Sunday, May 5, 2013

Infrastructural Development Crucial for Burundi’s Growth

Community efforts to construct new facilities for the Maison Shalom
A recent article in Africa Review states that the only way for Burundi to overcome slow economic growth is to significantly invest in infrastructure. Currently, Burundi’s economic growth rate is at 4 percent, lower than its East African neighbors, and far below other post-conflict African nations, such as Liberia (33 percent), Rwanda (15 percent), and Sierra Leone (13 percent).
With a poverty rate of 70 percent, Burundi’s current infrastructure is not able to meet the needs of its citizens. The country’s power grid has a capacity of 35 megawatts, which cannot keep up with the growing demand. Development agencies, including the UNDP, point to potential power sources in hydropower, solar power, and wind power. However, challenges in raising development funds and recruiting qualified staff have made efforts to research and implement infrastructural advancements difficult. Additionally, corruption, uncontrolled population growth, and political tensions following the 2010 presidential election and alleged human rights violations further hinder productive growth across all sectors. Despite the challenges, Burundi’s renewed coffee production and construction industries are slated to improve economic growth in 2013.
While economic growth is undoubtedly imperative for infrastructural improvement, development takes place outside of the economic sector as well. In terms of sustainable, long-term human development, the education sectors has the most impact, as it provides opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow to sharpen their minds and strengthen their values. By fostering awareness of the infrastructural problems of Burundi and empowering young students to take action into their own hands, quality schools can indirectly influence the sustainable growth of the nation.
Friends of Humanity supports education initiatives worldwide. Our  partner in Burundi, the International School, aims to provide a high quality, value-based education to children in rural Ruyigi in order to strengthen development and progress, both in the immediate community and nationwide. To learn more about the International School or to donate to the initiative, click here.

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