Burundi Geography and Population

By | January 8, 2023

Burundi – Geography

Burundi – geography, Burundi is located in the western part of the East African tomb; it is a lush country but poor and overcrowded.

The population

It consists of three ethnic groups: hutu (80-90%), tutsi (10-20%) and twee (less than 1%). Often the plural noun is used ba, e.g., bahutu. In addition to these, there are smaller groups of Europeans and Arabs.

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Population density is among the largest in Africa (over 250 inbound per km2), but there are major differences; the most fertile agricultural areas in the highlands are extremely intensively exploited. Population growth is high, around 3% per year. Lack of agricultural land is an increasing problem, and in connection with this there is a growing migration from country to city, especially to the capital Bujumbura. The second largest city is the ancient royal city of Gitega (about 100,000).

The ethnic composition of the population is most often explained as a result of immigration in different waves. Two are the original residents. It is a pygmy people who were originally collectors and hunters. They specialize in the production of clay jars, wicker mats and baskets as well as iron utensils, but also have agriculture. Traditionally, they are considered sub-humans of Hutu and Tutsi and are completely marginalized in relation to modern society.

Hutu is a Bantu people who immigrated in connection with the great migrations of the first millennium of our time. Traditionally, they are farmers with a smaller livestock holding of sheep, goats and cows.

Tutsi is a Nilotic people who immigrated from the north around 1400-t. Originally, they were cattle nomads, but they now live in many respects like the Hutus, but they are particularly marked by the economic and intellectual elite. Before the colonial era, the Tutsis maintained the economic and political power of a feudal leasing system; after Burundi independence, the dominance of the Tutsis was characterized by strong political and military repression. The picture is complicated by the fact that the ethnic groups can at the same time be regarded as social classes; In the past, it has been possible to change status from hutu to tutsi and vice versa. In addition, clan and region affiliation plays a major role. Hutus and Tutsis live mixed throughout the country, but some areas are dominated by one of the groups. During periods of ethnic conflict, ethnic contradictions are sharpened and simplified.

Business and Economics

Agriculture employs over 90% of the working population and contributes over half of GDP. It is predominantly arable farming with notches and other hand tools. Both widespread poverty and the heavily hilly landscape make mechanization difficult. The main crops are beans, cassava, millet, sweet potatoes and the so-called plantains (plantain) for cooking and brewing. In some areas, rice and corn are also grown. The main sales crops are coffee (94% of export revenue) and tea. Most of the population lives on their own breeding with a bit of trading on the market. Many live around the minimum, and during bad times, hunger and malnutrition are not uncommon.

The industrial sector is very small and mainly processes coffee and tea for export. Minerals exist only to a modest extent and are of no major economic importance. A small oil discovery in Lake Tanganyika is not yet being exploited.

GDP per capita per capita is listed for $ 210 (1990). The figure is uncertain, but Burundi, no matter how you measure it, is one of the world’s poorest countries. Foreign assistance, including from the EU through the Lomé Convention is of great importance.

Natural conditions

The majority of Burundi is upland. The lowest areas along Lake Tanganyika are 800 m asl; to the east, the country rises, so large parts lie at 1500-2000 m altitude. The highest mountain ridges divide the river basins of the Nile and the Congo; The southernmost spring river of the Nile, Luvironza, is one of the few tourist destinations in the country.

Burundi lies in the tropical climate belt, but the altitude provides a relatively pleasant climate, however, with large regional differences. There are two rainy seasons, the big one in February-May and the small one in September-December; the average rainfall is 140 cm per year, but there are large variations regionally and from year to year. Traditionally, the population lives scattered on the mounds of huts or houses surrounded by banana plants with the “mound” as the smallest local unit. However, some village formation has taken place in connection with population growth.

The road network is quite dense; the main highways are paved, and the dirt roads are relatively well maintained in the densely populated country, though often impassable during the rainy season. There are three major transport routes out of the country: by ship across Lake Tanganyika and from there by rail from Kigoma to Dar es Salaam, by truck via Rwanda and Uganda to Mombasa and via the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia to southern Africa. Bujumbura has an international airport with frequent connections to Europe.

Burundi – language

Burundi Languages, The country has two national languages : French and Bantu language Rundi, which is the mother tongue of all the people of the country except the 4000 who speak the Bantu language hima. The country’s three ethnic groups, Hutu, Tutsi and Pygmy people, speak all dialects of Rundi. This language and the language of Rwanda, spoken in neighboring countries of the same name, are mutually understandable. Swahili is used to some extent as a communication language. For culture and traditions of Burundi, please check allunitconverters.

Burundi Geography