Country - Burundi
Burundi Country Information
Burundi has been the victim of several political upheavals, civil wars and genocides till 1990s. The political instability and internal conflicts left the nation in shambles for longer periods. Beginning from the 16th century, the country had undergone many phases of turmoil, transfer of political power, battles for sovereignty, regional feuds toward the end of twentieth century. In the light of criticism by international bodies of violation of human rights Burundi withdrew its membership from International Criminal Court on October 27, 2017. Currently, the nation is striving hard to levitate itself to the reasonable standard of living for larger masses and achieve multi-faceted development.
Burundi is a landlocked country surrounded by Tanzania in the east and south, Rwanda in the north and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. However, a large part of its western frontier is bordered by the freshwater Lake Tanganyika. Bujumbura is the capital of the country. Kirundi is the national and official language. Besides Kirundi, French is the official language along with English which has begun to be used since 2014.
Burundi faces deficit of adequate natural resources for self-sustenance. Subsistence agriculture makes for 90% of its total agriculture. About 80% of the population lies below the poverty line and according to the World Food Programme, 56.8% of children below the age of five years have been reported to be undernourished/ malnourished.
In sharp contrast to its bleak economic picture, Burundi has incredibly astonishing places of tourist importance. The capital city Bujumbura oozes with French culture. The food, drinks and the nightlife in Bujumbura emit the theme of the erstwhile French zeitgeist.
Wildlife safaris take visitors up close to exotic animal life in the country’s national parks. At Ruvumbu National Park elephants, hippos and tigers are seen wandering fearlessly as rightful native owners of the wilderness. A stroll in the Kigwena Natural Forest gives an opportunity to see the green-furred tall bulky stems of colossal trees are spread apart between decent and non-clumsy spaces and adumbrate the sky view with their dense and extensive foliage.
The freshwater lake Tanganyika is a suitable place for engaging in aquatic sports like water-skiing, swimming. Blue-bottomed kayaks wait for you to take brief trips in the not-too-deep peripheral waters of the lake.
Visitors in Gishora drum sanctuary find themselves fascinated by the traditional folk dance in which the people hop and dance in tune with rhythmic drum beats exclusive to their own culture. The Royal palace constructed in specific architectural design at the drum site is the only one of its kind in the entire country.
La Pierre de Livingstone et Stanley is a bizarre site where a single rock is seen stayed put propped up by small stones for several centuries in an open grassland. The rock stands out as an irrefutable evidence of the meeting between the famous Scottish Congregationalist-cum-pioneer medical missionary Dr. David Livingstone and the Welsh journalist-cum-explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. It was the time when Dr. David Livingstone was suspected to have been lost from public view and his whereabouts were not known for quite some time. In the quest of finding him Sir Stanley dared toilsome intercontinental journey through equatorial Africa and got utterly pleased on meeting him successfully.
The big rock has gained fame for a wrong reason that Stanley is initially believed to have uttered on meeting Dr. David the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”. Subsequent research has proven beyond doubt that the actual first meeting took place between the two famous personalities in Ujiji of Tanzania on 10th November 1871. The lingering false rumour still continues to make rounds based on the engraved names of the both people on the rock along with the date as “25-XI-1871”. Notwithstanding the emphatic and well-founded disproof, the place retains its popularity even today.
Burundi at present is extremely conscious of the need of the hour to gets name effaced from the list of poor countries of the world. World economists reiterate that decimating the anarchic activities, adopting non-corruptive practices, stringent and well-deliberated parsimonious efforts focussed on non-wastage of national income, reduction in crime rate, betterment in nutrition and health levels, improvement in literacy rate should be prioritized to achieve the national objective at macro level.