Last updated in December 2015

Political relations

Relations between Burundi and Germany are fundamentally amicable. Germany was one of Burundi’s first development cooperation partners after the country gained independence in 1962 and enjoys a good reputation there because of its significant contributions to the country’s development. Following many years of political instability in Burundi, relations between the two countries cooled after 1993 and were only revived after the security situation there improved in the wake of the 2005 elections.

The events since President Nkurunziza’s decision to stand for a third term are worrying. The chief concern of the Federal Government and its partners within the international community is to avoid a further escalation of the violence in Burundi and get the conflict parties to the table to engage in political dialogue.

Development cooperation

In view of political developments in Burundi, the Federal Government has suspended all government-related activities under German bilateral development cooperation with Burundi and deferred for the time being the negotiations with the Burundian government on new commitments, which were scheduled for late 2015. Measures that directly benefit Burundi’s population are being continued.

Economic relations

Economic relations between Germany and Burundi are weak. Burundi ranked 174th among Germany’s 240 trading partners in 2013. In the same year, German imports from Burundi were worth EUR 10.9 million and German exports to Burundi EUR 16 million. The main element in bilateral trade is Germany’s import of coffee, Burundi’s principal export item besides tea. There are no German investments of note in Burundi. Tourism, too, is of little significance.

Cultural relations

Cultural relations have suffered severely since 1993 as a result of the country’s civil war. Since 2012, there have also been tentative efforts to revive cultural cooperation. These include German Film Weeks in 2012 and 2013, donations of balls and jerseys for youth football teams and tentative cooperation with the National Museum in Gitega in 2014 (exhibition catalogue). In recent months, though, there have been no more cultural activities because of the domestic political unrest in connection with President Nkurunziza’s decision to run for office again, a move that the opposition considers unconstitutional.

German teaching was resumed at the beginning of 2012, after being interrupted for about a year. One Burundian school participates in the Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH) initiative that is designed to promote the German language. A German-Burundian friendship society was founded in Bujumbura in 1987.

Additional content

Burundi is a partner country of German development cooperation. For more information please visit the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

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