BUJUMBURA October 1st (ABP) – The director of cabinet of the mayor of the city of Bujumbura, Mr. Jean Bosco Barege, in collaboration with the delegation of the European Union (EU) in Burundi, proceeded Thursday, September 30, to the place of independence, at the inauguration of the open-air exhibition on the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Burundi, the ABP observed on site.
Mr. Barege, who represented the city’s mayor at this open-air exhibition highlighting the work of local civil society organizations, noted that civil society is synonymous with people. If we talk about civil society organizations, we mean groups of people who come together to seek a common interest, he explained.
To that end, the representative of the mayor of the city congratulated the Burundians because, he said, they are beginning to understand that the CSO does not have the objective of fighting the government, but it has rather for mission the development of the population in general and the country in particular. He also congratulated the EU Ambassador to Burundi and his team for that civil society support program in Burundi which aims to support CSOs so that they can keep moving forward. He did not fail to congratulate all the organizations that were exposed to the place of independence, which have a humanitarian heart in their diversity. He also thanked the Association Tuvurwe Neza (ATN), created in 2015 by a group of seven nurses living in Nyabiraba, in Bujumbura province, who work in the health sector. He pointed out that people should think about the development of the country while using the acquired knowledge because, he said, the private sector plays the role of developing the country, while the government plays the role of regulator. He called on the media to act as a link between the administration and the people, since they play a vital role in educating, informing and providing the people with correct information regarding the work of civil society.
The EU ambassador to Burundi, Mr. Claude Bochu, thanked the town hall of Bujumbura, through the chief of staff of the mayor of the city, for his participation in the inauguration of the said exhibition and for making it available locations for the installation of the 27 CSO panels that are the subject of the exhibition for this year.
Civil society in Burundi has a crucial role in the development of the country, stressed the EU Ambassador to Burundi, before pointing out that he was struck by the diversity of this civil society and its dynamism, made up of national organizations, provinces and hills active in the fields of health, education, the environment, the economy, etc.
According to the EU ambassador to Burundi, civil society has a role of alerting, mentoring and supporting the development of the country. He indicated that this civil society support program in Burundi is funded by the EU to the tune of two million euros. Ambassador Bochu ended his remarks by inviting the townspeople to visit the Independence Square which houses that exhibition which will last a whole month, that is to say from September 30 to October 31, which will allow them to know what Burundian civil society is.
For his part, the legal representative of the Village Association for Mutual Aid and Community Development (AVEDEC), Mr. Nestor Mburente, noted that this visit by the representative of the mayor of the city and the EU ambassador in Burundi is encouraging because this association has already worked in partnership with the EU delegation, through four projects at national level. He welcomed the fact that Ambassador Bochu was present to inquire about their achievements, through this exhibition.
Mr. Mburente pointed out that AVEDEC works in some provinces of the country and intervenes in the professional management of water and natural resources, specifying that through this exhibition which promotes visibility to CSOs, AVEDEC will be in contact with other partners, both financial and technical.
After appreciating the organization of the said exhibition, the vice-president of the Education for All Bafashebige coalition, Mr. Cassien Gashirahamwe, said that this coalition is at the service of the people and works in frank collaboration with the ministry in charge.
Note that 26 CSOs covering the themes of the National Development Plan (PND) have been selected by the EU. Their achievements are rooted in areas such as health, agriculture, food security, environment, education, employability, the fight against violence against women, social protection, rural development and governance.