Challenges for cooperatives in Burundi

Burundi is a landlocked country in East Africa, a country that has been rocked by political and ethnic violence since 2015 following a failed coup that had been prepared by politico-military men. Since that time, the human rights situation has come under much criticism. Hence an economic embargo has been imposed by donors on the Burundian Government until today maintained.

The country is still facing a continual currency devaluation and a visible shortage of foreign exchange where the import of raw materials is almost impossible for the manufacture of finished products allowing their exports to other countries whose foreign exchange is still difficult.

Foreign investors no longer come to bring the foreign currency in the banks to the country and create businesses allowing the creation of jobs, where the economic situation is still difficult to manage in Burundi.

However, cooperatives do exist and the members of them try to join forces to work together in order to have a good result. But this situation is always difficult because their own means are minimal, not allowing them to develop. A major problem facing cooperatives is having financial support. When the cooperatives approach the banks to ask for loans, the enormous conditions and interests push them back and always see themselves in difficulties. (by Ignace Harushimana)

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