BUJUMBURA May 28th (ABP) – The Minister of Communication, Information Technologies and Media, Mrs. Marie Chantal Nijimbere, closed on Wednesday May 26, 2021, her trips that she made to telecommunications companies and Internet service providers, namely the BBS (Burundi Backbone System) and the Vietel (Lumitel), a check by ABP revealed.
During his visit to the BBS, Minister Nijimbere indicated that the purpose of the visit was to inquire about the situation of BBS and to be able to visit its various departments. She also recalled that the BBS is an infrastructure operator specializing in the design, construction, technical operation and marketing of networks.
On that occasion, Mrs. Nijimbere praised the work of BBS in this process of budgetary transformation in Burundi as well as the efforts made in the good management of that infrastructure which makes it possible to increase the structure of the Internet in Burundi.
Taking the floor, the Director General of BBS, Mr. Jérémie Hageringwe, thanked the Minister for that visit, stressing that the BBS will continue to collaborate with that ministry. He took the opportunity to recall the role of BBS in Burundi, specifying that the BBS plays a highly strategic role at the national level, in particular the internet service, single gateway, the data transmission service, the internet exchange point as well as the information service.
Minister Nijimbere continued her visit to Vietel Burundi, which is a telecommunications operator in Burundi. To that end, Mrs. Nijimbere said that the Ministry in charge of communication and the Telecommunications Regulation and Control Agency (ARCT) have started a series of visits to telecom operators and internet service providers as part of the week dedicated to World Telecommunications and Information Society Day.
She further specified that the reports of the ARCT and the statistics of the OBR show that the company Vietel Burundi is one of the major taxpayers in the public treasury, which proves their commitment to compliance with tax obligations towards the State of Burundi. In addition, she added, Vietel Burundi and many other telecom operators are also helping to reduce youth unemployment, which is a challenge that haunts a society made up mostly of young people in search for employment. She also stressed that their commitment to the socio-economic development of the country requires further efforts in investment and strengthening of infrastructure.
As for the raised challenges, she added, many are linked to the legal frameworks of the ICT sector which does not keep up with the pace and speed of assessment of new technologies, which is a handicap for the environment of the ICT telecom sector. Others are linked to the economic situation the country has gone through since 2015, which has brought down the exploitation rate to the detriment of imports. The Minister recalled that the various challenges are well known by the sectoral ministry and the regulator. They will reiterate their desire to develop the climate and the business environment in the ICT sector in order to achieve their common vision of accelerating digital transformation in Burundi.
She took that opportunity to cite the recommendations in particular to strengthen accountability and communication to the client in order to reduce complaints against their company, to continue in the strengthening of digital skills in Burundi and to mark a good collaboration with all stakeholders in the ICT sectors.