On Monday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected Brunundi’s economy to expand by 4.3% in 2024 from the previous year’s 2.7%.
According to the statement, agricultural production, productive investment, and ongoing reforms will primarily support growth’s acceleration. Burundi’s agricultural sector heavily relies on agricultural revenues, particularly tea and coffee, which improved the growth rate.
The IMF report claimed that fuel shortages were the main reason for 2023’s slower growth rate. Before this, years of political unrest and conflict severely damaged key sectors. Following a political crisis in 2015 that compelled donors to halt aid, the country encountered a scarcity of real currency under the presidency of Pierre Nkurunziza.
In 2022, the European Union agreed to resume financial support, while the US also agreed to provide aid to Burundi.
As per the IMF, the country’s foreign exchange reserve stood at USD 96.4 million in 2023, which is equivalent to 0.8 months of import cover. The IMF disbursed funds as well as inflows from remittances and gold exports, which gave some relief to the country. However, Burundi still faces significant economic challenges and needs to take further measures to improve its financial stability.