The Canadian Embassy located in Nairobi, Kenya, with the support of its office in Kigali, Rwanda, is accredited to and responsible for Canada’s relations with Burundi. Canada also has an Honorary Consul in Bujumbura, the capital city of Burundi.
Burundi has been represented in Canada by an embassy in Ottawa since 1969. Burundi also has an Honorary Consul in Toronto.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Burundi are cordial, although modest. Both countries collaborate as part of multilateral fora such as La Francophonie. Burundi's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Kavakure, made a working visit to Canada in March 2014 and met with Minister Baird. The latter shared with the Burundian Minister Canada's concerns about the tensions and growing political violence in the country.
Canada contributed to the peace process that 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 recognizes the major efforts made by Burundi to consolidate peace and contribute to peace and security in the world, notably in Somalia, Mali and the Central African Republic where Burundian soldiers are working on peace missions.
Canada encourages the entire Burundian political class, the opposition parties such as the governing party, to take part in the dialogue to set Burundi resolutely on its way to national reconciliation, strengthened democracy and economic development. The fragile security situation in certain regions of the country and reports of repeated violations of human rights raise deep concerns. Canada encourages Burundian authorities to concentrate their efforts on the respect for human rights and the issues of good governance, in order, among other things, to create a stimulating and attractive business climate that will contribute to the economic development of the country.
Canada supports the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) whose headquarters are in Bujumbura. The ICGLR is an important regional organization promoting a dialogue among the countries of the region and the implementation of sustainable solutions in favour of peace, security and stability. The ICGLR plays a central role in the fight against mineral exploitation and trade in the Great Lakes region, in particular through the implementation of a regional mineral certification mechanism modeled on the Kimberley Process for diamonds. Canada is encouraging Burundi to implement the regional mineral certification mechanism.
Canada does not have a bilateral aid program with Burundi, but the country receives Canadian aid through the multilateral and regional programs of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and in partnership with Canadian 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 end violence against girls and young women in the Great Lakes region, including Burundi. Furthermore, a modest Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, managed by the Canadian Embassy, helps support ad hoc initiatives initiated by local non-governmental organizations.
In 2013-2014, the Canadian development assistance, estimated at $ 1.94 million for this country, essentially targeted the following sectors : humanitarian assistance and, health, including reproductive health, and financial services. The main Canadian partners involved in Burundi were the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund , the AMIE – international aid to children et World Relief Canada. The main multilateral partner was the World Food Program.
For more information on projects with Burundi, see DFATD’s Project Browser.
Canada is a member of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP). Their objective is a stronger implementation of the Central Africa Forests Commission (COMIFAC) action plan for the conservation and the sustainable management of the forest ecosystems in the Congo Basin. Burundi is a member of the CBFP and the COMIFAC.
Canada has a modest and stable trade relationship with Burundi. In 2013, two-way merchandise trade rose by 59.2% to $2.87 million from $1.80 million in 2012. Canadian merchandise exports to Burundi include miscellaneous textiles, cereals, electrical and electronic machinery and equipment, machinery, vehicles and parts, totaling $2.62 million. Canadian merchandise imports from Burundi comprise essentially of coffee, totaling $249,785. Burundi was Canada’s 176th largest export destination in the world in 2013. The same year, Burundi was Canada’s 187th most important source of imports in the world.