The Burundian Franc depreciation has a negative impact on the living conditions of the Burundian citizens . The actual situation is frightening and many people ask themselves how they will survive.
According to the exchange rates from the National Bank of Burundi ( BRB) from January 1st 2013 up to March, 1 USA dollar has moved from 1538, 9 to 1683, 6BIF. It is not only a USA dollar which is increasing comparing to the BIF. 1 Euro has moved from 2041, 9 to 2221, 2.
The East African Community partner states’ currencies have also increased : Tanzanian Shilling has moved from 0,97 to 1,03 ; Kenyan Shilling from 17,88 to 19,26 ;Ugandan Shilling from 0,57 to 0,63 and Rwandan Franc from 2,50 to 2,67.
Faustin Ndikumana, the Chairman of Parcem Civil Society was quoted as saying by Journal Iwacu saying that the Burundian Franc is still depreciating because of the lack of currencies.
“For Burundi, the sources of getting currencies are limited. The only way of getting currencies is from developed countries ’donations. Unfortunately, if they are given, their management leaves something to desire. We import 80% of products whereas the export is only 20%. We can ask ourselves what to do in order to stabilize the balance of trade”, he explains.
He adds that other East African Community Countries get currencies from various sources like many foreign direct investors, attractive touristic sites and exportations…
“It is not surprising to see the BIF depreciation because many factors explain it. In Burundi, investors fear to bring their capitals first because of insecurity, and secondly because of heavy imposed taxes by the government. About tourism, it is a new sector that is still disorganized and it brings nothing to the country as tourists visit touristic locations freely. Another problem in Burundi is mismanagement of the donations. These are partly used to build individual imposing great houses instead of using them for all people’s interest”, regrets Ndikumana to Journal Iwacu.
Adelard Wege, the Manager of “Alimentation Au Bon Prix” in Bujumbura, told Journal Iwacu that “We are strained by monetary instability; our profit margin is absorbed by the exchange differences. If we want to reconstitute our stocks, we find out that the price has already increased. Briefly speaking, there is a lack of currencies.”
“If nothing changes, once our stocks become empty we will be obliged to give up trading”, he says.