Burundi is still a predominantly subsistence agricultural society (90% of the employed population). Its population density is the second highest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 30th in the world, at 415 people/km2. Unlike densely population Euroasian cities, Burundi is very rural.
It was right at the heart of the Great War of Africa in the Congo. King Leopold was known as the Builder King because of urban projects and public work in Belgium, off the back of the exploitation of Central Africa that killed an estimated 10 million people. Burundi became part of the neighbouring colony of German East Africa in the Scramble for Africa. WWI returned colonial control to Belgium. After WWI the war in the Congo was used as a proxy for the Cold War. China attempted to use Burundi as a base to support communist insurgents. Regional ethnic conflicts were inflamed by the general chaos in the area.
Despite the end of the Cold War and Colonialism, various genocides and multi-generational conflicts make building sustainable trust a deep and enduring challenge. One of the poorest, the country is also ranked the world's unhappiest.