In terms of international investment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Burundi rose from an average 0,5 million USD in 1999 to 10 million USD in 2009 (UNCTAD, 2010), a twenty–fold increase in 10 years. This is due in large part to the stabilization of the political situation and the actions taken by the government in recent years to attract FDI.
The Government of Burundi’s official attitude toward foreign direct investment is reflected in the new Investment Code, which was formally enacted in September 2008. The investment code aims to attract and reassure foreign investors by encouraging and facilitating acquisitions, production, transformation and distribution of goods and services. The investment code outlines the government desire to stimulate foreign investment but highlights a continuing lack of transparent, specific regulations to foster significant foreign investment.
Foreign investors in Burundi can count on sound business–conducive policy environment which guarantees equal and fair treatment of all foreign and local enterprises. Not only Burundi has no overall economic or industrial strategies that discriminate against foreign investors, but it has no general limits on foreign ownership or control of enterprises nor are there established processes or criteria for the review of foreign investments. The 2008 Investment Code provides a streamlined and fair process for all investors, whether locally or foreign–based.
Burundi Judicial System
Furthermore Burundi’s judicial system upholds the sanctity of contracts. In case of a dispute involving foreign interests, a Centre for Arbitration and Mediation has been established by the government to handle such issues. Additionally the plaintiff has the option of referring its complaint to either the national courts or an international arbiter.
There is no explicit discrimination against foreign investors at any stage of the investment process, nor are there any laws or regulations specifically authorizing private firms to adopt articles of incorporation or association which limit or prohibit foreign investment, participation, or control.
There are no restrictions on business sectors open to foreign investments, with the exception of arms and military enterprises, investments in this sector are conducted on a government–to–government basis.
The government is in the process of privatizing Burundi’s coffee industry –– the largest source of foreign exports – and with many foreign companies purchasing Burundian coffee, the interest in investing in this industry is high.
Major investment projects in Burundi have originated in Kenya, Switzerland, India, Uganda and the United States mostly in the financial services sector. Some of the recent investments into Burundi include :
- Jubilee Holding (Kenya) – financial services
- Commercial Bank of Africa (Kenya) – financial services
- Kenya Commercial Bank (Kenya) – financial services
- Diamond Trust Bank (Kenya, Switzerland) – financial services
- Aga Khan Development Network (Switzerland) – financial services
- United Bank of Africa (Nigeria) – financial services
- Global Trust Bank (Uganda) – financial services
- Healthcare Global Enterprise (India) – health services
The Eastern African region is said to be particularly rich in fuel and gas reserves, with at least 28 prospective sedimentary basins out of which Burundi has two, which have not been exploited yet.
Most energy consumed in Burundi comes from wood and charcoal (about 95%). Other forms of energy include petroleum products, hydropower and peat. The country’s electrification rate is very low (1.8%) and more than 90% of electricity is consumed in Bujumbura.
The hydropower potential is 1,700 megawatts (MW) of power theory, of which 300 MW is considered economically exploitable. At present, only 32 MW are operated. In addition, Burundi imports about 40% of its energy consumption, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Telecommunications and providers (mobile and fixed; local and international)
The biggest investments that Burundi has known since the beginning of the crisis were in the telecommunications sector, characterized by high flow of FDI in 2000, valued at 11.7 million USD. This peak was due to the liberalization of mobile telephony put forward by the government in the 2000s.Two licenses were indeed granted to foreign companies, Africell and Spacetel (Econet), whose respective international partners are Alcatel in France and Ericsson in Sweden.
The same year, the U.S. USAN Burundi has established itself as an internet service provider. In 2008, the Egyptian company Orascom bought U–Com, owned by the Indian group Global Vision. In addition, two additional licenses were awarded, one to HITS Telecom a joint venture Uganda–Saudi Arabia, and the other to a Nepalese company called Lacelle SU (Smart Mobile).
Regarding telecommunications, the country has four fixed telephone lines per 1,000 inhabitants mostly in urban areas. While 90% of the population lives in rural areas and 90% of subscribers are located in urban areas, network coverage in the country is very low. There are six operators, the largest of which is U–Com (formerly known as Télécel), a company that was recently privatized.
Other operators include the public operator ONATEL, which offers fixed and mobile telephony services, followed by foreign private operators Africell, Econet, Lacelle SU and HITS Telecom. The current telephone density is 2.5 lines per 100 inhabitants (fixed and mobile combined) (UNDP and Vice–Ministry of Planning, 2008).
Regarding the Internet, estimates point to 14,000 users in Burundi, five users per 1,000 inhabitants. Internet service providers include CBINET, USAN Burundi, ONATEL and U–Com.
Water and Sewage Rates
Currently various sources of water (including the Tanganyika Lake) provide water to 71% of the population of Burundi. The Ministry of Water, Energy and Mining is responsible for the water sector. The Tanganyika Lake has great potential not just for transport and fishing but also for tourism and water sectors as well.
The role of donors is also essential. To this end, the multi–sectoral water and electricity infrastructure project launched in 2008 and funded by the World Bank for 50 million USD is an encouraging initiative. This project aims to increase access to drinking water service in Bujumbura and strengthen the operational capacities of key sector institutions including the Ministry of Water, Energy and Mining. This program will be a great way to encourage initiatives such as :
- The creation of a technical team that is able to define a reform strategy
- A policy and investment strategy to improve the generation, distribution and marketing of electricity and water, and
- Coordination of the various technical assistance initiatives
In addition, it is recommended that Burundi maximizes the benefit to be derived from existing investment programmes, including those from African or regional initiatives such as NEPAD and the African Development Bank (ADB). These organizations have indeed made water access and investment in infrastructure a real priority and can contribute to the development of Burundi. Most importantly, Burundi must take advantage of its entry in the EAC by participating in regional infrastructure development projects.
Domestic and Industrial Electricity Rates
The country’s electrification rate is very low (1.8%) and more than 90% of electricity is consumed in Bujumbura. The hydropower potential is 1,700 megawatts (MW) of power theory, of which 300 MW is considered economically exploitable. At present, only 32 MW are operated. In addition, Burundi imports about 40% of its energy consumption, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Located at the heart of Africa, Burundi is endowed with hills, white sandy beaches, different landscapes, and cultures.
The hospitality and kindness of Burundian people are legendary, and the country has much to offer. 17 Provinces offer visitors different experiences: Lake Tanganyika, the deepest in Africa, an incredible and wonderful variety of flowers, a rocky landscape, waterfalls, the Rusizi delta, a calm oasis, and fertile valleys. For animal lovers, the northwest primary forest is a paradise for primates and the Northern Lakes are a safe haven for birds.
Burundi has a cultural legacy that includes not only dances and traditional music but also the famous Gitega Drummers known worldwide.
Geographical position of Burundi is in the centre of the large regional communities (ECAC, CEPGL, COMESA, and EAC). Burundi, therefore could become the focal point for business and tourism with the beauty of its hills and the hospitality and kindness of its people. Its position allows easy access in less than 2 hours of flight to Africa’s most attractive tourist sites (ex: Serengeti and beaches in Zanzibar).
Burundi has an untapped tourism potential that the government wishes to develop and that is also at the center of the development strategy of the country. Experience in other post-conflict countries shows that the development of tourism, including through FDI, can help redress the country’s economic situation and therefore support the establishment of lasting peace. Putting forward its comparative advantages, Burundi should try to integrate into the East Africa region. In this area, it will nevertheless be important to separate the roles of the IPA and the National Tourism Office.
Different tourist attraction sites include
- Wide sandy and sunny beaches
- Water sports locations along Lake Tanganyika
- The Nile source Rutovu
- The Thermal waters of Muhweza
- The Beaches of Nyakazu
- Natural reserves of the Rusizi River
- Lakes in the north of the country (bird lakes)
- Stone Stanley and Livingstone
- Karera Falls
Examples of opportunities
- Installation and development of the relaxing activities such as the thalassotherapy
- Development of water sports
- Introduction of ecotourism
Access To Markets
Burundi is member of economic communities CEPGL, COMESA, EAC totalling more than 20 countries and 450 million consumers. Since 2008, the process is started for the integration of these three communities into a single regional community, (AEC) African Economic CommunityThe attractiveness of Burundi as a place to invest relies on the improvement of the business environment by the Government.
The efforts in improving the latter are focused on increasing the competitiveness of the economy in order to enable the Burundian Economy to take advantage of the opportunities offered by open markets. Indeed, the integration of Burundi in the Eastern African Community (EAC) and in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) represents an opportunity in terms of direct foreign investment.
The EAC increases the size of the market accessible to Burundian products and stimulates the diversification of local production. On the other hand, the country will be the focal point of the trade within the regional, link up the central Africa, the oriental Africa and the southern Africa. Indeed, if the infrastructures of transportation are developed further, countries such as Rwanda and Uganda will make the choice of transiting their their goods through the port of Bujumbura for their commercial exchanges with Southern Africa via Tanganyika Lake.
The same applies to the exchanges between the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Oriental Africa. Burundi could represent a strategic position for foreign investors wishing to invest in the region and to penetrate neighbouring markets. The opportunities and challenges currently facing Burundi are strongly linked to regional integration that forecast the creation of new realities for the direct foreign investments in the country.
Capital transfer advantages
- Free transfer of foreign capital and income after payment of taxes
- Transferring unused professional income by foreign employees
- The transfer of capital remuneration in the form of dividends, in full for enterprises with foreign capital
- Protection of private property
- Non–nationalization and non–expropriation of investments implemented in its territory as well as any measures of equivalent scope
An Investment Promotion Agency (API) entirely at your service (APISTE team)
Has several high–qualified bilingual French–English staff Assists investors in all steps: drafting of statutes, registration of companies in Burundi, obtaining tax identification, compiling the file required to access the benefits of the Investment Code, obtaining work and residence permits, etc
All new investments are automatically entitled to :
- Waiving of mutation on the acquisition of property rights and land Deduction of 37% as tax credit on the amount of depreciable invested good
- No refund to the fiscal administration with disposed assets that raised tax credit for a period of five years
- Tax credit during the implementation of investments for new businesses or for the extension of existing businesses
- Reduction of 2 and 5% in the rate of tax credit on the profits of companies that respectively employ between 50–200 employees and over 200 employees
A business environment in constant improvement
- Simplified administrative formalities
- Obtaining trade registers and fiscal identification in approximately 3 days
- Creation of the Burundian office of Revenues to boost the services of taxes and customs, and to fight against corruption
- Declaration only necessary with the services of the customs to have the exemptions of customs rights and value–added tax (VAT) on the facilities and raw materials
- A set of reforms in progress: the total liberalization of all sectors, the privatization of states enterprises, etc
Prior to Arrival in Burundi
Types of permits/visas- People going to Burundi require a passport valid for at least six months from the date of entry. The maximum stay in Burundi is 60 days and visas should be obtained in a Burundi embassy or consulate before arrival.
In order to be issues a tourist or a business visa, visitors have to submit the following information :
- Original signed passport, with at least 6 months of remaining validity
- 3 Passport–type photographs
- Copy of round trip tickets or confirmed itinerary
- Yellow fever vaccination – copy of international certification of vaccination for yellow fever
- A letter from a hotel in Burundi confirming the name(s) of the guest(s) and the dates of the reservation. The letter must be printed on hotel letterhead and signed by a hotel agent
- For business visas only, a business letter from the sending company, printed in company letterhead, addressed to the “Consulate of Burundi, Visa Section” and signed by a senior manager (equivalent to Vice–President or above).
The business letter must :
– Briefly introduce the applicant and specify employment status/position held
– State the nature of the business to be conducted (i.e. business meetings, contract negotiations, etc.) and the name and address of companies to be contacted in Burundi
– Specify the type and desired validity of the visa (i.e. a one year multiple entry visa)
– Guarantee of sufficient funds for travel
Burundi offers three types of tourist/business visa, up to 30 days, 60 days or 90 days, single or multiple entries. The table below shows the process and cost of getting a visa for Burundi; please note that while the processing time is similar for all countries the cost of visas may vary from country to country.
Other visas, such as those for long–term business stays, may be obtained by applying to Burundian embassies and consulates overseas.
Types of Companies
Under the provisions of the Commercial Code, investors can choose various legal forms of incorporating their companies in Burundi, such as :
- Private Limited Company (In French Société de Personnes à Responsabilité Limitée or SPRL)
- Public Limited Company (in French Société anonyme or SA)
- Limited Liability Company (in French Société Unipersonelle à responsabilité limitée or SURL)
- Cooperative Society (in French Société Coopérative (SC)
Minimum shareholders required :
- From two to fifty (2 to 50)
- Minimum three (3) for a limited company (member of the Board of the SA must have at least a share of the company)
- One (1) for a Limited company (a Limited company cannot be the sole shareholder of a company Unipersonnelle)
- Minimum two (2) for the cooperative society
Social Capital :
- General rule, there is no capital share
- There is no minimum social capital required to validate trading company in Burundi, only for some exceptions. However the absence of capital would be against the law
A minimum of social capital is required for companies active in some specific sectors :
- Bank: BIF 5,000,000,000 (as of 31 December 2009)
- Financial institutions: BIF 4,000,000,000 (as of 31 September 2009)
- Import and export petroleum companies: BIF 1,000,000,000 (as of 13 July 2009)
- Insurance companies: BIF 300,000,000 (as of 29 November 2002)
- Furthermore, no shareholder can hold more than 33% of the capital
Registering a business and getting permits
The most common forms of company used are SARL (Limited Liability Company). This form provides similar benefits to those available to companies with legal personality in most countries.
In order to start up a business in Burundi investors will require 11 procedures and it will take approximately 32 days. The various necessary stages are listed hereafter:
STARTING A BUSINESS IN BURUNDI
- Draft and notarize the articles of association by a notary – 4 days – BIF 53,000
- Deposit the legally required initial capital in a bank and obtain deposit evidence – 1 day – no charge
- Publication in legal journal – 1 day – BIF 130,000
- Procurement of two extracts from the criminal record of the first directors in preparation to the registration formalities with the Commercial Registry – 2 days – BIF 10,000 (BIF 1,000 each, two extracts for 5 founders)
- Registration with the Commercial Registry – 2 days – BIF 44,900
- Registration of the Company with the Department of Taxation – 1 day – no charge
- Registration of the Company with the Municipality of Bujumbura – 16 days – no charge
- Registration of the Company with the Ministry of Trade and Industry – 1 day – no charge
- Registration of the Company with the Ministry of Labor, Department of Work Inspection – 1 day –no charge
- Registration of the Company with the National Institute for Social Security – 1 day – no charge
- Make a company seal – 2 days – BIF 20,000
- Postal Box – BIF 50,000 / year
- Legalization of the signature – BIF 2,000
- Authentication of statutes – BIF 7,000 (fixed) + BIF 3,000 (per additional page)
- Publication of statutes in legal journal (Bulletin Officiel du Burundi – BOB), the journal – BIF 6,000 / 12 pages
- Registration with the Commercial Registry – BIF 65,000
- Procurement of the Fiscal Identification Number (NIF) – BIF 10,000
- Procurement of business permit (according to the type of business) – N/A
- Registration with the National Institute for Social Security – N/A
- Registration with the Municipality of Bujumbura – according to the type of business
- Registration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry for the VAT – N/A
- Registration with the Ministry of Labor, Department of Work Inspection – BIF 2,000
- Foreign moral or physical persons enjoy the same rights and protection than nationals;
- A few restrictions related to the right of foreigners to purchase property in full ownership exist. However, if a commercial business is registered under Burundian law, the latter becomes Burundian and thus this distinction becomes no longer applicable
- Land for agriculture or livestock can be assigned to them only in terms of concessions for emphyteusis or usage
- Different procedures for the acquisition of land not built regarding whether they belong to the public or private domain
If you looking to start a business in Burundi, look no further. We have been helping businesses in Burundi since 2011.
The Presidential Decree No. 100/177 of October 19, 2009 originates the creation and organization of the Investment Promotion Authority in Burundi.
The agency in its definition is endowed with a legal status and its own financial patrimoine along with a financial and organizational autonomy.
- Informing the investors on every aspect of the investment and the export promotion
- Provide assistance and support investors in general and the exporters specifically in obtaining the documents and complete the formalities required by the legislation
- Design the reforms required for the improvement of the business environment
- Intervene within the administration in case of non–compliance or incorrect application of any law or regulation in connection with investment and exports promotion
- Further to the improvement of the quality and the distribution of information necessary for the investors, the IPA is invited to exploit the strong potential for the development of sectors such as services, tourism, mining and agriculture
- Ensure the proper and efficient application of the Investment Code provisions, as well as the fiscal and customs provisions in favour of investors fulfilling legal requirements;
- Without prejudice to Law n ° 1/24, dated September 10, 2008;and in pursuance to Burundian Investment Code provisions Articles 14 & 15; decide on the eligibility of the projects for the enterprises creation or extension under regimes provided for in these article
- Analyse the enterprises needs in relation with the authorities concerned, and the appropriated modifications in the administrative apparatus regulation to promote a favourable environment for the enterprise development
- Raise government awareness and suggest to the government the legal and institutional reforms to undertake in order to favor the implementation and the development of new enterprises and to improve the business environment in Burundi
- Contribute to facilitate the establishment of industrial, commercial and services enterprises within the Government economic and social development plan.
- Facilitate export–oriented production
- Ensure that companies make an environmental impact study before their implementation
- Ensure that enterprises comply with the town and country planning before their implementation
- Identify, acknowledge and promote investment opportunities in Burundi
- Promote enterprises development and direct or indirect support to the strengthening and modernization of entrepreneurship in Burundi
- Supply to investors technical and technological information, addresses of equipment and raw material suppliers
- Welcome, advice, guide and assist investors in order to facilitate their projects realization
- Collect and disseminate economic information to operators
- Promote exchanges and partnerships between private sector operators, being domestic or foreign
- Contribute to the realization of studies for the investment and exports promotion
- Contribute to the investors training and coaching in enterprises creation and management
- Support consulting companies and training enterprises in order to reinforce national expertise and consulting capabilities
- Contribute to the organization of fairs and other events designed to promote investment in Burundi
For more on ways we can help your business grow click here
From our last post we talked about how you can start your own profitable online business. We also took a look at jobs that you can start right away for those not inclined to be an entrepreneur. Today we are looking at media buying for affiliate marketing as a strategy to help your online business grow.
With competition in the business world escalating, there is need for firms to come up with state-of-the-art business procedures or they risk closure. Specialization is one of the many forms in which businesses cope with the balooning competition rate.
Businesses specialize by relinquishing certain tasks that could easily be performed by other firms. Consequently, one single and most important service that firms outsource is marketing their products.
Media buying is a major business strategy that upcoming firms cannot elude. It is beyond reasonable doubt that any business is centred around on ways of impressing its ever growing clients or customers and therefore, marketing their products and services is a fact they have to get right from the onset.
Companies can gain business traction by hiring specialists to approach their target population and pitch their products at a small managable fee. Notwithstanding, firms could also approach media buying networks to gain invaluable media buying tips.
These networks can be found in various media buying platforms all over the world that include but not limited to Buy Sell Ads, AdBrite, Ad Ready. They offer preliminary tips on how to approach the market as well as shrinking the relationship between producing and selling.
Media buying 101 focuses on the various ways of approaching media buying and factors that one should consider more weightier. Before a company goes out there and buys a media, a thorough and comprehensive research is needed on the demography and competitive inteligence.
The information gathered on demography from the website may not be 100% reliable, be that as it may, it will give a quite decent picture about what’s occurring around the web. Crucial demographic parameters that a company should collect information on include gender, age, education, ethnicity and income.
Competitive intelligence platforms will give much insight on the dos and the don’ts of approaching competition and the end result is a cheap and time saving marketing procedure. Competition can make a company waste time on redundant endevours hence higher cost.
There are two forms of media buying to consider and these entails direct buying and agency buying. The main difference between the two is that for the direct buying, a company interacts first hand with the owner of the website to use a space on their website for advertising while for agency buying, a company approaches a network affiliated to various platforms on the web for a space to advertise.
Once a company has settled on a single platform to advertise, they pay a specific fee over the period in which they will be using the website.
In conclusion, It is right to say that companies have to get it right from the onset in the way they advertise their products. With the technological reforms that have overpowered the market platform, media buying is the ideal way of bridging the ever so increasing gap between the consumers and producers.
This article offers a comprehensive media buying tutorial on how to use media for marketing procedures. However, many are of the opinion that effective marketing strategy can also be achieve through hiring special marketers that have mastered the art of buying and selling.
Since you are starting your own business, you will need to know a few ground rules. It is best to have a business that will give a service rather than a product. You will need to buy or make a product, and because of that, you will need money to start with. If you are selling your service, on the other hand, you won’t need a lot of money in fact sometimes you will not need money at all.
You must define your service or product
As we mentioned, it is better to provide services than products because services don’t need the starting funds. You will need to be original you will need to do something different. Something that might follow that formula is k money master.
The business you are doing has to be something new, and the titles of your commercials have to be catchy. That will attract a lot of clients because your commercial will make a wanted attention. So it is important to be organized in this field.
You need to register
Like every other business you will need to register your business and what is your type of business. It is advised to know your costs, your fees, for example, your domain and hosting, your shipping cost, etc. It is also important to know the laws in your state and to know what can you do and can’t do.
You will need to have a domain
It is recommended that your name should be something that will catch attention, like a phrase or something like that. Your business depends on it. You may want to explore other companies that are similar in your branch, or you should check out some other domains and see what type of phrases they use. If you don’t get a proper domain, then your business might go down. Think about it. When you find a good and a catchy name you can register it.
Hosting and how to do it
Believe it or not, there are free hosting services, but if you want a successful business, then you should pay and get everything you need from hosting. It is vital to know that your business will depend on it. Some of hosting services offer different types of hosting, and some of them are more structured so you can choose any type you like. You can program your site, or you could choose the existing template. It is all up to you. It is very important to have a stylish website that will attract a lot of attention. More attention means more clients. It also needs to be functional, and it needs to work perfectly. No one likes a buggy website.
In conclusion, if you want to start your own business explore and see what you need to do. If you fit that criteria then go for it.
If you spent a lot of time on the computer and you know about search engines, then this is the job for you. It is very important to know that your business will be influenced by the position of your site when you search for it. You will need to show your potential clients the importance of being optimized for the search engine because it will have a great impact on their job and company.
If you know a lot about business and you have a lot of experience in how to develop a business with minimal or no funds, then this is a job for you. Your clients will be very grateful, and you will have great recommendations if you tell them the secret of making a business without any or little funds. Imagine what would be the results if they gave you the money or some money to start the business. They would have great success.
Retailer or specialized retailer
It is a nice job since it is dedicated to a specific product or products. There are types of people or customers that search a specific type of product or service. You will need a good site and host service with some integrated options for a shopping cart on your site, and there you have it. You can even make a deal with your shipping companies to organize a free shipping or shipping with minimal cost.
Social media consultant
It is the type of a job you need to have a feeling for. A lot of big companies will hire a person or a team of people to run their social media accounts and to run their social media marketing. As a consultant, you will teach them and show them how to run their department and how to be effective. You will show them the best tactics and types of the organization so that they could get the job done.
This job is very interesting. As a designer, you will need to be creative. We all know that a bad website will often diminish the credibility of your client’s company. Therefore you will need to know how to attract people and how to keep them on the site. You will do that by making an interesting precise yet full of interesting images. Your talent will be put to the test here.