Burundi’s economy has been recovering slowly in the wake of the civil war, ethnic tensions and a dictatorship. The subsistence farming economy was greatly reduced after the war, which has led to millions of people being food-insecure and reliant on foreign aid. SPARK’s work in the country focuses on boosting entrepreneurship in order to create sustainable jobs in the agricultural transformation and non-agricultural sectors.

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“Do not look for a job, look for a career.”

With an internship, youth in Burundi can have real added value in the job market and a chance to hone thier skills, whilst being paid. CREOP, SPARK's local partner, provided interns with general professional skills. Vanessa Bwitonzi, a 26-year-old nurse who interned at the maternity ward of the St-Joseph's Clinic and was subsequently offered a permanent position there, found these skills highly useful.

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“It is such a joy to see the products of our entrepreneurs”

SPARK’s partner in Burundi, CEMAC, is founded by Claudine and Boniface. They founded a company on the streets of Bujumbura with a mission to support their fellow entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. The pair tackled societal stigma and financial woes but now work with hundreds of businessmen and women throughout the country. “It is such a joy to see the products of our entrepreneurs on shelves in grocery stores or on display at a local fair, beautifully packaged,” says Claudine.

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“This charcoal is made out of rubbish!”

Salomon creates charcoal blocks from waste products, which preserves the natural woodland and manages waste. SPARK coached Salomon and co-financed the construction of a processing unit to help him get his affordable product to market. Salomon has created 25 permanent jobs and 9 temporary jobs for young people in his community.

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Opening pathways to employment

  • 10123
    Youth Trained
  • 463
    MSMEs Supported
  • 1026
    New Businesses
  • 4647
    Jobs Created