August 15, 2014
On May 23, the Japan International Cooperation Agency concluded a grant agreement with the government of Burundi for 2.8 billion yen for the Project for the Improvement of the Port of Bujumbura. Burundi, a landlocked country, is dependent on neighboring Tanzania for rail and truck transport for distribution of its main exports and imports. As its economy has grown by 3 percent to 5 percent in recent years, its imports of daily necessities and construction materials have increased, and its exports are projected to increase as it develops its nickel resources. So Burundi needs to secure stable distribution channels for additional economic growth. By improving the facilities of Bujumbura Port, which faces Lake Tanganyika and is the country's largest port, this project is expected to increase the amount of cargo handled by some 300,000 tons per year (to 241 percent of the amount in 2012). It is also expected to reduce transport costs, to improve the economy of Burundi through efficiency in lake transport and even to contribute to the East African Community's efforts to facilitate distribution and improve the regional economy. Project work is expected to begin in February 2015 and to be completed in October 2016.