In July 2019, the Burundian government stressed the importance of the mining sector, which contributes more to the national economy than the traditional exports such as coffee and tea.
ITSCI covers 155 sites in 21 communes in Burundi and directly employs at least 7,712 Burundians, including more than 6,565 miners, as well as washers, guards, and more.The program has helped formalise miners activities by providing them legal protection, giving them assistance in their due diligence, and access to the international market. ITSCI has alleviated problems related to informal mining, such as reduced livelihoods and health and safety risks.
According to local co-operative leaders, ITSCI members and the mining community in Burundi are benefiting from the results of stricter regulation with the ITSCI program. About 420 residents of the village of Kidunduri work on the mining sites, many of them through COMEBU and local cooperatives such as the Cooperative de Development Populaire. In 2018, three new classrooms were built with the benefits of mining activities. One student said, “I’m not late for class anymore because this school is close to my family’s house.”