Venuste Niyongabo was noticed for the first time in 1992 when he won a silver medal in the 1,500m at the Junior World Championships.


In 1994 and 1995 he became one of the top 1500 m runners in the world, winning several major races. At the World Championships in 1995, he won the bronze medal, finishing behind Noureddine Morceli and Hicham El Guerrouj.


1996 was the summit of his career when he won the gold medal in the Atlanta Olympic Games.


A legend in his country, he is involved in several projects for reconciliation and stability that are taking place in Burundi.

Acting together with Peace and Sport


Friendship Games in the Great Lakes Region of Africa

Since 2010, youth centres in Burundi, DRC, and Rwanda (since 2012) have met for one day each year to compete in sports and official events that symbolize friendship between these two countries.

The Friendship Games bring children together through sport and convey messages of peace as well as raising awareness about topical issues (HIV/AIDS, environmental protection, etc)

- The 1st Burundi-Congolese Friendship Games took place in Rugombo in Cibitoke province (Burundi) in October 2010
- The 2nd Burundi-Congolese Friendship Games were held in Luvungi in the province of South-Kivu (DRC) in August 2011
- The 3rd edition of Great Lakes Friendship Games took place in Gihanga in the Bubanza province of Burundi in July 2012






cpPress releases

- The 3rd Friendship Games: another step forward on the road to peace and stability

- Third Friendship Games taking place in Burundi July 7 & 8

- Sport builds bridges between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo