Burundi is a landlocked, resource-poor country with an underdeveloped manufacturing sector

The mainstay of the Burundian economy is agriculture, supporting more than 90% of the labour force, the majority of which consists of subsistence farmers. Although Burundi is potentially self-sufficient in food production, subsistence economy has still been around 25% in recent years. The main industries comprise light consumer goods, such as blankets, shoes, soap, assembly of imported components, public works construction and food processing.

Under the Integrated Programme, three UNIDO projects are currently under way:

  • Terminal Ods Phase-Out Management Plan Burundi
  • Energy for productive uses: a demonstration project promoting renewable energy
  • Energy for productive uses: a demonstration project promoting renewable energy for industrial development for industrial development

The Integrated Programme is structured in four individual components around measures to support the revival of industrial activity in order to increase and reinforce its contribution to economic growth and poverty eradication.

Programme Components

Component I: Institutional and technical capacity building to upgrade industrial activity

This component is designed to enhance institutional capacities, professional and organizational skills, as well as performance in the Burundi Industrial Partnership Council and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism. It also addresses the need to reinforce the national network of industrial information and create a forum for improved public and private sector cooperation.

Component II: Support for micro- and small enterprises (MSMEs) and women entrepreneurs

Measures planned include the creation of an MSME promotion unit in Bujumbura, capacity-building in management, technology and product development, facilitation of credit access through familiarization of entrepreneurs with financial management, business plans, feasibility studies and loan application procedures.

Component III: Development of priority sectors

This component is directed at developing and upgrading selected sectors: textiles and garments, agro-industry and leather/tanneries activities involve the preparation of a restructuring plan for the textile industry including the upgrading of selected companies and capacity building for support institutions. In the agro-industry, assistance is planned to reinforce agro-industry capacities through improved technologies, the introduction of a food inspection and quality control system and the reduction of post-harvest losses.

Component IV: Promotion of quality norms, standards and metrology

Interventions are geared towards improving industrial performance by raising both local and export quality standards through enhanced capacities of support institutions. Specifically it is proposed to develop quality promotion services, develop and harmonize a standards and regulatory framework and establish a national product accreditation and certification system strategy.


Transporting cotton in Burundi