Burundi: Gateway to Central Africa
After freeing itself from Belgium rule in 1962, Burundi endured intermittent violence and unrest as conflicts in neighbouring Congo and Rwanda spilled over to destabilise the entire region. But ever since the Arusha Agreement ended the last civil war in 2005, the people and the government have built a solid foundation for lasting peace and consistent growth.
In particular, President Ndayishimye’s ambitious campaign to simultaneously liberalise the economy and strengthen regulatory enforcement is a sign of the new administration’s readiness to grow and reform the economy. By expanding the central government’s powers in remote and border regions, export products such as coffee will benefit from safer transportation, market unification, and standardisation.
Last year, the European Union reinstated Burundi to its list of countries approved for foreign aid and investment – a clear sign of international support for Burundi’s reform efforts. We recognised this growth potential back in 2017, when Huron Room and GCI Ventures first visited the country as part of its pan-Africa discovery mission prior to founding the Two Lakes Group.
This year, USAID announced a sweeping series of new investments in Burundi with an estimated value of USD 400 million over eight years. We celebrate that the great advances made towards business ease, service availability, and civic society are finally being recognised and rewarded by international partners.
After four years, twenty-seven countries, two dozen projects, and one global pandemic, Burundi remains the spiritual heart and corporate headquarters for all our engagements in Africa. So, as we think to the past heroes that made this independence day possible, we also look to the horizon with the confidence that Burundians today continue to fight and struggle for their collective future prosperity.
The Two Lakes Group was founded on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, and directs all its work in Africa from Bujumbura, the economic capital. Although the country has largely been ignored by foreign investors in the past, we have found the country's strategic position, hardworking people, and business-friendly government to be strong guarantors of long-term success for anyone interested in working in the Great Lakes Region.