The Canadian High Commission, located in Nairobi, Kenya, serves as the Canadian Embassy in Burundi. Canada also has a Consulate in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi.
Burundi has been represented in Canada by an Embassy in Ottawa since 1969. Burundi also has a Consulate in Toronto.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Burundi are limited. Both countries work together in multilateral forums such as La Francophonie.
Canada contributed to the peace process, which led to the first Arusha Agreement (in August 2000) and welcomed the implementation of the political transition in Burundi, in 2005. Peacebuilding and national reconciliation remain fragile in Burundi. Canada encourages all Burundian political leaders of both opposition and government parties to take part in the dialogue to set Burundi resolutely on its way to national reconciliation, strengthened democracy and economic development. The volatile security situation in certain areas of the country and reports of repeated violations of human rights are of serious concern. Canada encourages Burundian authorities to focus their efforts on good governance and respect for human rights.
Canada supports the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), an important regional forum to foster dialogue among the countries in the region and to implement durable solutions for peace, security and stability. Canada particularly supports the ICGLR taking leadership against the illegal exploitation of natural resources and sexual and gender-based violence. Canada also encourages Burundi’s efforts to implement the ICGLR’s “Pact on Stability, Security, and Development”, notably the regional mineral certification mechanism. The ICGLR Secretariat is headquartered in Bujumbura.
Canada supports the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which monitors the post-conflict recovery in Burundi. The Commission and its associated Fund were created for the purpose of bridging institutional gaps during post-conflict transitions. Burundi has received $49 million from the Peacebuilding Fund, to which Canada has contributed $35 million since 2006. The Peacebuilding Commission is now focused on challenges associated with implementing transitional justice, building trust amongst political actors, consolidating democracy, protecting human rights, and fighting corruption.
In the area of development assistance to Burundi, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) does not have a bilateral program in Burundi; however the country benefits from Canadian aid provided through CIDA multilateral and regional programs and in partnership with Canadian organizations. A modest Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, managed by the Canadian High Commission in Kenya, makes it possible to support initiatives undertaken by local non-governmental organizations. Canada is involved in a regional project of $13.5 million over seven years (2010-2017), in partnership with the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI), a Canadian NGO, to combat violence against girls and young women in the Great Lakes region, including in Burundi.
Canada supports the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), whose objective is to strengthen implementation of the Central African Forests Commission’s (COMIFAC) action plan for conservation and sustainable management of forest ecosystems. Burundi is a member of the CBFP and COMIFAC.
Trade between Canada and Burundi is very limited.