Burundi: 2024/25 Budget to Increase by Nearly 16% Due to Unfreezing of Civil Servants’ Salary Bonuses

Burundi’s Finance Minister, Audace Niyonzima, announced on Thursday that the country’s budget for the 2024/25 financial year, starting in July, will increase by 15.9% to 4.4 trillion Burundi francs ($1.5 billion). The significant rise is primarily attributed to the unfreezing of civil servants’ salary bonuses, which were previously frozen in 2015 due to sanctions imposed on the East African nation following political turmoil. The budget was passed by Parliament with an 84.7% majority.

The economy is projected to grow by 5.4% in the upcoming financial year, up from 4.2% in 2023/24. This growth is expected to be driven by government investment programs and improved cooperation with Burundi’s development partners. Despite being one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world, with 80% of its 13.2 million population employed in agriculture, the World Bank notes that the economy’s outlook is supported by favorable rainfall, a gradual resumption of investment in the mining sector, strategic public investment, and the positive effects of fiscal, monetary, and foreign exchange policy reforms.

In addition to the unfreezing of salary bonuses, the budget will also allocate funds towards the construction of road infrastructure in both rural and urban areas. The budget will be equally funded by internal and external revenues, resulting in a forecast deficit of 441.9 billion francs in the next financial year, a slight increase from the 426.5 billion francs deficit in 2023/24.