BUJUMBURA August 29th (ABP) – The Head of State chaired this week the Cabinet meeting during which the government analyzed several points including the memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS of the Republic of Burundi.
The aim of that memorandum of understanding is to strengthen and develop joint and mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of health and medical science on the basis of the friendship between the two parties.
The parties will contribute in particular to development in the fields of infection prevention and control; the training of specialists in the field of health; prevention of non-communicable diseases; protection of mother and child, etc. After discussion and debate, that draft memorandum was adopted.
The board also analyzed a note concerning the increase in share capital at the Burundi Housing Bank (formerly FPHU). The Fund for the Promotion of Urban Housing (FPHU) was created in 1989 with the sole shareholder of the State of Burundi with a share capital of 100 million BIF.
Its main mission was to finance the first housing for executives and agents of the State and parastatal enterprises.
From 1993, the FPHU became a mixed company with a capital of four hundred and nine (409) million BIF distributed among fourteen (14) shareholders.
Currently, it has a capital of thirteen billion nine hundred and thirty-five million six hundred and seventy-five thousand two hundred and ninety-four BIF (13,935,676,294) distributed among 27 shareholders, of which 67.08% belong to the State of Burundi.
In order to promote housing, the government recommended that the Fund be transformed into a Bank, which would enable it to mobilize more resources. That was achieved this year because the Urban Housing Promotion Fund became the “Housing Bank of Burundi” and was approved by the Bank of the Republic of Burundi.
It is in that context that this new bank wishes to mobilize resources to increase its capital, from 13 billion BIF to 20 billion, which will come primarily from the contribution of current or potential shareholders.
The State of Burundi being the promoter and main shareholder, if it wants to maintain 67% of the shares, it is essential to increase its capital by four billion six hundred and ninety-five million six hundred thousand BIF (4,695,600,000) in order to maintain its level of representativeness on the board of directors.
At the end of the analysis of the note, the Cabinet meeting recognized the need for the Fund to become a Bank and made the following observations and recommendations: the process of transfer from the Fund to the Bank was carried out without the State, the main shareholder, has been consulted by its representatives in the fund’s administrative bodies; thus it is necessary to establish the responsibilities for the shortcomings observed in that process.
A detailed note explaining the process of transferring the Fund to the Bank is therefore necessary. It must be ensured that the initial missions of the Fund, namely the promotion of housing, remain the same; get the Bank to actually work to promote housing by lowering the interest rate to make it stand out from commercial banks; ensure that staff meet the necessary conditions required for a Bank.
The Cabinet meeting also analyzed a note on the start-up of the Burundi digital television broadcasting company (STNB).
The government of Burundi and the Chinese company Startimes Communication Network Technology Co Limited have agreed to create a mixed company responsible for the management, operation and maintenance of the digital television network as well as the repayment of the credit contracted by the Burundian government for the establishment of the digital television broadcasting network.
The said company called Burundi digital television broadcasting company (STNB) was actually created in 2015, but is not really functional to date due to the lack of management bodies.
The statutes of that company set its capital at 150 million BIF with shares distributed in proportions of 40% for the State of Burundi and 60% for Startimes.
The total cost of the contract was US $ 32,600,000, a loan contracted by the State of Burundi, which was used to carry out the project.