Economic and Social Development: Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi

Protocol I: Chapter II: Article 7:

Principles and measures relating to the economy

19. Equitable apportionment and redistribution of national resources throughout the country.

20. Urgent implementation of an economic recovery programme with a view to combating poverty and raising the income of the people and of a programme for the reconstruction of destroyed economic infrastructures.

21. Legislation and structures for combating financial crime and corruption (tax legislation, customs legislation, legislation on public markets, etc.).

22. Recovery of State property plundered by some citizens.

23. Introduction of incentives for economic development in the context of fairness and harmony.

24. Development of the private sector by means of incentives with a view to creating new jobs and reducing the burden and pressures on the public sector.

Protocol IV, Chapter I, Article 3:

(b) Establishing and constituting a Sub-Commission of the CNRS with the specific mandate of dealing with issues related to land.

Protocol IV, Chapter III, Article 8:

(c) If recovery proves impossible, everyone with an entitlement must receive fair compensation and/or indemnification.

(e) The policy with respect to distribution of State-owned land shall be reviewed so that priority can be given to the resettlement of sinistres.

(g) A series of measures shall be taken in order to avoid subsequent disputes over land, including the establishment of a register of rural land, the promulgation of a law on succession and, in the longer term, the conduct of a cadastral survey of rural land;

(h) The policy of distribution or allocation of new lands shall take account of the need for environmental protection and management of the country's water system through protection of forests;

(i) Burundi's Land Act must be revised in order to adjust it to the current problems with respect to land management;

(j) The Sub-Commission on Land established in accordance with article 3 (b) of the present Protocol shall have the specific mandate of:

(i) Examining all cases of land owned by old caseload refugees and state-owned land;

(ii) Examining disputed issues and allegations of abuse in the (re)distribution of land and ruling on each case in accordance with the above principles;

(k) The Sub-Commission on Land must, in the performance of its functions, ensure the equity, transparency and good sense of all its decisions. It must always remain aware of the fact that the objective is not only restoration of their property to returnees, but also reconciliation between the groups as well as peace in the country.

Protocol IV, Chapter III, Article 14: Development programme

The transitional Government shall launch a long-term economic and social development programme. With the support of international agencies, it shall begin work on remedying the economic situation, reversing the trends resulting from the crisis, particularly the intensification of poverty, and taking up the challenges that impede economic development.

Protocol IV, Chapter III, Article 15: Principal objectives

The Government shall endeavour to correct the imbalances in distribution of the country's limited resources and to embark on the path of sustainable growth with equity. It shall set itself the following principal objectives:

(a) Increasing rural and urban household income;

(b) Providing all children with primary and secondary education at least to the age of 16;

(c) Reducing the infant mortality rate by at least half;

(d) Giving the entire population access to health care;

(e) Improving the well-being of the population in all areas.

Protocol IV, Chapter III, Article 16: Guidelines governing development

In pursuit of these objectives, the Government shall follow the guidelines set out hereunder on the basis of the measures specified in the report of Committee IV (see Annex IV):

(a) Working towards macro-economic and financial stabilization;

(b) Attempting to solve the problem of external and domestic public debt;

(c) Initiation of structural reforms in the social sectors;

(d) Creation of an environment conducive to the expansion of the private sector;

(e) Efforts to create new jobs and compliance with the criteria of equity and transparency in employment;

(f) Ensuring good governance in the management of public affairs;

(g) Rendering operational the Court of Audit established under the provisions of Chapter I of Protocol II to the Agreement;

(h) Transformation of the communes into focal points for development and promotion of greater public access to State services by means of a decentralization policy;

(i) Promotion of the role of women and youth in development, with the aid of specific measures to benefit them;

(j) Initiation of Burundi's integration into the region;

(k) Equitable apportionment of the benefits of development.

Protocol IV, Chapter III, Article 17: Implementation

1. For the implementation of the reconstruction and development measures, an Inter-Ministerial Reconstruction and Development Unit shall be created to which the Ministries of Planning, Finance and Reintegration shall second personnel. Support for this Unit shall be sought from the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the European Commission and others. It shall have the following mandate:

(a) Preparation, within six weeks of the signing of the peace agreement, of an emergency reconstruction plan that will set the priorities for reconstruction and provide an initial estimate of costs. In preparing this plan, the National Commission for the Rehabilitation of Sinistres shall be consulted and invited to submit proposals. This emergency plan shall also serve as the basis for discussion at a donor conference;

(b) Subsequently, preparation of a detailed reconstruction plan covering the transition period as set forth in Chapter II of Protocol II to the Agreement;

(c) At the same time, preparation of a medium- and long-term development plan.

2. The three plans shall be submitted to the National Assembly for approval. They will be guided by the measures proposed by Committee IV (see Annex IV, chapters II and III) while adapting the priorities in response to developments in the situation and bearing in mind opportunities for financing.

3. Donors will be involved in the work of the Unit, and may request an international auditing company to monitor all financial operations and accounts that may be established.

Implementation History


Intermediate Implementation

Arusha Accord provided for several socio-economic reform issues. The accord asked for the equitable distribution of resources throughout the country, implementation of economic recovery program such as reconstruction of economic infrastructure, legislation to fight against financial crimes and corruption by enacting tax, custom and public market legislations, develop the private sector, initiate structural reforms, establish Sub-Commission of the CNRS and revise Burundi’s Land Act among other reforms.

Land Reform: 
On 8 August 2002, the Burundian parliament adopted a bill to establish the National Commission for the Rehabilitation of Displaced Persons (CNRS) under the Ministry of Reintegration and Resettlement of Displaced Persons and Repatriates. The CNRS, however, would be financially and administratively autonomous.1 But the land related issues were not resolved. Other economic and social issues including economic recovery and infrastructure reconstruction were not addressed. In fact, Burundi was under financial shortfall in 2003.2

Private Sector and Structural Reform:
Starting in 2002, Burundi started to receive the World Bank and the International Monitory Fund support for structural programs that involved privatization of public enterprises among other things.3

  • 1. "Burundi: Parliament adopts bill on commission for displaced persons," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, August 10, 2002.
  • 2. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations (S/2003/1146), December 4, 2003.
  • 3. "Burundi; World Bank Loan for Economic Rehabilitation," Africa News, September 3, 2002.

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.


Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.


Intermediate Implementation

The socio-economic reconstruction started in 2006 when the government and the United Nations jointly identified priority areas for the reconstruction of socio-economic development.4

Land Reform: In March 2006, the Burundian government adopted a bill to establish the national commission on land and other properties with some of the responsibilities of the former land sub-commission established under the CNRS.5 In July 2006, government set up the Commission Nationale des Terres et Autre Bien (CNTB) to deal with land issues.6 In October 2006, the government prohibited farming on disputed land.7 While the government established land commission was working to resolve land conflict and was providing alternative solutions to land related disputes, land disputes and allegations are not yet resolved. Land reform has not been implemented and therefore effective redistribution of state resources has not been carried out.

Tax, corruption and custom legislations:
The anti-corruption law was passed in 2006.8 The anti-corruption bodies were set up in May 2006.9 Despite these initiatives, corruption is rampant in Burundi that required a broad based institutional reforms.

  • 4. "Secretary General’s Report to the Security Council," United Nations (S/2006/429/Add.1), August 14, 2006.
  • 5. "Burundi parliamentarians ratify bill establishing national land commission," BBC Monitoring Africa, March 30, 2006.
  • 6. "Burundi; Huge Challenges in Solving Land Crisis," Africa News, November 23, 2006.
  • 7. "Burundi: Authorities in northwest forbid farming on disputed land," BBC Monitoring Africa, October 18, 2006.
  • 8. "The President of Burundi Takes Steps to Rebuild His War-Torn Nation, Including Demand for Accountability of NGOs and Burundian Government," Business Wire, April 6, 2006.
  • 9. "Burundi; President Announces Free Maternal Healthcare, Pay Rise for Workers," Africa News, May 1, 2006.

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.


Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.


Intermediate Implementation

Tax, corruption and custom legislations:
Some progress was made in terms of tax reform and legislation in 2009. On 1 July 2009, Burundian government enacted law n° 1/02 on Value Added Tax (VAT) system and replaced the transactional tax system. Similarly, on 14 July 2009, law n° 1/11 was passed came into force that created the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR).


Intermediate Implementation

Tax, corruption and custom legislations:
In 2010, to became a part of the East African Common Market (EAC), which was an organization of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, Burundi ratified the East African Common Market protocol that deals with the custom issues.10

  • 10. "East Africa; Burundi Ratifies Treaty," Africa News, May 1, 2010.

Intermediate Implementation

No developments observed this year.


Intermediate Implementation

Private Sector and Structural Reform:
The World Bank and the International Monitory Fund support for structural programs that involved privatization of public enterprises among other things was still ongoing as of 2013. Under this structural reform program, the government sold Coffee Factories to the private sector among sell off of other public enterprises.11

  • 11. "Burundi; Country Promises IMF It Will Sell Off Coffee Factories," Africa News, February 4, 2008.