This Country Economic Memorandum (CEM) is the first for Burundi since the 1980s. It has been developed in collaboration with the government of Burundi. The CEM has been prepared in cooperation with the African development bank and the U.K. department for international development. Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world, and has suffered from many years of civil conflict and its consequences. In the last years, peace has been established and a promising recovery of the economy has started. Economic growth rates, however, are not in line with what has been projected in the latest poverty reduction strategy paper (September 2006). Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth had been projected to average almost 7 percent between 2006 and 2009 in that strategy paper, but actual growth will average just above 4 percent for the same period. The report reviews the economic developments in the past and tries to identify the most binding constraints to growth. The CEM then sets out a strategy to address these constraints to promote increased and participatory growth, reduce poverty, and improve the livelihood of the population. The report draws on a number of background studies conducted on various subjects relevant to the country's economic development and on existing reports and studies from the government of Burundi, the World Bank, other donors, and academics. The CEM provides a synthesis of various recommendations and attempts to prioritize and sequence key actions.