The World Bank is concerned by the level of corruption in Burundi, which has been identified as one of the Top 10 most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency International.

Bujumbura - The World Bank is concerned by the level of corruption in Burundi, perceived to be one of the globe's most corrupt nations, a senior official from the institution said on Sunday.

“This worries us,” Obiageli Ezekwesili, vice-president for the World Bank's Africa region, told reporters referring to Burundi's ranking among the top 10 most corrupt countries by watchdog Transparency International.

“Corruption is a tax on the poor, and for us, the antidote to corruption would be transparency and accountability,” said Ezekwesili during a press conference following a three-day visit to the tiny Central African nation.

Ezekwesili, who held talks with Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza along with members of the private sector and civil society, urged authorities to take measures to fight and punish corruption so “public resources are used efficiently in order to meet the needs of the poor”.

Considered among the world's poorest countries, Burundi has only recently emerged from a devastating civil war that shattered its economy.

Currently Burundi has a three percent growth rate - the same as its demographic growth - while Ezekwesili estimated it needed a seven percent growth rate to reduce poverty. - Sapa-AFP