By strengthening its private sector and improving its business environment, Burundi has the opportunity to create more jobs, accelerate economic growth and attract more foreign direct investment, according to a report published today by IFC and the World Bank. Reforming the country’s state-owned enterprises would also create space for more private actors and support for startups and smaller businesses.

The Burundi Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD), jointly prepared by IFC and the World Bank, explores the challenges and opportunities for private sector development across Burundi’s economy, particularly in areas that could drive economic transformation. It comes as the country is working to recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and new challenges, including rising global inflation and higher prices for food and fuel.

“Burundi’s economic potential could be unlocked through a series of key reforms that provide the foundations for private sector-led investment,” said Malick Fall, IFC Country Manager for Burundi. “A strong and engaged private sector will support the country to create jobs and generate more opportunities for Burundi’s citizens. IFC and the World Bank are working closely together to help Burundi achieve this goal.”

“With support from private sector actors and its development partners, the World Bank Group is optimist that Burundi will undertake the needed macroeconomic and structural reforms to attract more domestic and international private investments in the finance and agribusiness sectors that will contribute to a stronger, sustainable and more inclusive growth,” said Hawa Cissé Wagué, World Bank Country Manager for Burundi.

The Burundi CPSD recommends concrete improvements to Burundi’s financial services sector, including easing access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and expanding digital financial services by strengthening the credit infrastructure, setting up a National Payment Council and developing shared banking platforms.

For Burundi to realize the full potential of its agribusiness sector and develop beyond subsistence farming, the CPSD recommends gradually liberalizing tradeable sectors to open them up to more private investors. The report also recommends modernizing some of the country’s agriculture value chains to improve food production and security.

The World Bank Group’s CPSDs provide in-depth economic analysis that identifies opportunities for the private sector to combat poverty and create opportunities for more people.

Source: Company Press Release