Burundi considers ICT to be an important enabler that can facilitate developments and job opportunities in the country. The Government of Burundi is committed to encouraging the integration of ICT in all spheres of society. The telecommunications sector is liberalised but Internet access is predominantly restricted to public points of access in cyber cafes in the capital, Bujumbura.
The Government of Burundi has led several activities in relation to the use of ICT in the service of the socioeconomic development and the Good Governance under the responsibility of the National Committee.
Characteristics of the sector
- Low density of fixed telephony lines (30.000lines)
- Market growth ICT has mainly been done by mobile telephony with 6.25% in 2006 to 22.5% in 2012
- Communications tariffs are still too high
- Lack of power is a challenge
- Bandwidth cost
- People don’t not know the importance of ICT
- The importance of ICT is not well known by decision makers
- Very low Internet penetration ,Internet services are available mainly in Bujumbura
- The low per capita income
- Burundi has not yet back bone networks based on optical fiber
- ICT uptake in Burundi is still very low with most of the ICT facilities concentrated in the capital city Bujumbura.
- Low PC density, still costly
- inadequate infrastructure
- Very high cost for international bandwidth/calls and access for Internet services
Current Situation in the sector
Burundi is one of the growing African countries in ICT following civil war disruptions in the country. For Burundi, the expansion of the ICT sector is essential for the promotion and modernization of public and private activities and to better integrate the economy.
There are several opportunities for growth for the ICT sector including e-commerce and e-services, mobile technologies, automation and ICT training
Challenges in ICT Sector Burundi
- Lack of Awareness among Policy and Decision Makers
- Insufficient ICT Infrastructure
- Insufficient number of ICT Experts at all levels and sectors
- Institutional Networks yet to be setup in some of the potential shareholders
- Awareness in the importance of ICT and all the related services among potential users
- Very low Connectivity if not totally inexistent
- Very little ICT Research Activity
- High illiteracy in ICT
ICT and Telecom Sector Profile has been summarized to include the following