With a population of almost 8.1 million people, Burundi is known as a particularly young country with 47% of the population being under 14 years old. The public spending in education is 9.2% of GDP, while the health spending is 4.4% of GDP.


Primary school access is almost universal and is equal for boys and girls. Burundi has a high net enrolment rate of 90.7% for primary school level. Access to secondary school is considerably lower with 20.4% for lower secondary and 17.2% for upper secondary. The formal school system is the major route through which children receive comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). In order to increase the chances of reaching older children and adolescents, out of school CSE should be increased. Teaching approaches for HIV and CSE include peer-education, practical skills, communication and raising awareness and the establishment of STOP AIDS clubs in schools. Some CSE activities are included in the National Strategic Plan for HIV. It is well understood in Burundi that the country must address HIV among young people.


The National Youth Strategy is currently under revision before being integrated into the National Strategic Plan for Poverty Reduction. The major challenges identified in the plan are: discrepancies between the training that youth receive and the reality of the job market; high levels of youth unemployment; lack of coordination between the various youth services and organizations; weak capacity of youth focused organizations and services; and an increase in HIV prevalence among young people. HIV rates are relatively low but rates among women are twice as high as among men. Sexual violence is widespread with 17.7% of young women under 15 and 13.7% of women between 15-24 reporting having been victims of sexual violence. A large number of adolescents do not have easy access to sexual and reproductive health information or services, which explains the levels of unintended pregnancy, unsafe abortions and the high levels of maternal mortality, as a result of HIV and STIs.

Updates and Stories

Workshops held at The National Cultural Festival in Mozambique

20 October, 2014   |   Blog, Events, Our people, Technical Coordination Group

Every two years, the Ministry of Culture organizes the National Cultural Festival in the province of Inhambane in Mozambique. The festival hosts domestic and international artists, cultural agents, and practitioners for a weeklong celebration of dive...


Education plays key role in ending teenage pregnancy across Eastern and Southern Africa

6 November, 2014   |   Blog, Our people, Technical Coordination Group

Every girl has the right to complete a quality education – however, the realities are that many do not make it through to their graduation. Teenage pregnancy is a significant cause to increased school dropout, with persistently high rates across E...


Take a stand on World AIDS Day

1 December, 2014   |   Blog, Our people

Today marks World AIDS Day. Every year, December 1st is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. According to UNICEF there were 2.1 million adolescents (10–19 years) living with HIV in 2013, 8...

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Wonderful to have young reporters asking their questions to our high level panelists today at @UNESCO #UNESCO dialogue hosted by South Africa's Dept of Basic #Education on scaling up #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENOW #YouthSRHNow Children's Radio Foundation #SaveTheChildren

[Photos by Czerina Patel]

Unesco Regional Office for Southern Africa
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Group photo of some following today's UNESCO High Level Policy Dialogue on #comprehensivesexualityeducation hosted by the Department of Basic Education in South Africa ! #ESACommitment #YouthSRHNow #CSENow #sexualityeducation #knowledgeispower

[Photos by Czerina Patel]
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‪#UNESCO Regional Director of #EastAfrica Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta & #Sweden Education Minister Gustav #Fridolin on SAFMNews Channel 404 this morning talking about the urgent need for govts to commit to #comprehensivesexualityeducation #CSE #CSENow #YouthSRHNow‬

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