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What is the Burundi Franc (BIF)?

Credit Ratings & Outlook

Sovereign credit ratings play an important part in determining a country’s access to international capital markets, and the terms of that access. Sovereign ratings help to foster dramatic growth, stability, and efficiency of international and domestic markets.


In 2010 the total GDP was $1,610,544,922 in US Dollars, while the per capita GDP was $192. It grew by 3.90% over the previous year.


The latest unemployment rate for 1990 is 0.50%.

Consumer Price Index

The latest consumer price index for 2010 is 163.24.

Political Structure

The current head of the government is President Pierre Nkurunziza, who is also the head of state (in an executive role).

Currency Details

The Burundi Franc (BIF) is the official currency for Burundi, a small land-locked nation in Africa. It was first issued in 1963. As of March 2005, the exchange rate was 547.96 to 1 USD. Notes come in denominations of 10, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 2000, and 5000. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, and 10.

Travel Notes:

Unlimited import of foreign currency subject to declaration.

Export limited to amount declared on import. Import and Export of local currency is limited to BIF 2000.

Limited acceptance of MasterCard and Diners Club. Travelers checks are not currently accepted.

Sovereign Ratings for Burundi

Burundi is not rated.

What does it look like?

Political Structure

Burundi’s government is a republic. It is subdivided into 3 branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. The chief of state and head of government, the President, run the executive branch. The Vice-President and the cabinet, who he appoints, assist him. The president is elected for a four-year term. The legislative branch is a bicameral system consisting of the National Assembly and the Senate. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, and the Tribunals of First Instance.

  • Prominent Figures President: Domitien Ndayizeye
  • Vice-President: Frederic Ngenzebuhoro
  • Chairman, Bank of Burundi: Georges Coucoulis

Key Economic Factors

  • Economic Overview: Burundi’s economy has long suffered because of a lack of resources and an underdeveloped manufacturing sector. Its economy relies heavily on agriculture, with almost 90% of their population dependent on agriculture for basic survival. Burundi maintains fiscal responsibility for import payments by relying on weather conditions and international coffee and tea prices. The ethnic divide in the country has also long been a source of economic strife. The Tutsi minority, which makes up 14% of the population controls the government as well as the coffee trade, at the sacrifice of the Hutu majority, which makes up 85% of the population. In spite of slow economic developments, the country has recorded positive economic growth rates since 2002.
  • GDP-Composition by sector: agriculture-48.1%, industry-19%, and services-32.9%
  • Agricultural Products: Coffee, cotton, tea, corn, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, tapioca, beef, milk, and hides.
  • Exports: $31.484 million (2004)- Coffee, tea, sugar, cotton, hides
  • Export partners: Switzerland 25.8%, Germany 12.2%, Belgium 7.9%, US 5.5%, Thailand 5.3%, Rwanda 5.2% (2004)
  • Imports: $138.2 million (2004)- Capital goods, petroleum products, foodstuffs
  • Import partners: Kenya 11.8%, Tanzania 9.6%, US 9.1%, Belgium 9%, France 8.8%, Italy 5.4%, Japan 4.8%, Uganda 4.8%, Zambia 4.2% (2004).
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