Transport in Burundi
There are a number of systems of transport in Burundi, including road and water-based infrastructure, the latter of which makes use of Lake Tanganyika. Furthermore, there are also some airports in Burundi.
A great hindrance to Burundi’s economic development is lack of adequate transportation. The country is landlocked, and there are currently no railways in Burundi.
Roads total 12,322 kilometres (7,657 mi) as of 2004, and only about 7 percent of them remain open in all weather; the rest are classed as local roads or tracks. In 2003, there were 24,000 passenger cars and 23,500 commercial vehicles.
- total: 12,322 km
- paved: 1,286 km
- unpaved: 11,036 (2004)
Airports - with paved runways
- total: 1
- over 3,047 m: 1 (2008)
Airports - with unpaved runways
- total: 7
- 914 to 1,523 m: 4
- under 914 m: 3 (2008)
The state-owned national airline, Air Burundi, has not been operational since 2009. International services are provided by various airlines, including Kenya Airways, Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways.
Bujumbura International Airport is the country’s primary and only paved airport. There are also a number of helicopter landing strips. In 1997, 11,000 passengers travelled on international and domestic flights.
Burundi does not possess any railway infrastructure, although there are proposals to connect Burundi to its neighbours via railway.
At a meeting in August 2006 with members of the Rwanda Patriotic Front, Wu Guanzheng, of the Communist Party of China, confirmed the intention of the People's Republic of China to fund a study into the feasibility of constructing a railway connecting at Isaka with the existing Tanzanian railway network, and running via Kigali in Rwanda through to Burundi. Tanzanian railways use 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge, although TAZARA and other neighbouring countries, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) use the 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge, leading to some potential difficulties.
Another project was launched in the same year, which aims to link Burundi and Rwanda (which also has no railways) to the DRC and Zambia, and therefore to the rest of Southern Africa. At a meeting to inaugurate the Northern Corridor Transit Coordination Authority (NCTCA), the governments of Uganda and Burundi backed the proposed new railway from the Ugandan western railhead at Kasese into the DRC.
Additionally, Burundi has been added to a planned railway project to connect Tanzania and Rwanda.
A project started in November 2013 to build a Standard Gauge line from Mombassa, Kenya, to Burundi, via Rwanda and Uganda. The main line from Mombasa will also feature branches in other directions, including Ethiopia and DR Congo.
- "China to Assist Rwanda". Railways Africa website. Railways Africa. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- Kenya launches new railway to reach South Sudan and Burundi, BBC News, 28 November 2013.