Despite being one of the poorest and hungriest countries in the world, Burundi’s population has grown rapidly.  In 2019, the population is estimated at 11.53 million.  A severely overpopulated country with the third highest fertility rate in the world.  Growth rate 2019 is 3.18% compare to 2018.  The largest by far is the capital city of Bujumbura with a population of roughly 500,000.  There is a high demand for public transportation in Bujumbura.

Public transportation

Rides with the small yellow tuk-tuk trikes, motorcycles, taxi, mini-buses.  However, Burundians typically rely on the many mini-buses however fare may not stable.  For any type of commercial or private vehicles, working-class Burundians regularly give each other money for small favors.

However, the services provided are unregulated, of poor quality and safety.  The predominance of informal operators also leads to lower revenues of the formal transport sector making it more costly for the authorities to support these services and to invest in necessary infrastructure.

Burundi financial problem

Burundi is one of the 5 poorest countries in the world with one of the lowest per capita GDPs.  In 2018, GDP per capita in Burundi is $275, annual growth rate is -6.0%.  The main economic activities of agriculture and livestock farming.  Burundi has suffered from many problems, including limited education, widespread corruption, and transportation.

The cities concerned are poorly equipped to deal with today’s traffic, and the situation will get even worse unless urban infrastructures are improved.

Endless Government’s Loan

20 Dec, 2019 Saudi Gazette

The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) recently signed a loan agreement worth $5.9million with the Burundi government to upgrade a major road connection between the city of Bujumbura and the country’s airport.  It is the latest in an ongoing program of developments the SFD has supported in Burundi including transport, education and housing, and comes under Burundi’s 2045 development plan to establish the nation as an attractive economic and tourism destination.

Resource and food scarcity are persistent problems that will continue to arise, regardless of the outcome of the current conflict, or election results. To solve them, Burundi needs greater investment in education, efficient agriculture practices, business and transportation development.

Business opportunity

Shortage of cash notes, driver’s fraud, and fake money have been a problem for bus companies in under developing countries.  One of the UN’s 17 Goals, urbanization can be a catalyst for rural development.  A sustainable transportation system is a key to success.

It’s a good chance for them to deploy a cashless payment system on their buses and other commercial vehicles to stop fake money, improve bus services and safety.

Instead of loan, why not apply an automatic fare collection (AFC) which can bring a good cash flow as from other countries’ experiences.  From the lesson from different countries, the improper financial management of public transportation can be improved by introducing AFC system.

The writer is a frequency traveler.  To learn more about AFC, please visit


Post Author: GCSharing

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