Investment Opportunities in Burundi

Mining Sector
With regards to the mining sector the country is full of many natural resources: nickel, cassiterite, colombo tantalite, gold, phosphates, limestone, slate, and hydrocarbons

  • Exploitation is still hand–crafted, therefore an opportunity for potential investors
  • Some mining conventions exist for research of nickel and gold
  • The mining market remains open

Agricultural Sector

The agricultural sector in Burundi provides several opportunities such as:

  • Vast plains of the very fertile imbos that is suitable to the modern agriculture
  • Rainfall for 9 months every year
  • Abundant network of rivers that can be tapped for irrigation
  • Possibility to harvest twice a year for an output of more than 10 tons per ha (rice and cereals)
  • Opportunities to leverage modern equine for intensive or extensive breeding
  • Animal production lines, livestock, dairy processing, production of organic manure are opportunities
  • Several regions are adequate for fish farming
  • Lake Tanganyika is an ecosystem that can allow for an industrial fishing.
    Burundi offers excellent opportunities for the development of farming cooperatives and community on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
  • Fish farming is accessible to new investors looking for new opportunities.
  • Abundant labor force
  • Potential reclaimable land including swamps in certain regions
  • Adequate soil fertility in many regions
  • Building of modern processing factories to promote production agricultural sector
  • The country has a good climate that is suitable for production of rice, cotton, tea, coffee, food crops, fruits, vegetable

Manufacturing
The industrial capacity of Burundi was strongly affected by many closures that occurred during the conflict. This situation provides significant opportunities for the development of private initiative in so far as the domestic industrial sector is still relatively pristine. Moreover, despite the continued strong presence of the state in the industrial sector,  the government is pursuing a program of gradual withdrawal of public industries, private operators will benefit.

The export potential for this sector mainly lies in sub–regional markets and opportunities exist, among others, in the agro–industrial sector. The opportunities include;

  • Processing, production, packaging, marketing of agricultural equipment and inputs
  • Production of fruits and vegetables
  • Packaging and transport
  • Research and development on the conservation of agricultural foodstuffs
  • Potential for Agri-food transformation industry (rice, cereals, etc.)
  • Fertilizer plants (phosphates in the north of the country)
  • Cement plants (raw materials available in the northeast)
  • Potential for food processing industry for domestic production i.e. for rice, cereals, tomatoes, milk, vegetables, etc.
  • Untapped opportunities in the construction sector including glass windows and doors, metal bars, tiles, cement production, etc
  • Production of chemicals including fertilizers for breeding and farming
  • Textile and shoe-making industries
  • Pharmaceutical industry as very few medicines are produced locally
  • Almost all manufactured consumer goods are imported offering plenty of opportunities in almost all industries

Tourism
Located at the heart of Africa, Burundi is endowed with hills, white sandy beaches, different landscapes, and cultures. Investment opportunities in this sector include;

  • Installation and development of the relaxing activities such as the thalassotherapy
  • Development of water sports
  • Introduction of ecotourism
  • Development of thalassotherapy activities
  • Improving seashore tourism and water sports on Lake Tanganyika
  • Construction of hotels and lodges in national parks
  • Construction of conference centres

Transport      

Opportunities include

  • The dredging of port of Bujumbura to accommodate larger vessels is an opportunity
  • The development the maritime transport for goods and passengers is an opportunity
  • Increasing the use of the sub-regional network (Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo and Zambia)
  • Installation of a cold chain at the airport of Bujumbura
  • Improving the automated load planning in the port of Bujumbura
  • Enlarging the port of Bujumbura to give more space to large passenger and container carrier ships
  • Improving passenger and cargo transportation on the lake Tanganyika for connection with DR Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia
  • Construction of a naval building site
  • Installation of a cold chain at the Bujumbura port

Energy           

Burundi has multiple opportunities in the energy sector:

  • Hydroelectric energy with an untapped commercial potential of 300MW
  • Potential for the development of solar energy plants with an untapped commercial potential of 18 MW in 6 sites
  • Possible potential related to magnetic energy
  • Wind energy is possible on the edge of Lake Tanganyika
  • Commercial hydroelectric power production potential of 300MW far from being exploited
  • Investment needed for the project RUZIZI III project – 143 MW
  • Investment needed for hydroelectric power production on the Mumwendo site (Ruvubu) – 80 MW
  • Investment needed for hydroelectric power production project on the Jiji-Mulembwe-Siguvyaye sites – 100 MW
  • Investment needed the RUZIZI IV hydroelectric power production project – 205 MW
  • Many other sites for hydroelectric power generation
  • Potential commercial geothermal power production of 18 MW not exploited yet

ICT    

Opportunities in the ICT sector include:

  • High-speed internet for which the market is still unexploited
  • LTSP network locations: their costs are more accessible to companies and to the public
  • The ability to develop ICT in enterprises and schools for better competitiveness
  • E–technology (trade, teaching, telephony, etc.)
  • Call centres are virtually non-existent so far
  • Database management centres
  • The state-owned company Onatel (landline and mobile telephony, and internet) is soon to be privatized
  • Access to the Regional Network Program for Communication Infrastructure requiring nearly 1500 km to be constructed in the EAC Region
  • Numerous opportunities will arise from the installation of fiber optic including e-administration, e-banking, etc.
  • High Speed Internet: market is still not exploited

Real Estate    

The country has a number of top class hotels in Bujumbura, on the edge of Lake Tanganyika and Kiriri Hill although new hotels are being built in the country, hotel capacity is still very low and hotel sector remains under exploited, representing an opportunity for investors.

About The Author

John Muhaise-Bikalemesa (JMB), is the founder of Muhaise.com blog and bigdrumassociates.com company. Learn more about him here and connect with him on his social medias below

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