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.
Germany is following with concern developments in Burundi since spring 2015. The chief concern of the Federal Government and its partners within the international community is to help bring about political stabilisation and prevent repercussions across the region. The Federal Government is working to promote dialogue between the conflicting parties, the respect of human rights and the strengthening of civil society in Burundi. It is also providing humanitarian assistance in the fight against hunger and disease.
The economic and financial situation has further deteriorated in recent years. Direct investment is low and currency scarce causing supply shortages, inflation and high unemployment. The country needs to engage in reform.
Economic relations between Germany and Burundi are weak. In 2018, German imports from Burundi were worth circa 9.5 million euros and German exports to Burundi circa 8.9 million euros.
In view of political developments in Burundi, the Federal Government suspended all government-related activities under German bilateral development cooperation in 2015. Development cooperation is restricted to measures that directly benefit Burundi’s population.
Culture and education
The literacy rate in the age group 15-24 is 80%. The school drop-out rate is high. There are state and numerous private universities in Burundi but they are barely functioning.
Art and research lack a framework in which to develop.
There are no German cultural institutions in Burundi. A school in Bujumbura is taking part in the partner school programme promoting the German language.