After breaking free 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.

Burundian foreign policy has always taken a much more conciliatory and internationalist direction these last few years. Most notably, President Ndayishimiye has made efforts to open dialogue with Rwanda, in addition to travelling to Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, and the Central Africa Republic. This is a stark contrast to the previous decade wherein Burundi withdrew from the international community and focused on domestic issues. 

Last month, 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. 

After three 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 today’s heroes are fighting for Burundi’s prosperous future.