Among the top ten poorest countries in the world ranks a small country in the southern region of Africa, Burundi (Burundi, 2011). For many years Burundi has struggled to pull itself out of corruption, poverty, and war. Does Burundi hold a bright future or will they continue to suffer from a grim past?
Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, lies at the northeastern end of Lake Tanganyika (Burundi, 2011). The older section of the city is made of buildings containing much Belgian and German influence from their colonization period, as well as a central market filled vendor’s booths in the traditional market style. Gitega, another of Burundi’s major cities, is also its cultural capital and was announced in 2007 to be the future capital instead of Bujumbura (Burundi, 2011). Gitega lies near the southern end of the Nile River.
Burundi consists of around eighty-five percent Hutu, fourteen percent Tutsi, and one percent Twa. With a population of nearly ten-million and a land area of 10,745 square feet, Burundi has the second highest population density in Africa, second only to Rwanda to the North (Uvin, Peter, 1999). Although Burundi was colonized by Germans and Belgians, the main languages spoken are French and Kirundi. The national currency is the Burundi Franc, issued by the national bank, Banque de la République du Burundi.
The borders of Burundi were not created by Europeans in their conquest for African land; instead the boundaries were created by the Burundian monarchy. Originally populated by the Twa, Burundi would later come to share land between the Tutsis and the Hutus. Burundi was not ventured into by the Europeans and was not colonized until 1890 when it became a part of the German Protectorate of East Africa. As punishment after World War I, Germany lost land in Africa, Belgium would then gain the area which would be known as the Mandate of Ruanda-Urundi (Burundi, 2011). After World War II Burundi was pushing for independence... [continues]
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