A cooperation agreement between the governments of Burundi and Singapore, with the support of UNDP, has been signed, amounting to almost $ 2.5 million. This South-South cooperation focuses on the realization of an innovative master plan to guide the development of the capital of Burundi and its surroundings by 2045.
The city of Bujumbura as the political, social and economic capital of Burundi has a real potential for development. However, its future urban development faces real challenges: today, although only 1 Burundian out of 10 is urban, the city of Bujumbura alone is home to 3/4 of the urban population of the country. In 1962, the capital had about 60,000 inhabitants. In 2014, the estimates are of 800,000 inhabitants. This population is concentrated mainly in peripheral districts where the density sometimes reaches more than 2,000 inhabitants per km². It is projected, according to the African Development Bank (AfDB), that by 2030 the urban population of Burundi will reach 2.63 million people, which would represent 19 percent of the total population.
This rapid and continuous urbanization, especially in the city of Bujumbura, is leading to deterioration in the quality of life of citizens and the environment. Beyond population growth, the development of Bujumbura faces other challenges such as: lack of planning tools and urban management; inadequate legislation; low household incomes in relation to the cost of housing; the lack of electrical energy; the rural exodus of young people.
The current challenge is to be able to manage the development of the capital and guarantee a better living and working environment for its inhabitants.
Singapore's support combined the provision of a wide range of experience-based technical knowledge at both national and provincial levels. The core of this South-South cooperation mechanism with Singapore was the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) technical assistance, consulting services and best practice sharing.
Under the Agreement, SCE shared Singapore’s urban developmental experience and expertise with the capital City of Bujumbura. The project started in July 2014 and spanned over 18 months, which would include 12 months of Master Plan preparation and 6 months of capacity building, where SCE would conduct knowledge transfer of best practices in urban development with the Burundian Government’s urban planning team to successfully implement the Master Plan.
Supported by: UNDP
Implemented by: Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE)