What is the Official Language of Burundi?

burundi official language
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Official Language Burundi

Often times we forget that life isn’t the same for everyone around the globe. Despite seeing the news regularly, none of us can imagine the horrors of life some people have to face every day. It is true that every country has problems and people are suffering in every part of the world. But there is a huge difference between first world problems and third world problems. There are places where basic necessities aren’t available easily, children can’t go to school without putting their lives at risk, and healthcare facilities are non-existent. In such places, generations upon generations of people have suffered at the hands of poverty and survived in high crime rate areas. The resilience of the people of those states is an inspiring story in itself. But that doesn’t mean that they should be expected to endure all the hardships that come their way, the world should treat them better.

Many places require frequent charity work. But more often than not, we don’t learn about them and they end up getting ignored. From remote Asian countries to unsafe African states, the world is full of stories of struggles. There are states that haven’t known peace for decades. From international wars to internal unrest, things never became easy for the citizens of such states. A few examples of such states can be found in the Middle East. In the fight between rebels and the state, it is the innocent civilians that have had to face the consequences. The economy gets destroyed and people have no option left than to flee their country.

African countries have lived through decades of horrors too. Although there are plenty of states that have gotten better in the last few years and improved their economic status, many are still struggling on different fronts. Burundi is one of such states that has suffered for a long time.


Officially known as the Republic of Burundi, the country has known more conflict than peace in all its years. Civil wars, political unrest, and poverty are the factors that have kept Burundi from progressing for a century. The country stayed under German rule for a long time until the First World War when Belgium took control of the territory. During the Second World War, the country became a United Nations Trust Territory but remained under the Belgian administrative authority. Even after gaining independence from Belgium, the country never found peace. First, it was political unrest and coups. And then came the Burundian genocides. Unfortunately, there were two of them due to the clashes between ethnic groups Hutu and Tutsi. The genocides and the civil war of 1992 took the lives of 250,000 people.


After 1992, the situation didn’t take a better turn and things only resulted in more genocide taking the lives of 300,000 people. Many peace attempts have been made since then. Different countries of the continent the United Nations have attempted to bring peace in the country. But after a few years, things turned bad again in 2015 and haven’t gotten better since then. The country is still in a state of unrest and its citizens have suffered due to all the fighting and economic turmoil.

The people of Burundi have faced hardships on all fronts. From child labor and sex trafficking to diseases and poverty, there are way too many challenges for them to face and not enough support from the government to fight these monstrous problems. Wildlife, lakes, and rainforests are the biggest attractions of the country but sadly tourism has not developed due to the unsafe conditions. Many states prohibit their citizens from traveling to Burundi.

What is the Official Language of Burundi?


Burundi is not as old as many countries of the world but it still had a lot of influence on its culture during its short history. The Germans, British, and Belgian people, all affected the culture and tradition of this land. As far as the languages of the land are concerned, they have also undergone some changes during the history of the country. Today, Burundi has three official languages: French, English, and Kirundi. Kiswahili is also recognized in the constitution. French is spoken by the small number of foreign residents who live in the land. Other people don’t know the language fluently. The French spoken in Burundi has taken loanwords from native languages like Kirundi. Almost 98% of the population is fluent in Kirundi. It is also recognized as the national language of the country in the constitution.

Kirundi is also a Bantu language and is written in Latin script. It is also known as Rundi and shares some similarities with other languages of the continent. It has speakers in other African countries too including Tanzania and Uganda. Since it is spoken by all the ethnic groups of Burundi, the government is promoting its use in the hopes that it will improve unity among the people of the country. Afterall, cultures and languages have powers. When these powers are used for good, they can bring people together and help them bond for life.

With a poverty rate of 74%, Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has known nothing but war and misery. But after years of suffering, it is about time that things got better for the country. Everyone in the world should play their part to make things better for all the countries that have struggled for centuries.

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