News & Analysis: Burundi

The promise of digitising cash transfers in sub-Saharan Africa during COVID-19 and beyond

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has forced governments to grapple with difficult questions regarding lockdowns, contact tracing and the provision of emergency financial assistance to citizens now without work. In developing countries, these hardships are magnified with the World Bank estimating that remittances – money transfers sent from foreign workers to their home countries – to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are projected to fall by 19.7 percent (from $554 billion in 2019 to $445 billion in 2020). Considering the significant role that remittances play in alleviating poverty and improving nutrition, many governments have turned to mobile cash transfers for vulnerable citizens to use while minimising COVID-19 exposure.”

via Africa Portal

COVID-19 sustains assault on battered regional currencies

“In recent weeks, regional currencies have come under increased pressure against the dollar as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to dismantle efforts by central banks to maintain stability and arrest negative impact on their economies. Depreciating currencies result in increased cost of living as prices of basic goods rise; and servicing of hard currency-dominated loans becomes expensive for institutional borrowers.”

via The East African

‘The pandemic is gaining momentum’: Africa prepares for surge in infections

“After months in which Africa escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic as the global centre shifted from Asia to Europe and then to the Americas, the number of African infections — and deaths — has begun to increase sharply.”

via Financial Times

EAC cash crisis deepens as ministers push back budget meeting

“The East African Community is facing a deeper financial crisis after a crucial Council of Ministers meeting on budget was postponed for two weeks.”

via The East African

IMF Executive Board Approves US$7.6 Million Debt Relief to the Republic of Burundi Under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust

“The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund today approved a grant under the IMF’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust to cover Burundi’s debt service falling due to the IMF from July 21, 2020 to October 13, 2020, the equivalent of US$ 7.63 million.”

via IMF

Burundi kicks off mass COVID-19 testing in Bujumbura

“Over 1,200 people were tested for COVID-19 in three communes in Bujumbura, with the Health ministry saying 41 people tested positive as of last week after the government launched a mass testing campaign in the country.”

via The East African

Burundi changes tack as president declares COVID-19 ‘biggest enemy’

“Burundi’s new President Evariste Ndayishimiye has declared the coronavirus the country’s ‘biggest enemy,’ in a major about-turn for a nation which has largely ignored the dangers of the virus. Former president Pierre Nkurunziza, who died suddenly last month, and even Ndayishimiye himself, had until now downplayed the gravity of the pandemic, saying God had spared Burundi from its ravages.”

via Daily Monitor

Burundi: Why history will judge Pierre Nkurunziza harshly

“History will judge Nkurunziza as someone who brought unnecessary pain to a nation that had long suffered from political misrule, but who in death bequeathed it a golden opportunity for renewal.”

via The Africa Report

Coronavirus stalks Burundi’s political elite after president’s death

“Diplomats, citing medical sources, said there was a high probability that Nkurunziza, whose wife was last month airlifted to Kenya with suspected COVID-19, had died from side-effects of the virus. Other members of his family, including his mother, are also said to have been infected with the virus, prompting one diplomat to call Nkurunziza a ‘super spreader.'”

via Financial Times

Burundi’s president put politics before the pandemic

“Burundi has lost its ‘Paramount Leader,’ ‘Champion of Patriotism and Leadership Core.’ But perhaps it has gained an opportunity to finally react seriously to COVID-19; and, in Nkurunziza’s absence, a chance to overturn the rotten and violent political system over which he presided.”

via Mail & Guardian