Burundi, officially the Republic of Burundi, is a landlocked country amid the African Great Lakes region where East and Central Africa converge.
Burundi Geography The landlocked small country of Burundi, located on the northeastern shoreline of Lake Tanganyika, is a very mountainous country. The only land below 3,000 feet is a narrow strip of plain along the Ruzizi River in the west.
Key cities in Burkina include: Bubanza, Buhongo, Bujumbura, Bukirasazi, Bururi, Cankuzo, Cibitoke.
Historical, Cultural facts & Religion
Burundi was once part of German East Africa. Belgium won a League of Nations mandate in 1923, and subsequently, Burundi, with Rwanda, was transferred to the status of a United Nations trust territory. In 1962, Burundi gained independence and became a kingdom under Mwami Mwambutsa IV, a Tutsi.
The vast majority of Burundi citizens are Christian (75%), around 20% Burundians follow African religions with a few percents being Muslim. The major ethnic groups are Hutu (84%), Tutsi (14%) and Twa (1%). Burundi’s culture is based on local traditions and the influence of neighboring countries.
Brief Country History
Burundi has a rich historical origin based on its ethnic settlers. These same ethnic tribes though have arrested national growth and development in almost all facets of the society. No wonder, until the present national rehabilitation and reform programs are instituted to advance the dire condition prevalent across the country.
The original settlement in the Burundian territory is attributed to the Twa tribe. In the 11th century though, the Hutu tribe came into the scene and dominated the land in terms of number. The Tutsi tribe came in the 14th century which contrary to the Hutu dominated the land in terms of influence. In turn, this tribe remained in power for centuries thereafter.
The Burundian Kingdom has been instituted by the Tutsi as early as 16th century along the eastern foothills. It was only in the Rugamba reign (1796 to 1850) though, that the monarchy gained ultimate political influence by doubling in scope. Particularly, the King was considered as the “Mwani” owning vast lands and cattle. A patron-client relationship characterized a governmental system in which the subjects pay tributary tax in exchange for royal protection.
Mid-1800’s, European explorers and Christian missionaries came into the land. Germans officially commenced rule in 1899 when Burundi befell into the German East Africa colonies. It was also believed that the epidemic outbreak infecting people and animals in the area was brought about by the same foreign conquerors. Although the Germans came into power first, the Kingdom ended up being shared by Belgians and British rulers in 1923.
Independence was finally granted on July 1, 1962. The colonial rule may have ended but the civil war has just started. Since then, the tension between Hutu and Tutsi tribes has never been pacified which resulted in many deaths on both parties. In 2007, even the United Nations peacekeeping operations have put to end its efforts to appease these factions to concentrate on economic development, instead.
Language (s) Written & Spoken
In Burundi, the most spoken language is Kirundi. This language is one of the three official languages of Burundi. In fact, it’s the national language and it’s estimated that about 98% of the people of Burundi speak Kirundi. Other official languages include French and English. Besides, there are minority languages spoken in Burundi and one of them is Kiswahili.
Important Types of Commerce in Burundi
Burundi is a landlocked country situated in the central parts of Africa. It is bordered by Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The capital city of Burundi is Gitega. Initially, the country’s capital was Bujumbura. However, the government moved the capital to reduce violence caused by unresolved disputes with the opposition parties.
Burundi covers an area of about 27,834 square kilometers and a population of about 11 million people. It is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is also among the most densely populated nations in Africa with three-quarters of the population living below the poverty line. The GDP of Burundi is 7.9 billion US dollars; representing only about 0.01% of the world’s GDP (84.8 trillion). The slow economic growth and poverty levels in Burundi is attributed to several civil wars that have been experienced by the country. These wars have claimed over 500,000 lives and resulted in many refugees. Civil wars hinder agricultural production which is the backbone of Burundi’s economy. Low crop yield, in turn, results in high food prices and high standards of living. Below are some of the biggest industries that have contributed to the growth of the country’s economy.
- Mining and Energy Industry
- Manufacturing Industry
Language Services US and others will provide working with Burundi
Professional Kirundi translation and interpreting is very essential when doing business with Burundi. No matter what the topic of discussion but when doing business with other counties it is required to localize the content according to the language and culture of the target country as it will help to make things easier when expanding a business. A translation is more than transferring words from one language to another, otherwise, you’d just be using Google translate. Linguists need to understand slang, lingo, terminology, culture, and attitudes of the specific region where the language is spoken.
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