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Trade mission 2010

Trade Mission Burundi 6 – 11 December 2010

Monday 06 December
From 6 to 11 December 2010 NABC is organizing a trade mission to Burundi for Dutch companies in the agriculture, construction or tourism sector. The trade mission is organized in close cooperation with IZERE, the Burundi Chamber of Commerce and the Netherlands Embassy Office in Bujumbura.


Burundi is a country under construction. After witnessing a destructive civil war during the end of the 20st century, the country is currently attracting international investors and traders to get its economy back on track. Positive developments such as the installation of a democratic government and the return of stability makes Burundi an interesting country for trade and investment. Nevertheless, Burundi remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

The Burundian economy is mainly grounded on agriculture. Statistic estimates indicate that 90% of the population relies on agriculture combined with livestock for the livelihood. There are two types of crops cultivated: food crops and cash crops. Agriculture generates value-added estimated at about 58% of gross domestic product and produces most the foreign exchange coming into the country. The tea produced in Burundi is high quality and 95% of its production is exported. Burundi plans to increase the tea production by privatizing some complexes of production and by increasing the area of cultivation. Other promising sectors are tourism and construction.

Agriculture & Fisheries
Coffee – Burundi is poised to make the kinds of changes necessary to restore luster to its coffee subsector and develop the capacity to participate in rapidly changing global coffee markets. Growing in importance are specialty coffee markets that depart from the traditional commodity-oriented coffee markets in that they are defined primarily in terms of their high product quality and other differentiating characteristics. This development is particularly encouraging for Burundi, whose agro ecology and well-developed coffee infrastructure support the production of highly prized “Mild Arabica,” and where political will is being mobilized in the subsector to realize this remarkable potential. It should be noted that coffee (Arabica and Robusta) accounts for nearly 90% of the country’s export earnings. Opportunities exist in:

1. Facilitating the privatization of coffee;
2. Providing assistance to producer cooperatives and small enterprises to improve coffee quality through improved practices in production and processing;
3. Specialty coffee market development targeting the European market.

Horticulture – Burundi is well positioned for horticulture development thanks to its broad agro-ecological diversity, abundant rainfall, and strong tradition of producer organization. Fruit and vegetable producers and exporters share a guarded optimism that Burundi’s export, regional, and domestic markets for horticulture products can be rebuilt and strengthened. They see the potential for Burundi to become highly competitive in these increasingly lucrative markets, ultimately challenging regional competitors such as Uganda and Kenya. This sector is poised to build on this foundation and deliver pragmatic, field-focused activities that will help create incomes, increase employment, and help stabilize the country and ensure that it will not once again descend into chaos and bloodshed. Opportunities exist in:
1. Fruits, vegetables and cut flowers for export to international and regional markets;
2. Working on producer organization, improved production practices, post-harvest handling and market access.

Fishing – Burundi is boarding the Lake Tanganyika which is known in the world to be a lake containing a lot of fish of different varieties. The national production is estimated to 15,000 tones. The artisan fishing contributes to 90% and the development of the industrial fishing should enable the country to have an exportable surplus. The identified products for export are the frozen and smoked fishes, the ornamental alive fishes and the crabs. The fishes know as “INDAGALA” are the unique species found only in the Lake Tanganyika, and this offers a considerable advantage for export.

The tourism industry is still in its infancy, but there is ample opportunity for development. Lake Tanganyika is internationally famous for its scenic beauty. Places of interest include Bujumbura, Lake Tanganyika, Gitega, the former capital, with its museum and traditional handicraft centre; and the Mosso area in the southeast, with its fairly abundant wildlife. The north-east has a great variety of tropical birds. Burundi is also rich in folk art. The dancers and drummers of the Tutsi are particularly well known. All this makes for an interesting and varied tourism product.

The infrastructure in Burundi is in need of rehabilitation (particularly electricity and roads). This could impede growth of the tourism sector. However, with support from international donors, both bilateral and multilateral, the rehabilitation of the country’s infrastructure is underway. This will have positive implications for the development of the tourism industry. Key assets of the sector are:

1. Existence of important tourism assets;
2. Limited capacity of hotels of international standard;
3. Increasing international recognition of Burundi as one of the world’s undeveloped destinations for travel nature and discovery tourism;
4. Existence of potential donor support for capacity building in Tourism sector.
Priority tourism investment sectors have been identified as follows:


Hotel renovation and upgrades;
Tour operations;
New leisure resorts and lodges.
Funding possibilities
The Netherlands is an important donor country for Burundi – as a result a variety of private sector development programs from the Dutch government are open to Burundi. More information about these programs:
. PSI Plus
. 2explore
. Prepare2start

Economic indicators
a. Value: 47 million USD f.o.b. (2008)
b. Commodities: coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
c. Partners: Germany 31.3%, Pakistan 6.8%, Belgium 5.8%, Sweden 4.3%, Rwanda 4.3%, France 4.2%, Sudan 4% (2007)

a. Value: 307 million USD (2008)
b. Commodities: capital goods, petroleum products, food products
c. Partners: Saudi Arabia 17%, Kenya 11.4%, Belgium 8.7%, France 6.1%, Uganda 5.4%, Germany 5.4%, India 4.8%, Pakistan 4.2%

Conditions for participation


Companies have to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce in the Netherlands for at least two years.
The company has relevant experience and knowledge of doing business in Africa.
The core activities of the company are in one of the following sectors: agriculture & fisheries, Tourism or Construction.
Registration is for the trade mission is final after payment of the participation fee. The payment for the trade mission has to be received within 30 days of registration; and at least 14 days before the day of departure.
Participation fee is 1.500 euro for each company which includes international ticket, accomodation, diners & lunches and local transport.

For more information contact Henk Veldman – 070 304 3618 or henk.veldman@nabc.nl



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