the level of local governance.

80. Basic services lacked resources and were ineffective. Local elections had created communal councils that elected their presidents, but most of these councils barely had the means with which to function. It was thus necessary to bring public services closer to the user, to promote decentralization, and to create incentive systems by rewarding skills and performance. Finally, good economic and financial governance and combating corruption were the essential complement to political and administrative governance and one of the conditions for success of the second axis of the GPRSF: sustainable and shared growth. Some measures had already been taken to improve the management of public finances and the expenditure structure, but much more still needed to be done to reform procedures and practices, strengthen controls, and modernize management.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

81. To promote political governance, many decisive actions have been taken. First, training sessions organized for local elected officials and members of parliament have helped to strengthen their management skills.

82. Second, in legal terms and with a view to the upcoming Estates-General on decentralization, a national policy paper on decentralization and development was adopted and the law on organization of the Administration was revised. The government also created the ENA to strengthen government administration and set up the National Observatory for Employment and Training. Several ministries have initiated diagnostic studies to identify the structural reforms that will allow them to carry out their functions more economically and effectively. The Ministry of Health has also initiated a hiring system linking the compensation of some employees to services rendered.

83. Starting in 2008, the development of political governance was dominated by slow but real progress toward the normalization of political life. When in session, the Parliament was able to fully exercise its legislative functions and is beginning to enjoy its role as a check on the executive branch, initiating inquiries regarding the activities of government agencies that it deems questionable. In 2007, a crisis within Parliament halted its activities, blocking parliamentary action and the review of bills. The formation of a new coalition government in 2008 made it possible to overcome the new disputes and unblock approval of the principal bills and reforms initiated by the government. A forum for dialogue among political parties, created in 2009, encourages exchanges of viewpoints and the airing of discussions between the government and political groups.

84. Administrative reform. An important measure was the 2008 civil service survey that successfully identified phantom employees who were receiving a salary although they were no longer working in government. Many other reforms must still be undertaken. First, administrative structures are still poorly suited to the development of services to improve the performance of public employees. To this end, several ministries initiated diagnostic studies to identify the structural reforms that will allow them to exercise their functions more economically and effectively. The Ministry of Health has also initiated a hiring system linking the compensation of some employees to the volume and quality of the services they provide.

85. Decentralization. In 2008, the government adopted a Framework Document for the National Decentralization Policy and a Three-Year Plan for its implementation. Efforts were made to give the communal council some resources. Training programs were set up. In 2008, 29 communal offices were constructed and 20 offices were rehabilitated, thus giving 40 percent of the communes the initial basic infrastructure.

86. In addition, all communes now have Communal Community Development Plans. Although they still lack material and financial resources, some communes have been able to demonstrate a certain dynamic, taking useful initiatives in response to the expectations of their constituents.

87. Deconcentration. An important reform in addition to decentralization is progress made in the deconcentration of government agencies. Provincial civil service offices are operating in the provinces of Ngozi, Gitega, and Bururi. The existence of these offices means that the population does not have to go to Bujumbura to deal with most of their administrative problems. The provincialization of some central agencies encourages dialogue with the communes and more systematic consultation with the users of public services. Note should be made in this context of Public Health’s initiatives to involve user associations in the planning and follow-up of basic health services.

88. Economic and financial governance. Three types of initiatives have been taken to improve financial governance: modernization of procedures and systems, more rigorous and effective management of government finances, and strengthening of the oversight agencies and specialized bodies involved in combating corruption.

89. Regarding the first point, two important laws were enacted during implementation of the GPRSF: the Organic Law defining the new guidelines for modern management of government finances and the Government Procurement Code reforming the institutional system and procedures for contracting awards. Regarding the second point, several measures were taken to strengthen the transparency of financial management, improve the performance of the SIGEFI information system, manage cash flow better, and introduce allocation plans applicable to all the ministries. The Customs Code was promulgated in 2007 and introduction of SYDONIA software allows for better monitoring of import activities, stricter control of exemptions, and integration of the tax ID number in customs operations.

90. The government also continued to give particular attention to improving the profile of government spending on behalf of the poor, consolidating measures associated with membership in the EAC such as the introduction of the VAT and CET and the rationalization of budgetary policy with implementation of the monthly cash flow plan, reform of the government’s fleet, and consolidation of the single Treasury account. The gradual implementation of the organic law and the Government Finance Management Strategy has also helped to strengthen follow-up of the budget bill. In addition, adoption of a new government procurement code initiated far-reaching institutional reform and modernization of contract award procedures, leading to greater transparency.

91. Finally, oversight bodies were strengthened. The Court of Accounts completed its audit of financial years 2007, 2008, and 2009 and the State Inspectorate General quadrupled the number of its inspectors.

92. Various measures to combat corruption were also adopted during implementation of the first GPRSF. A good governance strategy focusing on corruption problems is being completed. The Special Anti-Corruption Brigade began its work in March 2007. It sent the prosecutor’s office 18 reports on violations and more than 200 cases representing more than FBu 700 million in damages affecting the government Treasury. It believes that its action has had the effect of reducing the number of fraudulent tax returns and the use of forged documents in commercial activities. As for the Anti-Corruption Court, it has been strengthened and has developed its activities. The number of cases adjudicated by the court went from 77 in 2007 to 200 in 2009.

93. During the course of 2009, the revitalization of the IGE, the Anti-Corruption Court and the Anti-Corruption Brigade continued. The IGE handled more than 90 percent of the cases scheduled for the year while the Special Anti-Corruption Brigade not only held awareness-building meetings but also filed various cases with the eight regional headquarters, ultimately leading to the remarkable recovery of more than FBu 264 million.

94. The privatization program also showed remarkable process, particularly in terms of reform of the coffee industry, where restructuring of the OCIBU and the sale of 13 washing stations represent significant steps toward liberalization and increased competitiveness in this sector. Other measures targeting privatization of the hotel sector, SOSUMO, COTEBU, ONATEL and UCAR have already been taken and should shortly take concrete form in the transfer of shares held by the State.

V. General Record of Progress Made toward Achieving the Objectives of the First Axis of the GPRSF

95. The GPRSF’s track record in governance and security is generally satisfactory. Important progress has been made in two principal areas. The first is the normalization of political life and the apprenticeship in democracy by the country’s new institutions. The second is the remarkable (albeit still fragile) results obtained in reestablishing security. The most serious obstacle to renewed growth is being removed.

96. The reduction in army and police forces continues apace, but the reintegration of the demobilized still poses serious problems. Thus, defense and security expenditures as a percentage of (executed) government expenses8 continue to fall (from 35.9% in 2006 to 21.9% in 2009). As a result, the government is in a position to gradually increase the percentage of its spending allocated to pro-poor activities and other priority economic and social sectors.

97. Important reforms in the management of government finance were clearly initiated and are reflected in better control of the volume and structure of expenditures and better cash flow management. Nonetheless, corruption persists. This perception on the part of national and international observers continues to be a serious obstacle to improving the business climate and Burundi’s image internationally.

98. It is clear that the justice system situation is still not responding to the expectations of the population. In addition, the persistence of often nearly intractable land disputes could reawaken old antagonisms.

99. The consultations that will accompany the launch of the preparation of the second GPRSF will determine the Burundi population’s judgment regarding the effectiveness of the first GPRSF in the area of governance and security and the priorities that should predominate in the next GPRSF. However, at this point it is clear that redoubled efforts will be necessary:

  • (i) To consolidate achievements (democracy and security), complete demobilization, as well as revise reintegration process methods;

  • (ii) To continue financial management reform, initiate civil service reform, and support the development of communes.

100. However, in future high priority must be assigned to stabilization of the judicial sector: rapid increase in the resources available to the sector, accelerated training programs, better instruction, as well as a series of legislative and institutional measures intended to ensure its professionalization.


101. The principal objective of the second strategic axis focusing on economic growth was annual growth between six and seven percent, capable of doubling per capita GDP in 15 years. The methods proposed for achieving this goal are development of rural areas (primarily agriculture and livestock) where 90 percent of the country’s poor live and expansion of other sectors with growth potential such as industry, mining, and tourism. Based on development of the private sector and supported by extensive infrastructure programs, this strategy is also a poverty-reducing growth strategy that offers job opportunities, particularly for the urban and rural poor.

102. To evaluate the GPRSF’s impact on the country’s economic growth, the following aspects are examined in order:

  • (i) Recent developments in the Burundi economy;

  • (ii) Progress made toward: (a) the development of agriculture and livestock; (b) the promotion of other growth-inducing sectors; and (c) the implementation of the infrastructure program;

  • (iii) Results obtained in terms of: (a) private sector development; and (b) promotion of job opportunities and other income-generating activities for the poorest segments of the population.

I. Recent Developments in the Burundi Economy

103. At the time the first GPRSF was approved, Burundi was beginning to emerge from a long period of negative growth (up to 2000), followed by weak growth (with per capita GDP falling in more than one out of every two years) from 2000 to 2005. The decline in per capita GDP was reflected in a significant increase in the poverty rate, which went from 36 percent in 1990 to 67 percent in 2006. This poverty rate was very unevenly distributed (34% in the cities, 69% in rural areas, and 82% in particularly impoverished provinces such as Kirundo)9 and was accompanied by significant food insecurity (69% of the population), which was more serious in rural areas than in the urban centers.

104. The important economic and financial reforms initiated since 2004 and strongly supported by the partners led to the belief that the implementation period for the first GPRSF could be accompanied by strong growth. The GDP growth rate already exceeded 5 percent in 2006, one of the few years at the start of the decade when economic growth was clearly higher than the population growth rate (more than 2.3%).

105. During the entire implementation period for the first GPRSF, the government strove to implement prudent economic and financial policies designed to stabilize the economy, control inflation, reduce public deficits, and restructure government spending (in favor of the priority economic and social sectors). Despite these efforts, the results have not lived up to expectations. This is shown in Table 2 below, which summarizes the changes in the principal economic indicators from 2006 to 2009.

Table 2.

Change in Burundi’s Principal Economic

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Sources: IMF, World Bank, and Burundi authorities

106. Several endogenous and exogenous factors have had a negative influence on the performance of the Burundi economy since 2006, making it temporarily impossible to achieve the vigorous renewal of growth that would have allowed for significant results in terms of reducing poverty.11

107. The two principal factors are associated with the performance of the primary sector that produces about 45 percent of the country’s GDP. First, frequently unfavorable weather conditions (drought or excess rainfall) led to stagnant food production during a large portion of this period. Second, the age of the coffee trees that only produce every other year, with crops that will always tend to decline, despite an expansive replanting program (combined with reform of the processing and marketing of the product), failed to give new impetus to this important crop.12

108. The international situation also had a negative effect on the performance of the Burundi economy. First, increased prices for petroleum and foodstuffs in 2008 created strong inflationary pressures (an average increase of 24.5% in the consumer price index). It should be noted that this trend did not prevent a slight resurgence of growth fed by expansion in the manufacturing sector and increased investments financed with the support of donors. Second, the global economic and financial crisis in 2009 that, while reducing the inflation rate to 8.8 percent, also slowed the growth of the Burundi economy (decline in private transfers and direct foreign investment).

109. In this generally unfavorable economic environment, the government implemented a prudent budgetary policy, making it possible to improve the government finance situation.

  • (i) Increased domestic revenues and foreign assistance made it possible to reduce the budget deficit (commitment basis, excluding HIPC assistance) from 5.7% of GDP in 2006 to an average of 3.5% in 2007-2008.

  • (ii) In 2009, progress made in collecting taxes and fees was offset by the effect of the worldwide economic crisis, which held government revenues to 18.6% of GDP (compared to 18.5% in 2008).13 Despite the implementation of the accord with the FNL and the gradual payment of salary increases promised to public employees (particularly teachers and health personnel), government expenditures fell from 44 perfect of GDP in 2008 to 39 percent in 2009, but the cut in aid (-40%) had the effect of increasing the overall deficit (excluding HIPC aid) from 3.5 percent of GDP in 2007-2008 to 5.2 percent in 2009.

  • (iii) Remarkable progress was made in terms of the restructuring of public expenditures. The allocation for priority economic and social sectors as a percentage of total expenditures executed (excluding common charges) went from 45.2 percent in 2006 to 54.4 percent in 2009.

110. Two structural factors dominate the development of the foreign accounts: (i) Burundi exports are not diversified (the volatile and declining production of coffee represents 60 to 71 percent of the country’s total exports) and (ii) the country is highly dependent on difficult to reduce imports of petroleum products and capital goods. Nonetheless, the current account deficit (including government transfers) fell from 15.7 percent of GDP in 2007 to 12.3 percent in 2008. In fact, the negative effects of increased prices for petroleum and food important were offset by the increase in transfers. In contrast, the deficit increased in 2009 (14.5% of GDP) due to the decline in aid. Direct foreign investments are very weak ($0.5 million in 2007), but are beginning to increase ($13.6 million in 2008 and $10.2 million in 2009).

111. Although its performance is clearly superior to that of the primary sector, the secondary sector has still not proven its ability to be a powerful engine of growth for Burundi. The tertiary sector has produced more growth, but this growth primary reflects expansion in the public sector, strongly supported by foreign assistance. It is likely that the implementation of an expansive infrastructure program, combined with promotion of the private sector, will make possible a more vigorous renewal of the Burundi economy.

112. In short, despite the efforts made by the government to improve the macroeconomic framework and the management of government finances, the results obtained in terms of growth during the implementation of the GPRSF are very modest. A slight acceleration of growth can be noted compared to the first five years of the 2000s and – apparently – a slight deceleration in demographic growth can be noted toward the end of the period. However, other than in 2006 and 2008, GDP growth has never been more than one point above population growth.

113. Such rates are not sufficient to markedly reduce poverty: one of the likely consequences of this has been to keep the poverty rate in the vicinity of the 67 percent estimated in 2006. A significant reduction in poverty will not be truly possible unless the acceleration in economic growth is accompanied by a still greater slowdown in population growth and appropriate measures to promote jobs and income-generating activities for the poor.

II. Development of Agriculture and Livestock

114. Agriculture and livestock represent the principal foundation of the Burundi economy. They are the major source of income for 90 percent of Burundi and the sector accounts for approximately 45 percent of GDP and more than 95 percent of the country’s export revenues. However, 97 percent of the poor live in rural areas. The first GPRSF thus sought to base a large portion of economic growth on development of the primary sector.

115. The country has significant agricultural potential. The varied landscape and ecological conditions—when favorable—make crop diversification possible. However, the agriculture and livestock sector has been one of the most severely affected by the effects of the civil war. In effect, insecurity, population movements, disorganization of agricultural research and extension services, the decline in the production of seed, and the halt in the distribution of fertilizers have had dramatic effects on agricultural production and productivity.

116. Of the food crops, grains and above all legumes—most sensitive to climatic variations and the provision of fertilizers—have been most affected. Root vegetables, tubers, and bananas have been more resistant. However, food production must nourish a population that has grown by more than 20 percent during the same period.

117. Income crops were also severely affected. Insecurity, fertilizer problems, and inadequate pruning led to a sharp decline in coffee production and clear deterioration in quality.

118. The civil war also caused enormous disturbances in livestock activities. Depriving a portion of the Burundi population of animal protein, the losses suffered also affected food crops, in terms of the use of manure. With regard to fishing, the available figures show a significant reduction in the catch, caused by the intensive use of prohibited fish fillets (which compromise the replenishment of stock) and exacerbated by water pollution (domestic waste and waste from palm oil extraction).

119. The GPRSF had ambitious goals for the agricultural sector: increasing rice production from 64,000 tons in 2005 to 120,000 tons in 2010, doubling the production of wheat from 8,000 to 16,000 tons, and above all increasing banana production—Burundi’s principal crop—from 1.6 million tons in 2005 to 2.3 million tons in 2010. It also sought to increase the yields from corn, sorghum, and beans (varieties with higher yields, improved soil fertility, and mastery of growing techniques). With respect to income crops, the GPRSF sought to increase coffee production from 30,000 tons in 2006 to 60,000 tons in 2015 and to rehabilitate 27 washing stations, to increase the production of tea from 8,000 tons in 2005 to 15,000 tons in 2010 and cotton production from 4000 tons in 2005 to 10,000 tons in 2010.

120. The GPRSF also relied on developing non-traditional exports (fruits and legumes, flowers, palm oil and other vegetable oils, quinine bark, rice, and sugar).

121. In the livestock sector, the GPRSF planned to repopulate livestock (30% growth in four years), improve the genetics of animal breeds, and promote the raising of small ruminants. Throughout the GPRSF implementation period, real but insufficient efforts were made to promote agriculture.

122. At the beginning of the GPRSF, the government allocated only limited resources to agriculture and livestock: the sector’s share in total expenditures executed (excluding common charges) was no more than 1.5 percent in 2006 and 2.4 percent in 2007. Starting in 2008, this share grew significantly: 4.1 percent in 2008 and 4.3 percent in 2009 (5.3% in the 2010 budget). In addition, since 2007, the share of the productive sectors—including agriculture—in foreign assistance went from 6.9 percent of project grants in 2007 to 7.1 percent in 2008 and to 11 percent in 2009. Nonetheless, the increased resources dedicated to rural development are still not reflected in strong growth in agricultural production. In contrast, better results were obtained in the livestock sector, but do not offset the relative breakdown of agricultural policies.

A. Agriculture

123. In the context of implementing the GPRSF, the government adopted a National Agricultural Strategy based on four objectives seeking to (i) promote sustainable growth in productivity and production; (ii) promote industry and agribusiness; (iii) professionalize producers and develop private initiative; and (iv) strengthen the sector’s management capabilities. The principal activities initiated in this context involved rehabilitating seed centers and promoting new varieties, establishing a strategic stock of fertilizers, rehabilitating Imbo’s irrigation systems, promoting small-scale irrigation, equipping producers, and strengthening the skills—and resources—of agricultural monitors and community animal health monitors. The government decided to gradually privatize coffee processing units and sold 14 of the 135 existing washing stations to private investors in 2009. A study was conducted on the competitiveness of the tea industry and a roadmap describes the principal stages of a program to liberalize the industry and open it up to the private sector.

124. The programs and projects launched by the government and its partners had the merit of initiating the restoration of basic agricultural services, including research (restart of ISABU activities), production and distribution of seed (creation of seed fairs), distribution of fertilizers, marsh management, and the protection of watersheds, etc.

125. However, the results obtained are well below the goals of the GPRSF. Weak performance in this sector is also largely responsible for the relative stagnation of the Burundi economy.

126. The table below summarizes the development of the principal crops since 2006. Overall, food production increased slightly, particularly in terms of the results obtained given the needs of a constantly growing population.

127. Production of the principal income crop—coffee—tends to decline and varies significantly from year to year, a phenomenon caused by the aging of the coffee trees. Tea production is nearly stagnant. Production increased only for cotton in 2007 and 2008 (falling in 2009) and for non-traditional crops.

128. It should be recalled that unfavorable climate conditions throughout the GPRSF implementation period are one reason for the relative stagnation of agricultural production.

Table 3.

Development of Principal Agricultural Products during GPRSF Implementation

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Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock

B. Livestock

129. Significant progress was made in the livestock sector. The government’s principal intervention was to distribute animals to the rural population. This program gave priority to needy populations and included training for the beneficiaries who had to have an improved shelter for the animals and have planted forage crops. The program was supported with the hiring of community animal health agents.

130. As shown in the table below, this program has been very successful on the whole. Goats increased by 89 percent, cattle by 28 percent, pigs by 16 percent, and sheep by 10 percent. The decline in the number of pigs in 2008 was due to Newcastle disease, which was more lethal than usual.14

Table 4.

Development of Livestock since 2006

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Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock

131. During 2009, the livestock repopulation program was strengthened and allowed for general increases in the number of cattle, goats, and pigs, as well as in milk and meat production. In contrast, despite new financing disbursed under the HIPC Initiative, fish production declined while the population is generally abandoning fish farming.

132. Despite progress made in the livestock sector, weak performance of the primary sector is disturbing given the context of the poverty reduction strategy, which generally focuses on rural development. For the future, the reestablishment of a more favorable security situation and rehabilitation of infrastructures may be an important factor in the renewal of agriculture. The government will also have to continue the measures adopted to restore basic agricultural services and the reforms targeting improved quality of export products. The private sector will have a role to play in the rehabilitation of processing units and in product marketing. Renewal of the agricultural sector is essential for reducing dependency on imported food products, recovering self-sufficiency, and making the most of the country’s potential.

133. Improving the environment is an important factor in establishing the bases for sustainable growth. First, with the adoption of a new environmental code, for which the implementing decree has yet to be signed, Burundi will soon have a legal framework for the conduct of its environmental protection policy.

134. With the support of the Global Environment Fund, the government produced studies on social and environmental impacts, environmental protection and conservation, and greenhouse gas inventories in specific sectors.15 The Nile Basin Initiative made possible a reference study on water quality control in Burundi.

135. In addition, with the participation of the population, the logging regulations were updated to discourage premature removal and facilitate the maintenance and expansion of forests. On the ground, efforts to prevent and combat brush fires have resulted in the construction of 137.5 km of firewalls. In order to better protect natural forests, parks and reforestation areas, an environmental protection police force16 and local surveillance committees were created. Despite these efforts, the results are still not as expected although gradual progress is being made.

136. About 9,700 hectares of watershed and 2,787 hectares of marshes were managed in 2007. Although progress in this area needs improvement,17 the rehabilitation of marshes accelerated sharply in 2008 with the addition of more than 900 hectares. Reforestation and forest inventories have not progressed at the pace provided by national policy.18

137. Finally, a gradual increase in activities related to promoting alternative energy sources such as the production and distribution of more than 4,450 improved stoves, the installation of new biogas projects, the rehabilitation of the INECN laboratory, which is publishing four scientific bulletins on protected areas in 2008, and the maintenance of 357.67 km of firewall are the result of actions taken in the context of environmental protection.

138. In 2009, environmental protection is still among the government’s priorities. To this end, multisectoral programs to strengthen the institutional and technical capabilities of the services concerned were conducted through workshops covering compliance with international conventions, the conduct of impact studies, and making forest plants available with a view to increasing the country’s forest cover.

139. The same concern has prevailed in terms of the need to promote and implement a land management policy consistent with the imperatives of land security, soil protection, and balanced development between rural and urban areas.

140. It is with this objective in mind that the government is striving to put in place a legislative and regulatory framework, specifically through adoption of a land tenure policy paper, development of the land management framework, and implementation of four new management schemes in the provinces of Muramvya, Mwaro, Bururi, and Makamba.

III. Other Growth-Inducing Sectors

141. Even more than agriculture and livestock, the development of industry, mines, and tourism was blocked by the crisis of the 1990s. The prosperity of the food processing industry is closely tied to that of agriculture. This branch of industry has thus suffered from the relative decline of the agricultural sector. The decline in domestic demand, followed by the 1996 embargo, deprived the other industries of prospects, raw materials, and the capital goods they needed to operate.

142. Finally, the insecurity and disorganization of infrastructures paralyzed the mining industry and tourism.

143. In all these sectors, the first GPRSF’s ambitions were relatively modest. The principal objectives were to: (i) create an environment favorable to the development of industry, particularly microenterprises, and to rehabilitate certain food processing industries (SOSUMO); (ii) revise the mining code, stimulate mining exploration and operations, and study the feasibility of large projects (cement and nickel); and (iii) plan the development of tourism and crafts, strengthen capacities, and rehabilitate certain sites.

144. Throughout the GPRSF implementation period, the secondary sector made more rapid progress than the primary sector. Obviously, food processing industries grew at the same pace as agricultural production and the textile industries suffered significantly from the shutdown of the COTEBU factory in 2006, but other components of the sector – particularly crafts and construction – made clear progress.

145. Burundi has many mineral deposits (platinum, copper, cobalt, vanadium) and expects much from the exploitation of nickel: the country’s reserves are estimated to be 6 percent of global reserves. Foreign investors seem interested, but the exploitation of nickel depends on significant investments in energy and transportation and the financing for this is not yet secured.

146. In general terms, the dynamic of the mining sector diminished over the course of 2009. Production fell sharply compared to 2008, resulting in a drastic reduction in export revenues from trade associated with this sector. Revenues amounted to FBu 552.7, 715.8, 752.17, and 412.9 million, respectively, for 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. However, important reforms are being introduced, primarily to adapt the regulatory framework to the new market conditions (revision of the mining and petroleum code) and to promote production activities (building awareness, training, and instruction of artisans).

147. Mining research activity has also started up again, particularly in terms of establishing geological mapping and evaluating reserves, making it possible to inventory existing deposits and identify other sites with high potential. The sector employs about 50,000 artisans.

Table 5.

Development of Mining Production (kg)

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Source: Ministry of Energy and Mines

148. Burundi has considerable tourism potential (cities, lakes, parks, waterfalls, cultural life). In 1990, approximately 100,000 foreigners visited the country, but there were barely 15,000 in the late 1990s. The gradual return of internal security has restarted this activity (about 220,000 visitors in 2007-2008). Nonetheless, the sector still suffers from the underdevelopment of infrastructure and telecommunications and of direct flights to and from European countries.

149. The government has undertaken to prepare a national tourism development strategy and has identified projects the implementation of which will test the sector’s capacities for expansion. In the meantime, the emergence of tour operators is a positive sign that will make it possible to make the most of Burundi’s membership in the EAC.

IV. Development of Infrastructures

150. Like agriculture and other productive sectors, infrastructures were seriously affected by the consequences of the civil war.

151. In the road sector, hostilities led to the destruction of bridges and other structures, while the freezing of aid and the budgetary crisis stopped construction/rehabilitation projects and kept maintenance to a minimum. Insecurity, the age of the fleet, the silting of the port of Bujumbura, and the obsolescence of its infrastructures seriously affected navigation on Lake Tanganyika, through which most of the country’s international trade passes.

152. Energy infrastructures have been targeted by vandalism. Meters and cables have been torn down. Without resources, REGIDESO has been unable to provide regular maintenance for its network and none of the investments planned to increase its capacity has been made. National production of electricity has fallen off sharply, technical losses have increased, and electricity imports accounted for 44 percent of total consumption in 2004.

153. Despite reduced production, demand (particularly the number of subscribers) continued to increase (nearly 7% a year),19 resulting in an increase in the electricity deficit and constantly deteriorating service quality. However, the most serious problem was REGIDESO’s financial situation, which halted most of its initiatives. The lack of a systematic rate adjustment mechanism, increased petroleum prices, degradation of the network, and collection problems compromised the viability of the enterprise. Thus, due to the lack of resources, REGIDESO was unable to use the 5.5 MW station purchased by the government to ensure a water supply for the capital and partially offset the electricity production deficit.

154. The telecommunications sector did better and began its expansion. Nonetheless, the number of subscribers did not exceed 3 percent for mobile phones and 1.3 percent for fixed telephones.

155. The first GPRSF provided for important programs to rehabilitate and expand major infrastructures. These programs included actions in the area of roads, energy, and telecommunications.

156. New roads have been constructed (to open up relatively isolated areas), international connections have been developed, and Burundi is participating in large regional projects (link with Tanzania’s railroad). It is essential to reduce international transportation costs, which represent 24 percent of the value of Burundi’s exports.20

157. With respect to electricity, the GPRSF planned to rehabilitate the existing hydroelectric stations, develop regional hydroelectric projects, rehabilitate the distribution network, and develop electrification in rural areas.

158. Aware of the importance of developing telecommunications and new information technologies, the government considered a strategy based on liberalization of the sector and increased service to all regions of the country through the promotion of private investment.

A. Notable Progress in the Transportation and Telecommunications Sector

159. In the public works and transportation sector, regional and international routes were paved: Gitega-Karuzi-Muyinga toward Tanzania and Kirundo-Gasenyi toward Rwanda. Work has begun on the Ruyigi-Cankuzo road. In 2010, the government began construction of the Bubanza-Ndora and Bujumbura-Ruhwa roads. Fourteen of the 16 provincial headquarters are now served by a paved road. Finally, important works projects were completed on urban roads.

160. One of the most important measures for protecting the existing network and ending the isolation of rural areas was an increase in the resources allocated to the National Road Fund (from FBu 4.3 billion in 2006 to FBu 8.1 billion in 2009). Because of this, maintained roads increased from 612 km in 2005 and 1,144 km in 2006 to more than 1,500 km in 2008. Considering the condition of the road network (very dense and still in poor condition), additional efforts will still be needed.

161. Improving international connections is a top priority for a highly landlocked country like Burundi. The government is studying reconstruction of the bus station in Bujumbura and modernization of transportation on Lake Tanganyika. It is relying on its participation in the CAE to reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of international transportation (study on rehabilitation of Tanzania’s railway).

162. In the ICT sector, the vitality of the private sector made it possible to connect 16.25 percent of Burundi households with mobile telephones compared to barely 3 percent in 2005. However, households in the three poorest quintiles are generally excluded from mobile telephone, regardless of where they live.

Table 6.

Principal ICT Sector Indicators

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Source: Ministry of Telecommunications

163. For the future, the government has high expectations from connection to the fiber optic network, which will make it possible to reduce costs and increase the effectiveness of telecommunications and Internet access. It is relying on the private sector to continue expansion of mobile telephony (problems with providing coverage throughout the country primarily involve rural areas and communes on the border with Tanzania), and plans to privatize ONATEL. The government also wants to create a government portal and promote the interconnection and computerization of government services. Conversion of the RTNB from an analog to a digital system should be emphasized. Progress has been made in the area of promoting the print and audiovisual media.

B. Weak Renewal of the Energy Sector

164. Some measures were taken to restart the production of electricity, a vital sector for the development of the private sector and Burundi industry.

165. Rehabilitation and expansion work was done on the country’s distribution network and some of its hydroelectrical stations. The production of electricity increased by 26 percent in 2007 and 7 percent in 2008, but fell in 2009 by 1.4 percent. REGIDESO obtained (in 2007) an increase in its electricity rates (23%) and a surcharge of 4 percent with financing over three years of its diesel imports for the thermal power station. A contract-plan has defined the technical and financial techniques that the enterprise must use.

166. To facilitate debt collection, REGIDESO has begun to install prepayment meters in households and government offices. Some progress has been made in the area of rural electrification (electrification of trade centers, health centers, and community colleges).

167. There were other advances made in new and renewable energy, particularly using solar systems to power health centers and promoting improved stoves. The use of peat continues, with positive effects such as the preservation of some 64 hectares of forests and the creation of 821 temporary jobs. As for gasoline, the stabilization of prices at the pump through the introduction of an automatic adjustment system represents notable progress in that the mechanism makes it possible to prevent sharp price fluctuations, to limit fraud regarding profit margins, and to rationalize tax revenues.

168. The meeting of the consultative group in October 2009 demonstrated the importance that the Burundi government and its partners assign to investments in infrastructure. More and more resources must be mobilized for this purpose. This is one of the major conditions for a vigorous renewal of Burundi’s economy.

V. Private Sector Development and Creation of Job Opportunities for the Urban and Rural Poor

169. The crisis in the 1990s had disastrous effects on the private sector. The rate of investment fell from 15 percent of GDP at the beginning of the 1990s to 6 percent of a highly contracted GDP at the beginning of the 2000s and private investment (estimated at 6% of GDP before the crisis) played only a marginal role in Burundi’s economy (2.2% of GDP at the beginning of the 2000s). Burundi’s private sector is geared to a local market that is itself limited by the poverty of a primarily rural population, much of whose production is intended for subsistence (40-60% of the consumption of food products).

170. The causes of the collapse of the private sector are many. In addition to the destruction of factories and businesses, the deterioration of large infrastructures, and the inadequacies of the legal and regulatory framework governing the creation and life of companies, there was also and above all the decline in domestic demand, in addition to the embargo that halted imports of the raw materials and equipment needed for development of the industrial sector. The informal private sector fared better during the crisis. It is particularly active in retail trade, building and construction, and services. In fact these small units of production employ many more people than the formal sector.

171. The GPRSF relied on the private sector to promote the expansion and diversification of Burundi’s economy (agriculture, mines, and tourism). Clearing the government’s arrears was an urgent measure for restarting business activity. In addition, the government hoped that liberalization of the economy, improvement of the legal and regulatory framework, infrastructure development, the creation of an agency to promote investment, and the privatization of public enterprises would create an environment favorable to private investment, including direct foreign investment.

172. The results obtained to date in this area are still modest. Some measures were adopted and some laws approved, but implementation is just beginning and the impact is not immediate.

173. First, a series of measures was taken to improve the legal and regulatory framework. A new investment code was promulgated in 2008; it provides for freedom of establishment and the free transfer of capital and income, encourages the free zone system, sets up a one-stop window, and eliminates the risk of nationalization.22 A new corporations and commercial code and a law on competition were promulgated in May 2010. The Code on Public and Private Companies is again before Parliament.

174. Three important measures were adopted to stimulate private sector development. A very concrete measure was to clear government arrears owed to small and large companies. More than FBu 33 billion was disbursed for this purpose in 2006 and 2007.23 The second measure was the creation of the Investment Promotion Agency in 2009. The third measure was the creation of a framework for consultation between the public and private sectors,24 the goal being to strengthen dialogue between two partners with sometimes divergent interests and to give companies the opportunity to participate in the design of the country’s economic and financial policies.

175. Emphasis should also be placed on the private sector’s reorganization of the Chamber of Commerce. A Federal Chamber bringing together ten sectoral and two crosscutting chambers was created. The president and the offices of the new chamber were installed in 2010.

176. The government adopted a privatization program covering the agricultural sector (coffee and tea industries; opening SOSUMO to new capital), hotels (NOVOTEL and Source du Nil), insurance (UCAR), and telecommunications (ONATEL).

177. In the coffee industry, OCIBU was converted to a small control and regulatory structure (ARFIC) and 13 washing stations were sold to private investors. The legal framework for future privatization of the OTB was defined. Analysis of the bids on NOVOTEL is complete and the evaluation of Sources du Nil was validated. One thousand, eight hundred UCAR shares were transferred to a private operator and a decree authorizes the sale of a portion of ONATEL’s certificates.

178. Improvement of the business climate, the return of security, and renewed growth should favor a gradual expansion of private sector activities. There are some encouraging signs. In particular, it appears that private investment, estimated to be 2.2 percent of GDP in the early 2000s, has been more than 7 percent since 2006.25

179. The goal of shared growth depends not only on expansion in rural areas, but also on vigorous actions to promote urban and rural employment. In the mid-2000s, 81.2 percent of the population claimed to be employed, 65.8 percent in the informal sector and 34.2 percent in the formal sector.26 To stimulate employment in all its forms, the GPRSF planned to promote microenterprise and microcredit, the use of highly labor intensive techniques to construct and rehabilitate infrastructures (particularly in rural areas), and targeted efforts to include young people and women in these projects. In fact, only 68 percent of young people and 72 percent of female heads of household were employed, compared to an average of 90 percent for those aged 25-54 and 83 percent for male heads of household.

180. It is difficult to evaluate recent trends in employment and unemployment. The statistics are imprecise and most of the workforce is employed in the informal sector. According to ISTEEBU, the unemployment rate for the urban population is 17 percent in Bujumbura, 12.5 percent in Gitega, 7.9 percent in Kirundo, and 4.3 percent in Makamba.27

181. The data comparing the results of the 2005 and 2009 surveys seem to indicate that overall the unemployment rate increased slightly (from 18.76% to 19.37%), but this rate declined for the three poorest quintiles (from 15.48% to 13.85%).

182. In the area of employment, two types of measures were taken: (i) promotion of highly-labor intensive projects; and (ii) development of microfinance institutions. In terms of the promotion of HLI projects, an interesting initiative is the creation of community development associations, consisting of ten members who, in exchange for a monthly payment of FBu 55,000 each, continually maintain some ten kilometers of roads in their vicinity. HLI methods are also applied to various types of small projects (paving, markets, slaughterhouse, primary schools, and health centers) and project management is entrusted to the communities. With respect to microfinance, note should be made not only of the rapid increase in the number of members and borrowers and the increase in loans granted (from FBu 14.2 billion in 2006 to FBu 40.6 billion in 2009), but also of the mounting number of bankruptcies caused by the inadequacies of management.

183. Specific actions taken on behalf of young people involved the organization of the third ministerial meeting of CONFEJES, which is being chaired by Burundi until 2011; the installation of the National Youth Council; and initiatives aimed at the social and professional reintegration of young people. In sports, emphasis should be placed on the important role government agencies play by providing various types of support to various federations, some of which have already participated in international competitions with much success, sometimes winning medals. Promotion of culture has also been a particular focus based on the rehabilitation of infrastructures, research to gain better knowledge of the country’s cultural heritage, and support for various initiatives in this area.

184. Burundi’s membership in large economic areas provides an opportunity to develop trade and establish sociopolitical stability. Burundi is a part of six subregional entities involved in a process of integration. These are the CEPGL, CEEAC, COMESA, EAC, IBN, and CIRGL. It is undeniable that significant progress has been made within the EAC, particularly with Burundi’s admission to that institution’s customs union. Its participation in CEPGL, IBN and CIRGL also represents some progress, with support from the TFPs. In contrast, the CEEAC is facing some structural and organizational difficulties that significantly limit the scope of its action.

VI. General Record of Interventions Promoting Poverty Reducing Growth

185. The GPRSF’s track record with respect to growth is unsatisfactory. The country has seen a slight renewal of growth but the benefits of this growth are to a large extent offset by population growth rates that are among the highest in the world. Poverty rates have barely changed at all.

186. This overly modest growth does not reach rural areas where the poorest Burundians live, even though more satisfactory results have been obtained for the livestock sector.

187. There are factors that explain the weak performance of the agricultural sector and the modest results obtained in terms of poverty reduction. In addition to weather conditions that have played an important role, the structure of government expenditures and external financing have also affected these results. It is only since 2008 that the government and its partners have significantly increased the share of their programs allocated to agriculture and infrastructures.

188. Without a policy more resolutely focused on growth, the country will be unable to pursue with the same vigor the efforts made to develop the social sector. Thus, the second GPRSF will have to assign high priority to support for the productive sectors (particularly agriculture) and coordinated development of all infrastructures. It is also important that the benefits of infrastructure and services development not be restricted to the wealthiest populations but gradually extended to the poorest populations.

189. The still timid renewal of the private sector may be an essential component of future strategies. The government will have to increase its efforts to attract foreign assistance that is significant in terms of volume and quality, but the example of many other countries shows that the technical and financial contribution of the private sector may supplement, or multiply (domestic and foreign) government resources allocated to the productive sector and large-scale infrastructures.

190. A growth policy will only yield substantial results in terms of combating poverty if Burundi is able to relieve the pressure of demographic growth. Limiting the growth of Burundi’s population is an absolute imperative in the context of a poverty reduction policy.


191. The third axis of the GPRSF, the development of human capital, has three objectives that seek to (i) promote all levels of education (access and quality); (ii) improve the health system, particularly in terms of reducing the mortality of mothers, infants, and children as well as the incidence of transmissible diseases; (iii) improve access to drinking water and sanitation; (iv) protect vulnerable populations; and (v) promote gender advancement. In addition, combating HIV/AIDS can be considered one of the principal health sector objectives.

I. Promoting education

A. Situation in 2005-2006

192. When the GPRSF was being prepared, educational indicators in Burundi were still weak: in 2005, gross enrollment rates were 82 percent for primary school and 11 percent for secondary school. The number of students in higher education was no more than 1.6 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Net enrollment rates were 59.8 percent for primary education and 8.6 percent for secondary education, and thus much lower than the averages in sub-Saharan Africa.

Table 7.

Educational Indicators of Burundi in 2005 and Averages for Sub-Saharan African in 2000-2007

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Source: World Bank

193. The education sector is one area in which the government has taken bold initiatives to radically improve the situation. Starting in 2005, it decided that primary education would be free and heavily subsidized by credits allocated to the sector as a whole. The effects were immediate: starting in 2006, gross primary enrollment rates reached 101.3 percent, net rates reached 72.4 percent and education as a share of total executed government spending reached 31.7 percent.28 Poor families were the primary beneficiaries of the measure and were largely responsible for the explosion of primary enrollment rates. In addition, the gender parity index (boys/girls) improved appreciably from 2005 (0.86) to 2006 (0.91).

194. Generally speaking, it appeared that the public sector was poorly prepared to deal with this sudden increase in the number of students. There was a shortage of classrooms and teachers.

195. The teacher/student ratio, already quite high in 2005 (49), reached 55 in 2006. The student/classroom ratio (76.3 in 2005) reached 86.3 in 2006. Additional efforts were thus needed to improve the system’s absorption capacity. However, note should be made of measures taken to distribute more schoolbooks: student/textbook ratio went from 0.58 in 2005 to 0.70 in 2006, a level that is still insufficient but denotes net progress.

196. Certain indicators showed that the school system was ineffective. The grade repetition (48.8%) and dropout (19.5%) rates in primary school were particularly high in 2005. They improved in 2006 (37% and 6.3%, respectively) but are still excessive and contribute to the overburdening of facilities and personnel. As for completion rates, they grew but remained particularly low: 34.7 percent in 2005 and 36.1 percent in 2006.

197. In addition to limited personnel, secondary and higher education were poorly adapted to the priority needs of the country. At the secondary level, general instruction predominated, at the expense of technical and professional instruction. Significant efforts are still needed to give Burundi’s workforce the qualifications needed for integration in a more modern economy.

198. It is this analysis of the situation in 2005 and 2006 that explains the priorities chosen by the GPRSF in the education sector, focusing on four objectives:

  • (i) To continue expansion of primary education, in order to achieve universal primary education in 2015.

  • (ii) To increase secondary enrollment rates and diversify secondary education (technical instruction).

  • (iii) To increase the capacity of higher education, particularly in the provinces.

  • (iv) To reduce gender and regional disparities while improving the quality of the system as a whole.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

199. Burundi’s government mobilized significant resources to achieve the objectives of the first GPRSF in the education sector. It continued to allocate a high proportion of its budget to the sector. Education’s share in executed government expenditures stabilized at a level close to the 31.7 percent achieved in 2006. It never fell below 28.7 percent (in 2009). A significant portion of foreign aid was also allocated to the sector (about 1/3 in 2008). In addition, communities participated actively in the construction of classrooms.

200. These resources were used to build new primary schools, rehabilitate old schools, provide equipment and textbooks, train new teachers, and organize continuing education for teachers in service.

201. At the secondary school level, the construction of communal high schools intensified (with assistance from the beneficiary communities) and public high schools were rehabilitated. The goal was to improve the rate of students continuing on from primary to secondary education. The institutions responsible for training or retraining secondary teachers (Teacher Training School [Ecole Normale Supérieure] and Institute of Applied Pedagogy) were strengthened.

202. In continuing the policy to expand the conditions for access to education, the promotion of career training is a preferred option, particularly to help absorb students who complete primary school without continuing on. Through the Career and Professional Training Centers, more than 4,500 students, or 15 percent of those who complete primary school and are not admitted to secondary school and are not repeating a grade, have received training allowing them to join the economic fabric of the nation in a more productive way. However, with respect to the increase in primary school students, existing capacities will soon be overwhelmed if appropriate measures are not taken in time. For the immediate future, the government has begun to rehabilitate existing facilities, to make equipment and material available, to strengthen teacher skills, and to improve the management of career training centers.

203. In the area of literacy, with 1,500 volunteer literacy teachers and 22 literacy centers in operation, approximately 8,600 people have received the required training while 158 people have benefited from refresher programs. With respect to preschool education, actions taken involved the construction of community facilities, the provision of material, the training of educators, the implementation of the policy on integrated early childhood development, and the operation of private nursery schools. In late 2009, approximately 60,000 young children attended preschool, 51 percent of them girls.

204. For higher education, the government has continued to encourage the creation and development of private universities. A series of facilities including classrooms, amphitheaters, and meeting rooms was made available to the ENS. In addition, two amphitheaters, classroom, offices, and housing were constructed to increase the capacity of the University of Burundi and some campuses were rehabilitated.

205. The government adopted a reform that (i) strengthens the organization and guidance of the system, particularly by creating the national commission on higher education (for quality control); (ii) renews the supply of training and facilities in preparation for entry into the LMD (Licence/Maîtrise/Doctorat) system; and (iii) begins to examine the system of scholarship and social services.

206. Finally, it is useful to note the efforts made to better motivate teachers at all levels, such as salary increases, training programs, and various incentives (housing). Substantial results have generally been obtained, particularly in terms of access to basic education.

207. Gross primary school enrollment rates have continued to increase, reaching 130.4 percent in 2009. Net rates went from 59.8 percent in 2005 to 72.4 percent in 2006 and 89.7 percent in 2009. The net rates increased more rapidly for the poorest households (from 57.6% to 79.1% during the same period) than for the wealthiest households (from 84.8% to 91.8%). Gender parity improved even more (0.97 in 2009).29

208. The teacher/student (51.9 in 2009) and student/classroom (82.7) ratios fell slightly compared to those of 2006, but are higher than those for 2005 (before the growth in numbers). The grade repetition rate averages 34 percent, but dropout rates fell (3.8% in 2009). Completion rates have clearly improved (51% in 2009).

209. In contrast, limited progress has been made in secondary education. More than 1,200 classrooms were built. Net enrollment rates improved slightly during the early years of the GPRSF (from 8.54% in 2006 to 9% in 2008), but reached 16.4% at the start of the 2009-2010 school year. However, it should be noted that poor families’ access to secondary education continues to be very limited (for them, net rates went from 2.3% in 2005-2006 to 6% in 2009-2010; for wealthy households, these rates increased from 8% in 2005-2006 to 16% in 2009-2010).

210. In higher education, the network of universities was expanded (21 institutions, six public and 15 private) and the number of students has grown significantly (from 14,973 in 2006 to 24,877 in 2009, with 55% in private universities). Grade repetition rates have fallen considerably but remain high (28%). In addition, many problems continue to affect the system. First of all is the problem of teaching quality and the alignment between academic degrees and market requirements. With regard to the problem of quality, the adoption of standards and the creation of oversight measures are urgent measures, particularly since Burundi’s entry into the CAE. Also to be noted is the preparation of a draft law reorganizing higher education, which was submitted to Parliament, and two other draft laws on the organization of advanced studies in the first and second cycle and on doctoral schools.

211. Another important advance is better planning of the educational system thanks to the definition of a strategic plan for the sector.

II. Improving the Health System

A. Situation in 2005-2006

212. The destruction of facilities, the flight of physicians and other health personnel (to the cities and foreign countries), and above all the lack of financial resources led to the collapse of Burundi’s health system during and in the aftermath of the civil war. In 2005-2006, despite a slight improvement in the sector’s situation since the early 2000s, the country’s health indicators were well below the average for sub-Saharan Africa. Two indicators were particularly unfavorable: the maternal mortality rate and the malnutrition rate for those under the age of five. Malaria, respiratory infections, diarrhea, and malnutrition were the principal causes of mortality and morbidity among those under the age of five. HIV/AIDS was also ravaging the country.

Table 8.

Health Indicators of Burundi and Averages for Sub-Saharan Africa in 2000-2007

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Source: World Bank and Burundi authorities

213. The 2006 CWIQ survey indicated that access to health services was limited. Only 28 percent of those who stated they had been sick or injured in the four weeks preceding the survey were treated. The cost of service was considered the principal obstacle to the utilization of healthcare services.

214. Children under the age of five were particularly affected (responses showed that nearly 38% of them were sick or injured during the four weeks preceding the survey). Sixty-nine percent of pregnant women chose to give birth at home (in 2005) due to (i) the distance from health facilities and (ii) the cost of childbirth at a health facility. In May 2006, the government thus decided that care for women giving birth and children under the age of five would be free.30 Service utilization rates increased sharply, reaching 69 percent in 2009.

215. The impact of this decision was not immediate. Under-financing of the sector, the lack of qualified personnel, and problems with the availability of medications continued to affect the effectiveness of the health services.

216. From 2000 to 2005, the share allocated to health in the budget was never more than 3 percent of total expenditure. In 2006, thanks to HIPC Initiative funds, this percentage increased to 7 percent, but because of very low execution rates, the share of the sector in total executed expenditures31 was only 5 percent.

217. The lack of qualified personnel was probably the most serious obstacle to development of the sector. With three physicians and 13 qualified nurses for every 100,000 inhabitants, Burundi had one of the worst indicators in the region. In addition, personnel were poorly distributed, favoring Bujumbura at the expense of the provinces and rural areas.32

218. Finally, many health facilities were subject to medication inventory shortages that interrupted their activities.

219. The principal objectives of the GPRSF in the health sector were to rehabilitate existing facilities, improve access to medications and other consumables, and transfer some health personnel to areas where the shortage of qualified personnel was particularly severe. The ultimate goal was to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates, reduce the incidence of transmissible diseases, and generally improve both access to and the quality of services.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

220. The health sector’s share of total effective expenditures33 has continued to increase, reaching 7 percent in 2007 and exceeding 9 percent in 2008 and 2009 (the 2010 budget allocates 11.6 percent of funds to the health sector). Foreign aid has also significantly increased its contribution to the health sector. Nonetheless, the level of per capita health spending remains relatively low (about US$18).

221. Resources allocated to the sector allowed for the construction of 75 new health centers and the rehabilitation of 53 health centers. The government and the private sector built hospitals throughout the country. Burundi now has 56 hospitals and 685 health centers. However, it should be noted that many of these facilities are operating well below an optimum level.

222. Significant efforts were also made to remedy the shortage of health personnel and their poor distribution throughout the country. In 2009, the number of physicians for every 100,000 inhabitants barely increased, but the creation of health districts and the accompanying incentives made it possible to attract a larger number of physicians to the provinces. The policy on the training of paramedical nurses has also borne fruit. These personnel, who are in charge of the health centers, tripled between 2005 and 2009 (increasing from 2,400 to 7,400). It is the health centers that have experimented with a hiring system that ties a portion of compensation to the volume and quality of services provided.

223. With respect to access to medications, measures were taken to reduce supply shortages (targeting 20 essential medications in particular). Plans were drawn up for a reform of CAMEBU’s by-laws, but these plans have not been implemented as yet. The government also set up a quality control laboratory within the Institute of Public Health. However, the cost of medications remains one of the many problems limiting the poor’s access to health services.

224. Most of the measures taken had positive effects on the health situation in Burundi. For example, the percentage of people claiming to have been sick or injured before the survey fell from 30 percent in 2005 to 23.4 percent in 2009. Twice as many patients say they are generally satisfied with health services and personnel, waiting times have been cut in half, and four times fewer patients consider the cost of health services to be a major problem.

225. The percentage of women who give birth in health facilities has more than doubled (from 22.9% in 2005 to 56.3% in 2009). Nearly 48 percent of pregnant women from very poor households gave birth in a health facility in 2009 (compared to 21% in 2005): the percentages have grown even more rapidly for wealthy households where births at health facilities went from 59.4 percent in 2005 to 79 percent in 2009.

226. Although the calculation bases are not the same, it appears that the maternal mortality rates fell appreciably between 2005 and 2009.

227. Vaccine coverage for children under one year went from 93 percent in 2005 to 103 percent in 2009. Infant mortality rates fell from 114/1000 to 90/1000 live births in 2009 (limited control of respiratory infections remains one of the principal causes of infant mortality). The rates for low weight and delayed growth declined. In terms of endemics, significant efforts have been made to combat malaria and tuberculosis.

228. The incidence of malaria is increasing (from 26% in 2005 to 34% in 2009), but free medications, the distribution of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and the promotion of hygiene and health measures should ultimately have appreciable effects on this disease.34 Positive results were recorded in terms of controlling tuberculosis. Although the screening rate is still below 50 percent, 90 percent of the cases screened are treated successfully.

III. Combating HIV/AIDS

A. Situation in 2005-2006

229. The national survey conducted in 2002 showed that average seroprevalance was no more than 3.2 percent (2.5% in rural areas), but it reached 9.4 percent in urban areas and 10.5 percent in semi-urban areas.35 Women are much more affected than men. AIDS patients put enormous pressure on hospital facilities, occupying 70 percent of hospital beds. In addition, the health services had to deal with the reemergence of opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis while the number of AIDS orphans was estimated to be about 238,000 in 2005.

230. Because this disease makes the population’s health more vulnerable, monopolizes a lot of resources, and has a negative effect on production, the government considered AIDS a development problem to which it gave a high priority. Its objective was to check the spread of the disease; reduce its impact on individuals, families, and communities; and better coordinate the response of the institutions involved.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

231. To respond to the challenge of this pandemic, the government defined a strategic plan to combat HIV/AIDS and set up an institutional framework dedicated exclusively to this task. Thus, it created a National Council, an Executive Secretariat, and provincial committees to implement the strategy and the program. Finally, associations of people living with HIV/AIDS have made their contributions to the various programs that could be launched.

232. These programs cover four principal components: prevention and screening, management of adult patients and OVCs, mitigation of the impact on those affected, and enhanced capacities.

233. Prevention programs included awareness programs, promotion and distribution of condoms, screenings, reducing transmission through blood (securing transfusions), systematic screening of pregnant women, and prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Awareness campaigns reached three million people during the first three years of the GPRSF and 23.7 million condoms were distributed (73% of the goal). The doubling of screening centers (from 151 to 319) allowed for increasing the number of screenings from 89,000 in 2005 to 237,000 in 2009. The program to secure blood transfusions tested 6,600 bags of blood (only 0.4% was positive). The percentage of women benefiting from the program to prevent mother-to-child transmission went from 6 percent to 14 percent between 2005 and 2007.

234. To reduce the impact on persons affected by HIV/AIDS, the program offered free retroviral treatment and medications against opportunistic diseases. It organized psychological care for patients and promotion of their rights as well as activities to reduce poverty and the vulnerability of persons living with HIV/AIDS. Patient care has been effective. The number of those treated with retroviral drugs tripled from 6,416 in 2005 to 17,604 in 2009 (60% are cared for by associations). The program financed some one hundred income-generating projects for persons affected by the virus and for families taking in AIDS orphans, who also received school supplies and medications.

235. Finally, the institutions responsible for combating AIDS were strengthened. Training sessions, computer equipment and monitoring software were provided to the provincial monitoring committees. Significant funds were allocated to combating AIDS and 38 million dollars in foreign contributions were mobilized (5% of development aid in 2007-2008).

236. The program has generally yielded very satisfactory results in the cities. Prevalence fell from 9.4 percent to 4.59 percent in urban areas and from 10.5 percent to 4.41 percent in semi-urban areas. In contrast, the situation has worsened considerably in rural areas, where prevalence went from 2.5 percent to 2.82 percent. For this reason, the national average fell only slightly, from 3.2 percent to 2.97 percent.

IV. Access to Water, Sanitation, and Housing

A. The Situation in 2005-2006

237. The civil war had a serious effect on the situation. The destruction of structures and equipment, insecurity making it difficult to maintain facilities, the inaccessibility of several provinces in the interior, particularly in the west and north, and finally the suspension of most water supply projects being developed in the provinces had disastrous effects on water production and consumption. In conjunction with population growth, all these factors resulted in a notable reduction in access rates.

238. The development and rehabilitation carried out in the early 2000s (particularly in rural areas) allowed for improvements in these rates, which in 2005 reached 79.7 percent in urban areas and 63.7 percent in rural areas, with a national average of 64.3 percent (clearly higher than the average for sub-Saharan Africa of 55%).

239. However, it is important to note that only 2.5 percent of the population (40,513 households) were directly connected to the REGIDESO and DGHER (rural water) networks. The large majority of Burundians get their water from standpipes or streams and rivers. In addition, even those who had access to drinking water did not generally receive it in sufficient quantity. Finally, regional disparities were significant. The regional networks of Bugesera, Kumoso, and Imbo (drier) were particularly deficient.

240. At the national level, rates of access to improved sanitation facilities were estimated at 31.7 percent in 2005 (47.6% in urban areas and 30.7% in rural areas). Waste management was also a serious sanitation problem, in terms of both collection and treatment of urban waste and the removal and treatment of wastewater. The city of Bujumbura produces 135,085 m3 of household waste, but the Municipal Technical Services (SETEMU) collect only 20 percent of the waste produced.36 Finally, the waste water removal networks are old. The quantity of water produced in the city is estimated at 75 million m3/year, but the sewer system’s collection capacity is only 11 million m3/year. Thus only a small percentage of the water collected is treated.

241. In this context, the priorities of the GPRSF in the area of water and sanitation were as follows:

  • (i) To develop new sources of water and rehabilitate the entire water supply network.

  • (ii) To strengthen existing sanitation programs and expand them nationally.

  • (iii) To promote community management of facilities and raise the population’s awareness of hygiene and environmental sanitation techniques.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

242. During the period of the GPRSF, the government launched a large-scale program to construct and rehabilitate water supply systems in the cities and rural areas.

243. In urban areas, the principal REGIDESO projects and developments involved the construction of water systems on the outskirts of Bujumbura, strengthening of water systems in Gitega, Cankuzo, and Rutana, and the rehabilitation/extension of water systems in Ruyigi and Bubanza.

244. In rural areas, the principal DGHER projects involved the rehabilitation and extension of facilities, sectoral programs in the provinces of Rutana, Cankuzo, and Kirundo, village hydraulic programs in the provinces of Kirundo, Rutana, and Ruyigi and strengthening of the capacities of the Communal Water Authorities.37

245. The measures taken by the government and its partners made it possible to significantly increase water production and consumption. In urban areas, production went from 26.3 million m3 in 1997 to 33.1 million m3 in 2004 and to 37.4 million m3 in 2008. Consumption went from 14.2 million m3 in 1997 to 18.4 million m3 in 2004 and 21.6 million m3 in 2008. Thus, losses fell from 46 percent in 1997, to 45 percent in 2004 and to 42 percent in 2008. Similar progress was made in rural areas. The rates of access to an improved source of water went from 64.3 percent in 2005 to 77 percent in 2009.

246. The government defined and began to carry out a national policy on hygiene and sanitation, awareness campaigns were conducted on the use of improved latrines, and the private sector was involved in waste management in Bujumbura and some cities in the interior. The latrine utilization rate increased from 44 percent in 2005 to 51 percent in 2009 (nationally).

247. In the area of housing, needs are still generally unmet despite the volume of funds allocated to this sector (more than 13.5 billion in 2007) and lot development projects to increase the supply of new land parcels. With respect to urban planning and housing, efforts continued to better plan the development of urban centers and to improve access to housing. In this context, new parcels were developed, more than 2,700 new lots were recorded, and loans amounting to about FBu six billion were disbursed in 2009 to facilitate access to decent housing while more than 650 building permits were issued. In terms of planning, new neighborhood management studies were conducted while work began to develop an urban planning strategy paper.

V. Protection of Vulnerable Groups

248. The integration and reinsertion of war victims as well as the management of repatriated refugees coming from Tanzania continued. Actions involved constructing shelters, providing assistance to the indigent and other vulnerable groups (orphans and at-risk children), increasing the capacity of basic social infrastructures (schools and health facilities), and an operation was begun to identify new sites, indicating additional possibilities for accommodating the landless.

249. In the context of implementing programs supporting vulnerable groups and promoting social security, the government took important measures to improve access to essential services by disadvantaged populations. A survey conducted in 2009 provided a better definition of the problems associated with resettlement of the wounded and demonstrated the crucial issue of access to land.

250. HIPCI funds played a large role in improving housing (6,100 houses built), rehabilitating the physically handicapped (575 helped), supplying medications (approximately 1,930 indigents), reinserting young people, and providing food and non-food assistance.

251. With the support of the TFPs, refugee repatriation and assistance programs could be carried out, particularly through developing resettlement sites, including six peace villages and ten temporary shelters. However, given the scope of the needs following the massive return of refugees, it is important that additional resources be found to strengthen the effectiveness of reintegration and reinsertion actions. To illustrate the problem, more than 500,000 refugees returned to Burundi between 2006 and 2009.

VI. Social Protection

252. In the area of social security, only two social security institutions were operational (Civil Service Mutual Association and the INSS). Limited coverage of the population is the principal factor that should be considered in identifying priority actions to be taken, setting up the ONPR, conducting a feasibility study on creating a sickness and maternity insurance agency for the informal sector, and preparing the project document on a national social protection policy. In addition, consolidation of the mutual health associations set up, particularly in rural areas, is an experience to be capitalized upon.

V. Gender Advancement

A. Situation in 2005-2006

253. Women occupy an important place in the economic and social life of Burundi. According to the 2008 census, they represent 52 percent of the population. They play a major role in family economics and in agricultural sector production. However, Burundi women feel marginalized. They have little financial autonomy and their participation in political institutions, although growing, generally continues to be very limited. The marginalization of women has many aspects. Thus, there were significant disparities between boys and girls in terms of access to all levels of the education system.

254. In 2006, the girl/boy ratio was 78 percent in primary education, 74 percent in secondary education, and only 36 percent in higher education. Net enrollment rates for girls were very low: 54.3 percent for primary education (in 2005), 7.39 percent for secondary education, and less than two out of every 100,000 inhabitants in higher education. The literacy rate for adult women was only 32.7 percent compared to 54.0 percent for men. Educational disparities necessarily had an impact on women’s ability to hold positions of responsibility in the administration and in companies (public and private).

255. Besides access to education, many other legal, economic, and cultural constraints limited women’s ability to undertake and develop income-generating activities. In fact, the law on inheritance limited women’s access to land ownership while most rural women – and often urban and educated woman – were poor and had no economic assets. Since they were unable to provide guarantees to banks and financial institutions, they had very limited access to credit. The women’s association movement developed since the 1990s has created many microcredit organizations that have facilitated women’s access to small loans under acceptable terms, thus compensating for the inaccessibility of formal sector financial systems. Based on all these factors, women were clearly poorer than men: the 2007-2008 Global Human Development Report estimated that the ratio of women’s income to men’s income was 0.77 for Burundi. In addition, one of the effects of the civil war was the frequency of assaults – sexual and otherwise – in which women of all ages were the principal victims.

256. In political terms, the 2005 Constitution included special provisions guaranteeing women’s access to the country’s institutions. It provided that at least 30 percent of political positions should be reserved for women.

257. Based on this diagnosis of the economic and social conditions of women in Burundi, the government – in the context of the first GPRSF –decided to give high priority to reducing the inequities. Two objectives predominated in this policy and sought to (i) promote gender equality and incorporate gender in the development process, through awareness campaigns, strengthening women’s professional and managerial skills and their productive potential, and eliminating all forms of violence, particularly sexual violence and (ii) mobilize financing and implement programs for women.

B. Measures Taken and Results Obtained

258. Important measures were adopted to improve the condition of women, involving the following aspects:

  • (i) Awareness campaigns for various targeted population groups, particularly political and economic decision-makers, universities, and academia.

  • (ii) A community and school awareness guide was prepared and distributed widely. Comic books on the subject of gender-based violence in the school setting, a Kurundi language training module on parental education on the subject of sexuality, and a young people’s training module on gender and development were produced. The introduction of a Health Sciences Degree (DSS) in gender studies at the university of Burundi is under discussion.

  • (iii) National policies on the education of girls and on combating gender-based violence have been defined. A new penal code includes articles suppressing crimes of sexual violence. Measures were taken to provide assistance and care for the victims of these crimes. Units within the police and courts were specially created to deal with this type of violence.

  • (iv) Several legal and regulatory measures on the status of women were adopted or are under consideration: amendments to the code on inheritance, matrimonial regimes, and bequests were proposed; legislative texts were revised to eliminate discriminatory provisions related to gender; efforts were made to simplify, translate to Kirundi, and improve the distribution of laws and codes in effect.

  • (v) Institutional measures seek to support women’s organizations: strengthening the capacities of the Family Development Centers; creating networks of women’s associations to encourage self-promotion and facilitate access to microcredit; setting up a guarantee fund in five microfinance institutions; opening a center at the Burundi Association of Business Women (AFAB) to display and market products made by women. In addition, several initiatives by women have received support (management and operations).

  • (vi) Planning capabilities in the areas of gender were strengthened; the statistical database was expanded to include data on gender and the GBV dimension.

259. These measures yielded significant results in several areas. From this perspective, excellent results were achieved in the education sector: enrollment rates for women increased from 54.3 percent in 2005 to 89.7 percent in 2009 at the primary school level and from 7.4 percent to 7.7 percent at the secondary level.

260. The boy/girl ratio went from 78 percent in 2005 to 97 percent in 2009 (close to the millennium objective); in higher education (thanks to private universities), the gender parity index went from 0.36 in 2005 to 0.49 in 2009; finally, the literacy rate for women went from 38 percent in 2005 to 50 percent in 2009

261. It is more difficult to measure the results achieved in economic terms. The relative stagnation of the agricultural sector is clearly not a favorable factor with respect to the income and status of women. However, emphasis should be placed on some progress made in the microfinance sector: the guarantee fund has made it possible to disburse approximately FBu 800 million in microloans to 532 associations.

262. In political terms, women’s participation in decision-making agencies has barely made any progress, in fact declining from 21 percent in 2005 to 19 percent in 2009.

VI. General Record of Progress Made toward Achieving the Objectives of the GPRSF in the Area of Human Capital

263. On balance, the first GPRSF’s record in the development of human resources is very positive. Remarkable results were achieved in the area of education. Significant progress was also made in the health sector, in combating HIV/AIDS, and in the area of water and sanitation. Improving the condition of women is a complex task that will take more time. However, the results already obtained in the enrollment rate for girls show that the government has the determination needed to achieve its principal objectives.

264. Nonetheless, experience in the first GPRSF provides several lessons that could provide inspiration for the preparation of the second GPRSF.

265. In the education sector, the increase in primary school enrollment rates has been spectacular. Nonetheless, an initial lesson from experience with free education is the need for better coordination of measures needed to deal with the increase in numbers, which means putting the appropriate resources – facilities, equipment, and teaching staff – in place in good time. It should be noted, however, that after a short period of difficult management, the education system did what had to be done to gradually balance the system, notably improving the student/teacher and student/classroom ratios. Nonetheless, additional efforts will be needed to further reduce these ratios and to make available to teachers and students the books and teaching materials they need.

266. A major problem in primary education is exceptionally high grade repetition rates: a grade repetition rate of 41.5 percent in 2009 means a net increase in the number of students, weighing heavily on the sector’s finances and its absorption capacity (facilities and teachers). Another problem in basic education is low completion rates that could reflect a problem of quality.

267. The percentage of unqualified teachers is relatively low (much lower than in countries that systematically hire contract teachers to deal with teacher shortages). However, measures must be taken to train unqualified teachers, retrain others, strengthen instruction and inspection services, modernize programs, motivate staff, and reduce the number and impact of strikes.

268. A major medium- and long-term problem is to adapt the other levels of education to the growing number of students graduating from primary school. An increased supply of secondary education should include the diversification of branches of instruction, emphasizing technical and professional trades, in order to develop qualifications consistent with market requirements. Expansion of the entire system to respond to the increased number of students and the reform of programs should reflect better knowledge of the economy’s needs. Thus, ongoing dialogue must be developed between the private sector (employers) and the ministries in charge of general and technical education.

269. In conclusion, good planning of the sector as a whole and better coordination of the placement of human, material, and financial resources should dominate future policies.

270. In the healthcare sector, free healthcare for pregnant women and children under the age of five, in conjunction with increased financial resources made available to the sector and training for medical and paramedical personnel, have eliminated one of the bottlenecks that limited expansion of the sector. As a result, future priorities will for the most part be to continue and intensify measures to develop facilities, increase human resources, and prepare and make better use of those resources. Training and retaining more physicians, continuing training of paramedical personnel, evaluating the results of contract hiring, and extending the most suitable incentives to all health facilities will dominate future interventions in the sector. As in the case of the education sector, good planning of these various activities, based on a functional information system, will allow for rationalized administrative and budgetary choices.

271. It should also be emphasized that effective management of the supply of medications so as to provide health facilities and beneficiaries the quality medications they need in a reasonable amount of time will always have great priority. Household surveys clearly show that the cost of medications (much more than the distance from health facilities and the availability of medications) is considered the most urgent problem to be resolved. It will always be very difficult to reduce the cost of medications, but it is essential that supplies be provided under satisfactory terms.

272. With respect to HIV/AIDS, the first lesson learned from efforts to combat HIV/AIDS is the importance of the government’s commitment, without which the results obtained would not be possible. The involvement of civil society in all phases of the program is also important.

273. Nonetheless, combating and treating HIV/AIDS requires considerable financial resources exceeding those already in place. These resources must be sought from development assistance agencies and international NGOs. This effort to mobilize resources must be continued, intensified, and better coordinated.

274. Special efforts must be made for rural areas. It may be necessary to adapt the program and methods of implementation to obtain better results in this underprivileged and difficult to reach area. Youth is also a target group that must be the subject of particular attention. The increased number of adolescent pregnancies shows that young people have not yet internalized the messages on family planning and combating sexually transmitted diseases.

275. In the area of Water and the Environment, the principal lesson lies in the success of efforts undertaken by the government – with the aid of its partners – to rapidly increase water access rates. This effort should be continued throughout the entire implementation period for the second GPRSF. Access to water is not only an essential component of the population’s well-being, but an essential condition for improving public health. Moreover, it is clear that sanitation presents more difficult problems. Sanitation in the city of Bujumbura demands urgent solutions, as sanitation problems are responsible for many infections.

276. With respect to gender advancement, the results obtained in terms of school enrollment for girls are encouraging and should be continued. A systematic analysis of instances of de facto and de jure discrimination limiting women’s participation in the country’s political, economic, and social life and updating of a coordinated plan to eliminate them should be one of the highest future priorities of the GPRSF.


277. Emphasis should first be placed on four recommendations that should dominate the direction of the second GPRSF, followed by a series of topics and suggestions that could be used as the basis for more precise proposals to be defined in the context of future consultations with political institutions, communities, sectoral ministries, and civil society.

I. Four Principal Recommendations

278. First recommendation. On the whole, the priorities selected in the context of the first GPRSF were reasonable and remain valid. The issue then is to expand, develop, and deepen the priority objectives of the first GPRSF.

279. Second recommendation. However, the relative importance of certain choices and reforms should be adjusted. It now seems obvious that what Burundi needs most is growth. Thus, it is essential to invest more national and foreign resources in the productive sectors, in infrastructures, and in employment. However, the development of human capital clearly remains an essential long-term task that must proceed at the same pace as during the first GPRSF. This twofold reality presents a problem of resources that will be at the core of considerations regarding the country’s economic and social future.

280. Third recommendation. The problem of resources can only be solved by reallocating the budget to favor growth-inducing sectors. The settlement of disputes and the normalization of political life will in fact make it possible to continue reducing defense and security expenditures, to the benefit of priority economic and social sectors.

281. There is one potentially important resource that Burundi has not yet sufficiently tapped: the private sector. The private sector – domestic and foreign – will be called upon to play a leading role not only in the development of productive sectors but also in that of the large infrastructures essential to the country’s growth.

282. Fourth recommendation. Growth policies will not reduce poverty if they are not accompanied by policies that seek to slow demographic growth.

II. Specific Recommendations

A. Governance

a) Security/demobilization/share of public expenditures

283. Continue implementation of the DRR program, evaluate its impact, including reintegration program methods, and accelerate efforts to reduce the numbers of the army and police to planned levels (25,000 military and 15,000 police officers).

284. Continue efforts to reduce the share of defense and security expenditures in total executed expenditures (excluding common charges) to less than 20 percent toward the end of the second GPRSF and to professionalize the army and police force with training programs, barracks, etc.

285. Continue to disarm the civilian population. Seize a total of 50,000 weapons starting in 2011 and 70,000 toward the end of the second GPRSF. Complete the demining program.

b) Justice, Human Rights, Land Disputes, Transitional Justice

286. Accelerate reform of the justice system, making it one of the principal priorities of future governance policies. Specific objectives should be defined with respect to building courts and training judges as well as reducing judicial backlogs, the number of prisoners, preventive detentions, and the percentage occupancy of prisons.

287. Install the National Independent Human Rights Commission and strengthen efforts to combat impunity and clamp down on murder and torture.

288. Strengthen projects to record and secure landholdings. Create new Integrated Rural Villages. Publish the report of the inter-ministry consultative commission for transitional justice and implement its recommendations.

c) Political, Administrative, and Financial Governance

289. Continue efforts to normalize political life and put the Forum for Dialogue among Political Parties to good use to strengthen trust among political actors.

290. Increase contacts with civil society so as to have better knowledge of the grass-roots population’s views regarding government management and the workings of institutions.

291. Use the diagnoses initiated by various ministries to define the broad outlines of civil service reform, develop incentive systems rewarding competence and performance.

292. Continue efforts on deconcentration and decentralization, strengthen programs to train local elected officials, give communal councils material and financial resources, and increase initiatives to involve users in the planning, follow-up, and evaluation of basic services (particularly health and education).

293. Continue implementation of the Organic Law, the Government Procurement Code, and the Government Finance Management Strategy. Strengthen and expand SIGEFI, strengthen the preparation and implementation of commitment plans.

294. Adopt the good governance strategy, identify and implement the priority recommendations, strengthen oversight bodies (Court of Accounts and IGE) and institutions combating corruption, and study ways and means to improve the country’s ranking in surveys on corruption and transparency.

B. Growth

a) Macroeconomic Policies

295. Continue solid and prudent macroeconomic and financial policies. Give the highest priority to restarting growth, combined with a policy that seeks to gradually reduce demographic growth.

296. Continue efforts to increase the relative share of priority economic and social sectors in total public expenditures and in aid-financed projects.

b) High Priority for Rural Development

297. Continue efforts to rehabilitate agricultural research and extension services and livestock support services.

298. Take advantage of improvements in the security situation, the reconstruction of facilities, support for producers’ groups, and private sector development to stimulate the growth of agriculture and livestock.

299. Continue to liberalize and privatize the coffee industry, launch an extensive program to restore coffee trees, start reform of the tea industry, prepare and implement reform of non-traditional export industries.

c) Development of the Private Sector, Privatization of Government Enterprises

300. Continue efforts to improve the business climate. Implement recently enacted reforms of codes, utilize the recently created consultation framework to better understand and incorporate the legitimate concerns of companies and accelerate implementation of the program to privatize government enterprises.

d) Diversification of the Sources of Growth: Mines and Tourism

301. Reform the mining code, complete the studies necessary to launch energy and transportation projects to establish conditions for the exploitation of nickel, and prepare and adopt a national tourism development strategy.

e) Infrastructure Reconstruction and Development

302. Continue and intensify efforts to maintain and develop the road network, increase the resources of the FRN, and complete the studies needed to improve transportation on Lake Tanganyika and international connections to Dar es Salaam and Mombasa.

303. Ensure connection to the fiber optic network to reduce the cost and improve the effectiveness of telecommunications, encourage the private sector to provide complete coverage of the country, make the government’s site operational, reactivate the school of journalism and communications, and create a media promotion fund.

304. Take all measures necessary (investments, better technical and commercial management, rate policies) to ensure the viability of REGIDESO, prepare and begin the rehabilitation and creation of national and regional hydroelectric stations to respond to increased demand, and quickly reduce the frequency and duration of power outages.

f) Employment and Microenterprises

305. Continue and intensify HLI projects to develop job opportunities for the poor and give national consideration to the prospects and problems of microfinance development.

C. Development of Human Capital

a) Education

306. Continue efforts to increase the primary school enrollment rate and improve boy/girl parity, improve the effectiveness and quality of the system, reduce grade repetition and dropout rates, and increase completion levels.

307. Train unskilled teachers, provide better instruction for existing personnel, and improve student/teacher, student/classroom, and textbook/student ratios.

308. Gradually increase the secondary enrollment rate, increase the physical capacity of universities (public and private sector), diversify branches of instruction based on the needs of the economy, and promote better dialogue between employers and the ministries responsible for education and professional training.

309. Ensure proper coordination of the various measures necessary (facilities, teachers, teaching materials) to address the increased number of students at all levels of education.

b) Health

310. Continue efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality rates and the infections that are the primary causes of morbidity and mortality.

311. Improve the accessibility and quality of basic services: facilities/personnel.

312. Develop the necessary training for medical and paramedical personnel and encourage better geographic distribution of resources. Evaluate the impact of contract employment.

313. Closely monitor the performance of CAMEBU, study and implement reform of its by-laws, operations, and financing so as to allow effective and equitable distribution of medications, particularly essential medications.


314. Continue efforts to mobilize the resources necessary to intensify actions to combat HIV/AIDs, expand and intensify prevention and screening programs, increase the number of patients treated, and develop awareness campaigns to improve the economic and social condition of these patients.

d) Water and Sanitation

315. Improve drinking water and sanitation access rates and continue efforts to maintain, rehabilitate, and develop REGIDESO and DGHER installations.

e) Gender Advancement

316. Continue awareness campaigns to combat the marginalization of women, take appropriate measures to improve girls’ enrollment rates at all levels of education, and support women’s associations in their analysis of the legal, economic, and social factors that limit women’s development.

f) Social Protection

317. Improve population coverage rates, ensure proper management of social protection systems, and continue to establish the national social protection policy.


I. The Real Sector and Economic Growth

A. Sectoral Dynamic

318. Economic growth over the last three years was generally volatile. After recording rates of 3.6 percent in 2007 and 4.5 percent in 2008, GDP growth fell to 3.4 percent in 2009. This decline is due in large part to the underperformance of the primary sector, for which the contribution to growth amounted to 0.8 percent in 2009, although its weight was close to 44 percent of GDP.

Table 9.

Contribution to GDP Formation

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Source: Ministry of Planning and Communal Development

319. The primary sector continues to be strongly affected by the weight of agriculture, which is itself largely influenced by the development of coffee production. Thus, production recorded in terms of export agriculture fell from 59.5 percent in 2007, growing 48.6 percent in 2008, before falling again by 38.2 percent in 2009, essentially due to variations in the coffee harvest which is subject to the phenomenon of cycles. Because of food production that remains weak, aggravated by the cyclical nature of coffee harvests, the primary sector had a moderate impact on GDP, with average growth on the order of two percent over the period 2007-2009.

320. Thus, Burundi’s economic growth is still largely dependent on the bi-annual coffee production system in which a good harvest has systematically followed a bad harvest for many years. Remedying this situation would require not only modernizing the coffee industry and restoring the plants but also reducing the economy’s dependence on this single crop.

321. With respect to the secondary sector, the growth rate remained at 5 percent in 2008 and 2009, while it was 3.7 percent in 2007.

322. This sector has been affected by stagnation in the food processing industries, the performance of which is closely tied to the agricultural situation. The decline in textile industry production after the closing of the CôteBU factory in 2006 was offset by renewed activity in artisanal industries (7.8 percent of growth in 2009 compared to 3.6 percent in 2008), construction (8% in 2009 compared to 7.2 % in 2008), mines and energy (3.6% in 2009 compared to 0% in 2008). In total, the secondary sector contributed up to 0.8 percent of GDP, a level below that projected in the GPRSF, which relied on strong increases in industrial and artisanal production. In fact, the reforms and investments anticipated in these sectors have been late in materializing.

323. The tertiary sector recorded relative development in 2007, with 8 percent growth stabilizing later at 5 percent in 2008 and 5.1 percent in 2009. This sector is basically dominated by telecommunications-related activities, in which production increased by about an average of 10 percent per year. The tertiary sector thus contributes to 50 percent of the country’s economic growth (1.7% compared to 3.4% in 2009). This tertiary sector-based development should ultimately be refocused in order to further promote processing activities.

324. Finally, compared to GPRSF projections, economic growth has not been sufficient to meet the requirements of poverty reduction. Thus, as shown in Chart 2, average growth amounted to 3.8 percent, compared to the 6.8 percent projected in the GPRSF. The impact on per capita GDP is all the more reduced to the extent that demographic growth is still not under control.

Chart 3:
Average Growth of GDP, 2007-2009
Source: GPRSF and Ministry of Planning and Communal Development

325. It is primarily primary sector growth that falls well below the GPRSF’s expectations, with an average contribution to growth of 0.9 percent, compared to the anticipated 2.9 percent. The reforms and investments planned in this sector were in fact delayed by the prevailing conflict until late 2008. Ultimately, more emphasis will be placed on investments in growth-inducing areas, allowing the primary sector to profit from gains in productivity. To a lesser extent, this also applies to the secondary sector.

326. In contrast, the tertiary sector grew by 2 percent, as projected in the GPRSF. Achievements are thus skewed toward the tertiary sector, which has a more limited impact on poverty. Finally, indirect taxes did not increase as expected, due to weak growth in the productive sectors.

327. However, in terms of real value, per capita GDP increased by only 4.4 percent in three years, due to strong demographic growth estimated at 2.36 percent. This corresponds to annual growth in average real income per capita of less than 1.5 percent. Per capita GDP would thus be FBu 187,226 (US$152.23) in 2009, compared to FBu 123,270 (US$119.63) in 2007. The introduction of the new national accounts in the analysis of GDP would yield a slightly improved situation as shown in the chart below.

Chart 4:
Comparison of GDP per Capita

328. The new national accounts yield GDP one third higher than the preceding estimates (see box below). Per capita GDP in 2009 would thus amount to FBu 247,800 or US$201.50.

329. However, in the international classification of countries based on per capita GDP, these figures do not change Burundi’s position among the poorest countries, just ahead of the Democratic Republic of Congo.38

II. The Monetary Sector, Exchange Rate, Inflation

A. Monetary Sector

330. Due to multiple external constraints and the need for government financing, the BRB could not achieve its monetary policy goals. Growth in the money supply was systematically higher than that of nominal GDP, except in 2007. However, the latter fell to 19.8 percent in 2009, starting from 34.2 percent in 2008. The money supply (M2) has nearly doubled since 2006, going from FBu 300 billon to FBu 531 billion, due to increased domestic credit, following the demand for money after international prices exploded in 2007 and 2008, with repercussions in 2009 and delayed disbursement of budgetary supports, leading the Treasury to run up massive debt with the Central Bank.

331. When faced with essentially imported inflation, limiting its impact through tight monetary policy alone is extremely difficult, and the BRB had to follow the general price movement by creating money. However, despite more rapid growth in the money supply than in nominal GDP in 2009 (19.8% and 18%, respectively), year-on-year inflation did not exceed five percent in 2009, thanks to a thaw in international prices in conjunction with relatively good food production.

Table 10.

Monetary Situation (annual growth, %)

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Source: BRB

332. Concerning money supply counterparts, the period was characterized by an effort to reduce loans to the government starting in 2007 although unfortunately this could not be continued due to the disbursement of budgetary supports in 2009. This had an impact on the country’s macroeconomic equilibrium. Thus, after having increased significantly in 2007 and 2008, net foreign assets fell by FBu 12.7 billion in 2009, or a contraction on the order of 7 percent. The 30.5 percent increase in domestic credit in 2009 resulted less from the increase in claims on the economy (22%) than from the increase in net claims on government (43%). The former went from FBu 271.7 billion to FBu 317.2 billion and the latter went from FBu 176.5 billion to FBu 252 billion.

B. Exchange Rate

333. The differential between the official exchange rate and the rate applied by private exchange bureaus has continued to decline since 2007 and is now no more than one percent. The official FBu/US$ exchange rate, after several years of nominal depreciation, finally stabilized at about FBu 1,230 to the dollar during 2009. This was the result not only of prudent monetary policy and a healthy level of exchange reserves at the BRB but also reforms implemented in the exchange market.

Chart 5:
Competitiveness in Burundi
Source: BRB

334. The nominal effective exchange rate, which had fallen since 2006, benefited from this new situation, stabilizing during the course of 2009. As for the real effective exchange rate, it was significantly higher at the end of 2008 due to appreciation of the dollar on international markets and high inflation in Burundi compared to its trade partners. However, it depreciated over the course of 2009 to its lowest level in years. Currently, despite Burundi’s great dependence on foreign financial supports, the country is subject to neither appreciation of its currency nor runaway inflation.

C. Inflation

335. After extremely high rates in 2007 (14.5%) and 2008 (25.7%), inflation fell sharply in 2009, with year-on-year inflation at 4.6 percent at year-end. It is less than the projection, which put it at 9 percent. The chart below shows the change in the consumer price index in Bujumbura and the corresponding inflation rate. It is clear that the country experienced strong inflation starting in 2007, reaching its maximum in the second half of 2008, and then falling gradually in 2009 to reach a level considered “reasonable” for a developing country at about five percent.

Chart 6:
Year-on-Year Change in Consumer Price Index and Inflation Rate, 2007-2008
Source: Isteebu

336. The principal determinant of the change in prices over the period is the level of prices for food products, which account for more than 50 percent of the market basket used as the basis for the CPI. The food price index for the city of Bujumbura actually fell by 1.5 percent in 2009, after having increased gradually by 10 percent in 2006, 12.7 percent in 2007 and 40.5 percent in 2008. Non-food prices increased more in 2009, by 13.2 percent, which explains why inflation remained positive.

The following table shows a decoupling of food and non-food prices.

Table 11.

Inflation by Goods and Services Categories

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337. However, it should be emphasized that food prices did not fall significantly in 2009, in contrast with developments on the international markets.

III. The External Sector

A. The Current Account

338. The development of the balance of payments clearly shows the effect of the international crisis on Burundi’s economy.

339. The years 2006-2008 mark the growth of imports to rebuild the country’s infrastructures, financed in large part by Official Development Assistance, in a context of increased goods and services costs.

Chart 7:
Balance of Payments Situation
Source: IMF, article IV

340. However, in 2009 imports fell significantly, following a decline in the cost of petroleum and current transfers, with fewer transfers from abroad. The current account balance ultimately remained at a level close to 15 percent of GDP. This was financed through Burundi’s sustainable foreign debt, particularly after reaching the completion point, somewhat freeing up its borrowing capacity, but at rates that were still highly concessional.

B. The Capital and Financial Transactions Account

341. Achievement of the decision point followed by the completion point under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative is reflected by growth in Burundi’s capital account and a reduction in its external liabilities.

342. This allowed the country to release additional resources to combat poverty and to stabilize the macroeconomic situation, with continued growth in reserve assets. The table below shows that direct foreign investments are less than one percent of GDP.

343. In contrast, the weakness of the direct foreign investment that the country needs so much to finance its economic development is regrettable.

Table 12.

Capital and Financial Transactions Account (% of GDP)

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Source: BRB

344. Current reforms to improve the business climate, security for property and persons, and the infrastructure supply seek to remedy this situation.

IV. Budgetary Performance

A. Development of Budget Resources

345. Government revenues are divided into domestic resources on the one hand and foreign resources consisting of current grants and capital grants on the other. Over the last three years, the government’s budget resources, as contained in the budget, increased from FBu 428 billion in 2007 to FBu 710 billion in 2009.

346. During the same period, domestic resources averaged 48 percent of the budget. Current grants averaged 23 percent of revenues and capital grants averaged 29 percent.

a) Mobilization of Domestic Resources

347. Tax revenues grew regularly from 2007 to 2009, although the level achieved was still below the anticipated results, except for 2009 when the projections practically match revenues received. Although income taxes and taxes on goods and services showed a regular progression from one year to the next, revenues from taxes collected on foreign trade showed more growth and more pronounced gaps between projected and actual revenues. For 2009, the gap was minus 40 percent.

Table 13.

Change in Domestic Revenues

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348. Non-tax revenues, which performed well in 2008, reaching FBu 26.5 million in 2008 compared to FBu 15 million in 2007, fell in 2009 to FBu 25.9 million, or a difference of minus five percent compared to the projections that counted on collections of FBu 27.3 million.

349. In total, domestic resources increased every year, but a particularly severe explosion of prices in 2008 affected this growth in real terms. The general recommendation is for the responsible agencies to gradually take control of the reforms connected to introduction of the VAT and the Common External Tariff so as to strengthen their performance.

b) Change in Government Expenditure

350. Current expenditures continue to be marked by the predominance of salaries, the share of which went from FBu 72.6 billion in 2008 to FBu 415.6 billion in 2009, with the largest share still going to the education sector. The wage bill put strong pressure on government finance, particularly for 2008 and 2009, primarily due to union demands that the government had to honor.

351. Investment expenditures under the SIB had a consistently low execution rate with a difference of minus 42 percent in 2009. This situation requires greater ability to program and execute projects, particularly in terms of accelerating the studies required.

352. Capital expenditures on foreign financing are controlled at the budget level, although they represent a very significant portion of the financing for development projects.

353. According to a study conducted by the CNCA, capital grants picked up by the budget would represent only 33 percent of foreign aid in 2007, 38 percent in 2008, and 56 percent in 2009.

Table 14.

Change in Government Expenditure (in billions)

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Source: Ministry of Finance

354. In sum, it is crucial that this estimate be corrected in order to ensure a more intelligible budget, particularly through more efficient coordination of foreign aid.

355. The comparative analysis of government revenues and expenditures shows a situation that has been consistency imbalanced over the years as illustrated in the following chart.

Chart 8:
Comparative Change in Expenses and Revenue (FBu billions)
Source: Ministry of Finance

356. The gap between domestic revenues, which was 34 billion in 2005, sank to 104.3 billion in 2009. This situation can only be remedied by implementing and executing the far-reaching reforms that seek both increased streamlining of the government’s revenue collection systems and a profound change in Burundi’s economy so as to generate more activities and revenues. The preponderance of foreign financing in the government’s budget reinforces the country’s vulnerability to major shocks on the international level.

357. Foreign supports are decisive in the financing of the budget. They amounted to 10.4 percent of GDP in 2009, compared to 25 percent a year earlier. The proceeds that resulted from Burundi’s admission to the HIPC Initiative and multilateral debt relief played a key role in easing deficits, with proceeds increasing from FBu 23.5 billion in 2007 to FBu 66.2 billion in 2009. Although budgetary supports are the most effective way of financing the budget, the chart below demonstrates the problems presented in terms of budget planning.

Chart 9:
Comparison of Projected and Actual Budgetary Support to the Government of Burundi, 2007-2010
Source: Ministry of Finance

358. The unpredictable nature of budgetary supports from one year to the next presents recurring problems in terms of cash flow, leading the government to resort to domestic loans, particularly from the Central Bank. Domestic debt thus went from FBu 8.5 billion to FBu 33.4 billion, respectively, in 2007 and 2009, or an increase of [text missing] percent over three years.

c) Pro-Poor Spending Trends

359. During the first three years of GPRSF implementation, the government made visible efforts through increasingly high budgetary allocations to the social sectors, particularly health, education, and agriculture. The following chart illustrates the change in budgetary percentages allocated to pro-poor spending.

Chart 10:
Percentage of Budget Allocated to Pro-Poor Spending
Source: Ministry of Finance and REFES

360. Alignment with the priorities defined by the GPRSF has gradually improved in that pro-poor expenses, which used to represent 40 percent of the budget, rose back to 43 percent in 2009. It is anticipated that there will be more stringent monitoring of the profile of pro-poor expenditures, thanks to better classification under a ministerial decree stipulating the functional subclassification of poverty reduction expenditures.

Table 15:

GPRSF Financing by Axis and Program

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Source: Ministry of Finance

B. GPRSF Financing, 2007-2009

361. After three years of GPRSF implementation, it is important to evaluate the financing allocated to each of the strategic axes. To this end, the analysis takes into account the government’s spending of its own resources, including budgetary supports, grants, and expenses for projects financed by the technical and financial partners.

362. Overall, the financing of the government’s priorities in the area of combating poverty over the three years of GPRSF implementation has grown in nominal value, based both on the national budget and projects financed by the technical and financial partners. Total expenditures amounted to FBu 2,119.5 billion over three years, with 46 percent coming from government spending and 54 percent from projects with foreign financing. As a percentage of GDP, GPRSF financing remained stable, averaging 53.2 percent. The percentage of the GPRSF financed by the government’s budget has increased consistently, from 41 percent in 2007 to 46 percent in 2008 and then 49 percent in 2009.

V. Monitoring-Evaluation Mechanisms

363. Support from the donors is essential to the implementation and monitoring of the GPRSF. A roundtable held in May 2007 provided an excellent opportunity to set up a permanent consultation framework. This roundtable also allowed the donors to reaffirm their willingness to support implementation by mobilizing new resources estimated at US$680 million over a period of three years.

364. The statistical framework needs to be strengthened in order to gather and disseminate reliable data for measuring progress made and gaps to be filled in. In this respect, Burundi has already joined AFRISTAT. The effects of this membership were already felt in 2007 with the customary periodic statistical publications (consumer price index of Bujumbura, monthly price bulletin, statistical yearbook, monthly situation bulletin). Other specific publications were also noted, including the national account, the 1-2-3 survey, and the 2005 MICS survey with support from UNICEF. By facilitating the institutional and technical coordination of the entire statistical system, the new statistics law should reenergize the country’s statistical production.

365. The performance indicators were gathered according to the priority sectors covered by the GPRSF. The data were gathered on a participatory basis and made it possible to ascertain general trends seen after one year of GPRSF implementation. However, the institutions that participated in the evaluation of the GPRSF must be reenergized and strengthened to allow full ownership of the strategy.

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