English | 2008 | ISBN: 082137561X | 152 Pages | PDF | 5 MB
Burundi, situated in the heart of the Great Lakes Region, is one of the poorest nations in the world.
Beset by coups d états, presidential assassinations and genocide, the country has been caught in a cycle of violence and under-development whereby brief periods of peace have been followed by further state repression and armed conflict. The 2000 Arusha peace accords, the Pretoria agreement of late 2003, the peaceful elections of 2005, and the recent Dar es Salaam peace agreement with the Forces Nationales de Libération have ushered in a period of relative stability. This fragile political process, however, has not been matched by a parallel rebound in economic growth that has been observed in post-conflict African countries and is a precondition for long-lasting peace. This work aims to identify areas in Burundi s rural economy with the greatest immediate potential to stimulate growth and consolidate peace over the next years. The short-term focus will be on the rural economy. It is vital however that the Government of Burundi and its partners address other critical areas in the medium term to sustain growth. The industrial and service sectors are of particular significance, as they need to absorb a burgeoning, youthful and increasingly urbanized generation. The first challenge is to take stock of international best practices and Burundian history, and develop a sound agricultural base as the critical foundation for sustainable growth. Our work identifies policy reforms and investments with potential to boost food supply and strengthen export crop competitiveness, thereby expanding rural growth.