Country Profile: Burundi
Capital and largest cityBujumbura
Official languagesKirundi, French
Area27, 830 sq km
Population8, 691, 005 (2008 est.)
French is the offiical language of Burundi, however other languages spoken in the country include Kirundi (Rundi) - with dialects such as Hutu, Tutsi, Twa and Kinyarwanda - and Swahili.
Burundi is one of the world's poorest countries, with an extremely low GDP and a population devestated by the effects of AIDS. Burundi is dependant on foreign aid and humanitarian causes. Burundi's leading industry is agriculture, and in particular subsistence agriculture - with products such as coffee, cotton, tea, maize, sweet potatoes, bananas, milk and hides. Burundi does have natural resources, for example nickel, copper, uranium, cobalt and platinum. The country's other industries include light manufacturing, textiles, food processing and assembly of imported components. Burundi is a member of the East African Community, and potential member of the East African Federation.
Crafts are very important in Burundi culture, for example the making of baskets, shields, pottery, masks and statues - these are often sold as appealing gifts to tourists. Drumming is also a vital part of Burundi heritage, with the world renowned Royal Drummers of Burundi, who are noted for using traditional drums such as amashako and ikiranya. Track and field, basketball and football are all popular sports in the country.
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