More information about Burundi is available on the Burundi Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Burundi in 1962, following its independence from a Belgian-administered trusteeship. From 1993 to 2006, the country saw civil war driven by ethnic tensions. The 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Accords provided a negotiated settlement to the conflict. National elections in 2010 were judged by domestic and international observers to be free and fair. The next national elections are slated to begin in late May of 2015. The electoral process in 2014 and early 2015 has been marred by criticism of the closing of political space, severe press restrictions and intimidation and violence against the population by the ruling party’s youth militia, the Imbonerakure. The April 25, 2015 announcement by President Pierre Nkurunziza that he would seek a third term in violation of the Arusha Agreement resulted in protests and multiple deaths. Burundi’s ongoing political instability has substantially hindered progress towards democratic consolidation and the realization of peace dividends for the population.
U.S. Government goals in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world, are to help the people of Burundi realize a just and lasting peace based on democratic principles and sustainable economic development. The United States encourages political stability, democratic reforms, political openness, respect for human rights, and economic development. In the long term, the United States seeks to strengthen the process of internal reconciliation and democratization within all the states of the region to promote a stable, democratic community of nations that will work toward mutual social, economic, and security interests on the African continent. As the situation in Burundi normalizes, the United States seeks to facilitate its integration into regional and international markets, as a means to promote sustainable economic development.
U.S. Assistance to Burundi
U.S. foreign assistance aims to promote private sector-led economic growth, emphasizing agricultural production and trade (particularly within the East African Community Common Market); improve health care delivery; combat HIV/AIDS; reduce malnutrition in children under the age of 2 years; strengthen good governance and government effectiveness; and build the capacity of Burundi to maintain peace and security both at home and elsewhere in Africa. All development assistance programs seek to prioritize women and youth.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Burundi is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The United States has signed trade and investment framework agreements with the East African Community and with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. Burundi is a member of both regional organizations. The primary U.S. exports to Burundi in 2014 included computer and electronic products. The primary import from Burundi to the United States remained coffee.
Burundi’s Membership in International Organizations
Burundi and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
The U.S. Ambassador to Burundi is Dawn M. Liberi. Other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List. Burundi maintains an embassy in the United States at Suite 408, 2233 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel. 202-342-2574). More information about Burundi is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Burundi Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Burundi Page
U.S. Embassy: Burundi
USAID Burundi Page
History of U.S. Relations With Burundi
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Travel and Business Information