Transport

Burundi is located at a strategic position with regard to the different economic communities (CEAC, COMESA, CEPGL, EAC) and currently, most of imported or exported goods are transported by road. It is at this stage that Burundi strives to serve as a central point in the trade of the sub region (goods from Kenyan or Tanzanian ports to the eastern part of the DRC).

Internal transport of goods and persons

At the time being, the Government transport company (OTRACO) caters for the public transport in the city as well as in the countryside. OTRACO has also created transport lines for persons travelling to Kigali, Kampala and Dar es Salaam.

Nevertheless, private sector transport agencies are playing a great role in the public transport.

There are sub-regional companies that have already invested in the public transport market by bus from Bujumbura to Kigali, Kampala, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Many more opportunities in this sector are available and promising.

The transportation of goods is considered as a large market. Burundi has to import a lot of commodities via the ports of Dar es Salaam and Mombasa, therefore:

  • Large trucks in good condition are needed in order to drive through though landscape of hills;
  • Refrigerated trucks are needed for the transportation of the fishery products;
  • Cold rooms are needed for the storage of fruits and vegetables.


 Lake transport
Burundi is aiming to make the port of Bujumbura a large business centre with a station and a connection to the railway network. The port of Bujumbura, dredged with the support of Belgium, allows large ships to dock. This is an indication of consistent investment for the country to have a national hinterland.

 Investment opportunities

  •  Strengthening safety on the lake through communication development of the civil protection assistance, 
  •  Improving the automated loading system at the port of Bujumbura and its expansion to accommodate large container ships and other passenger vessels,
  •  Modernizing the ports of Bujumbura and Rumonge,
  •  Installation of a cold chain at the port of Bujumbura,
  • Improving the transport services for people and goods on the Lake Tanganyika.


   Air transport

Burundi’s national airline Company ‘Air Burundi’ (currently without active aircraft) has the traffic rights to many African and European cities. Air Burundi sells flight tickets and assists passengers in procedures for boarding at Bujumbura International Airport. Air Burundi is seeking to purchase aircraft under the leasing system.

The public company SOBUGEA deals with the ground assistance of passengers and aircrafts and cargo jets (loading, unloading, storage). This large company needs capital and equipment for expansion.

Interested investors could contact the SOBUGEA Management for partnerships (opportunities to become partners).

 Air transport opportunities

  • Untapped links in the sub-region (Tanzania, Uganda, DRC and Zambia);

  • Rehabilitation and expansion of runways, control tower and terminal;

  • Setting up of a cold chain system at the Bujumbura International airport
     

Buildings and Public Works

Public infrastructure 

The Government of Burundi is renting most of its offices. Huge amount of money is spent on rents, around 12 billion each year. The Government is determined to build its own buildings with its annual investment budget.

Part of that investment budget will contribute to finance other infrastructures such as hydroelectric dams, hospitals and above all transforming Gitega city into the country’s political capital (headquarters for the parliament, ministries and housing for civil servants).

Leasing construction equipment and machinery provides investment opportunities. Each year, the authority in charge of the market for public infrastructure launches a lot of projects to be carried out through calls for tenders (Refer to The National Directorate of Public Procurement).

Education

Since 2005, primary school education is been provided free of charge in Burundi in a bid to further promote this important sector.

The other challenge is to improve the image of education (public and private) of Burundi. In the past, Burundian schools were deemed to be the best in the sub-region because of the quality of programs, the discipline of both teachers and students.

Burundi with high illiteracy rate is now focusing on the education and training sector. Throughout the country, the number of primary and secondary schools is incredibly increasing. In addition to the public initiatives, the private sector is contributing particularly in the nursery, primary, secondary and higher education.

Reforming higher education will bring changes to harmonize the Burundian system with other EAC member states. The Bachelor’s degree program will be soon rescheduled to three years instead of four.

Burundi has recently registered a wide range of private universities that need qualified personnel. Similarly, the Government encourages the establishment of universities, training institutes, knowledge and technology transfer centres.
 

Investment opportunities: 

• Manufacture of school and educational materials; 
• High demand for institutes or capacity building centres for government officials, public and private companies, activists of civil society organizations and inhabitants of rural areas;

• The integration of Burundi into the EAC implies the need for English and Kiswahili skills; 
• Business operators deal with importing activities or have partnerships in China therefore learning Chinese becomes a necessity; 
• Asian and Latin America countries are increasingly interested in the African market.
 

ICT (Information and Communication Technology)

New information and communication technologies (ICT) are techniques used in the processing and transmission of information, mainly related to Computing, internet and telecommunications. For the past few years, through the development of Internet, New Information and Communication Technologies (NICT) use has been increased and a large majority of citizens in the world can use these tools to access information.

Working in this sector involves higher levels of communication, marketing and sales expertise. This leads to significant changes in the professional profiles sought by companies.

The government has established the Executive Secretariat of Information and Communication Technologies (SETIC: www.setic.gov.bi).

A government-private joint management company of the national ridge fiber optics (BBS) has been created with the support of the World Bank. Any telecommunications operator could invest in this sector.

Investment Opportunities

  • The market is still available for high speed internet connection;
  • The LTSP networks remain unknown despite their being affordable to the companies and the public;
  • Need to develop ICT in companies and schools so as to considerably improve competitiveness;

  •  

    Use of E-Technology (in Commerce, Education, telephony, etc.) remains so far low;

  • «Call Centres" are practically non-existent etc.;
  • Data capture centres.