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Legal Market Overview

The Republic of Burundi’s economic growth continues to stall in the aftermath of the 2015 political crisis, which saw President Pierre Nkurunziza win a controversial third term, despite laws limiting Burundian presidents to two five-year terms. The situation resulted in around 400,000 people being displaced, with over 200,000 leaving for Tanzania.

In an encouraging development, in June 2018 Nkurunziza announced that he would not be running in the 2020 elections and unveiled a ten-year plan to bolster the economy. The ‘National Programme of Development 2018-2027’ aims to create jobs and boost the agriculture and mining sectors. Burundi, a landlocked country, is heavily dependent on the agriculture sector, which accounts for around 80% of employment and 40% of its GDP. It also benefits from a modest mining industry which, while currently under-exploited, boasts significant reserves of nickel, gold and platinum. The country recently announced the start of operations of local gold miner African Mining Burundi in which the government has a 15% stake.

Burundi houses a small but robust legal market, which is comprised of tightly organised firms with relatively flat structures to insulate against market shocks. The two most high-profile players in the market are Mabushi Chambers and Rubeya & Co – Advocates, where lawyers regularly handle a diverse portfolio of work.