Burundi names Gitega as the country’s new capital

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Burundi has announced it is moving the country’s political capital from Bujumbura to Gitega.

Spokesman for President Pierre Nkurunziza, Jean-Claude Karerwa Ndenzako, posted the announcement on Twitter, saying the government “has just adopted an historic [sic] bill making Gitega the political capital and making Bujumbura the economic capital.”

Burundi moves capital to Gitega

The decision comes a decade after a presidential promise to move the political capital although Bujumbura will remain the economic centre of Burundi. The move means cabinet meetings will now take place more than 100 kilometres to the east of Bujumbura in the country’s central highlands, where five ministries will be established from 2019.

Nkurunziza initially promised to move the capital to Gitega in 2007 due to its centrality while the region is also the birthplace of Burundi’s last king, Ntare V.

Burundi isn’t the first African nation to move its capital in recent years. Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, and Nigeria are among the other nations to have built new capitals over the past few decades while Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal are currently in the process of building new capitals outside of their existing cities.

Featured image: By Dave Proffer – Gitega, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18108862

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.