The Foundation activity in Africa began in 2010 in Burundi with a project to support health activities; from 2014 we also operate in Madagascar, with projects to support both health and school activities.

The Republic of Burundi is situated in central-eastern Africa, in the Great Lakes region, on the shores of lake Tanganyka, four degrees below the equator; borders the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwuanda and Tanzania. The Country covers an area of 27.834 square kilometers, is mainly mountainous and hilly, has a population of more than eleven million (2017) and an average annual growth of 3%. Population density is over 412 inhabitants per square kilometers, with an urbanization rate of about 10% (the lowest in the world) and a life expectancy of 60 years (2016). The gross national income per capita is  320 USD/year (2017), while the HDI (Human development index – an indicator of macroeconomic development- based on comparison of GDP per capita, literacy and life expetancy of a population) is 0,400, that places Burundi at 181th place on 185 Nations (2017). The average age of the population is less than 17 years. In 2017 the birth rate was 41,3 per thousand, while, in the same year, the mortality rate was 8,8 per thousand. The number of doctors was 0,05 per thousand inhabitants in 2014. It should be noted that the world Health Organization estimates that less of 2,3 health workers (doctors, nurses and midwaves) per 1.000 inhabitants would be insufficient to cover primary health needs. The infant mortality rate (number of children dying under one year of age comparated to live births in the same year) is 58,8 par thousand (2017). Underweight children under 5 years of age (undernourished and/or malnourished) represent about 25%. It is also important to note that, in Burundi, the population has a very strong perception of corruption in public sector and in politics; in fact, according to the Trasparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index ranks, the Republic of Burundi 10th out of 180 countries. There are two official languages, Kirundo, the current language of the population, and French; Catholicism (65%) and Protestantism (20%) are the prevailing religions, but Islam is constantly expanding. The population is composed of three main groups, that share the same language, religion and most of the uses: Hutus, that represent the majority (85%), Tutsis, that are about 15% and TWAs, that are about 1% and very often living marginalized and in very difficult conditions. Burundi gained indipendence from Belgium in 1962 as a constitutional Monarchy and became a Presidential Republic in 1966.

Madagascar , with its 587.000 square kilometres of surface, is the fourth largest island in the world; has a population of more than 25.000.000 (2017), consisting of 18 ethnic groups originally from Asia, Africa and Europe, with an urbanization rate of about 35%, a life expectancy of 63 years and an average annual growth of 2,5% (2017). In 1960 Madagascar gained indipendence from France and became a semi-Presidential Republic. The prevailing religion is the animism, practiced by around 50% of the population. Animism brings together cult practices in which divine or supernatural qualities are attributed to material things, places or objects, such as the practice of reburial of the deceased, named “Famadihana“; about 45% of the population is Christian, while very scarce, but expanding, is the Muslim religion. Because of its geographical location and its distance from the mainland, Madagascar has preserved a large quantity of unique flora and fauna and a great environmental biodiversity, making it one of the most beautiful and interesting places of the planet. Madagascar is also a poor and disadvantaged country, with poor and high-cost basic social services. The gross national income per capita is 440 USD/year ( 2017), while the HDI (Human development index) is 0,519 that places Madagascar at 161th place on 185 Nations (2017). The infant mortality rate (number of children dying under one year of age comparated to live births in the same year) is 41,2 par thousand, while  the Underweight children under 5 years of age (undernourished and/or malnourished) represent about 36,8% (2017). The number of doctors was 0,14 per thousand inhabitants in 2012. Also in Madagascar the population has a very strong perception of corruption in public sector and in politics; in fact, according to the Trasparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perception Index ranks, the Republic of Madagascar 22th out of 180 countries.

Updated on  7 October 2019

Piero Petricca