Burundi officially the Republic of Burundi (Kirundi: Republika y’Uburundi, [bu??undi]; French: République du Burundi, [by??yndi]), is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa, bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura. Although the country is landlocked, much of the southwestern border is adjacent to Lake Tanganyika.
The Twa, Tutsi and Hutu peoples have lived in Burundi for at least five hundred years and, for over two hundred years, Burundi was ruled as a kingdom. At the beginning of the twentieth century, however, Germany and Belgium occupied the region and Burundi and Rwanda became a European colony known as Ruanda-Urundi. Social differences between the Tutsi and Hutu have since contributed to political unrest in the region, leading to civil war in the middle of the twentieth century. Presently, Burundi is governed as a presidential representative democratic republic.
Burundi is one of the five poorest countries in the world. It has one of the lowest per capita GDPs of any nation in the world and a low gross domestic product largely due to warfare, corruption, poor access to education and the effects of HIV/AIDS. Burundi is densely populated and experiences substantial emigration. According to a 2012 DHL Global Connectedness Index, Burundi is the least globalised of 140 surveyed countries.
Cobalt and copper are among Burundi’s natural resources, while coffee and sugar are two of its main exports.
One of the smallest countries in Africa, Burundi is landlocked and has an equatorial climate. Burundi is a part of the Albertine Rift, the western extension of the East African Rift. The country lies on a rolling plateau in the center of Africa. The average elevation of the central plateau is 5,600 feet (1,707 m), with lower elevations at the borders. The highest peak, Mount Heha at 8,810 feet (2,685 m), lies to the southeast of the capital, Bujumbura. The source of the Nile River is in Burundi province, and is linked from Lake Victoria to its headwaters via the Ruvyironza River Lake Victoria is also an important water source, which serves as a fork to the Kagera River. Another major lake is Lake Tanganyika, located in much of Burundi’s southwestern corner.
Burundi’s lands are mostly agricultural or pasture. Settlement by rural populations has led to deforestation, soil erosion and habitat loss. Deforestation of the entire country is almost completely due to overpopulation, with a mere 230 square miles (600 km2) remaining and an ongoing loss of about 9% per annum. There are two national parks, Kibira National Park to the northwest (a small region of rain forest, adjacent to Nyungwe Forest National Park in Rwanda), Ruvubu National Park to the northeast (along the Rurubu River, also known as Ruvubu or Ruvuvu). Both were established in 1982 to conserve wildlife populations.
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