GITEGA October 1st (ABP) – The work of the 9th General Assembly of the Platform of Local Authorities of the Great Lakes Countries (PALPGL), organized over two days under the theme “Cities, Entrepreneurship, Innovation”, ended on Wednesday on September 29 on a feeling of appreciation for a positive step marked by young and female entrepreneurs and innovators.
The local authorities of the Great Lakes countries who participated in these meetings are committed to improving the supervision of young and women entrepreneurs and innovators who play an undeniable role in promoting the economic empowerment of their families and, consequently, contribute to the development of their countries.
During those meetings, the representatives of young and women entrepreneurs from the Great Lakes countries
(Burundi, Rwanda and DRC) exchanged experiences on innovative projects already carried out or underway in their countries to promote their economic empowerment and also to make cities cleaner and more attractive. A number of innovative projects by young people and women in these three countries mark considerable progress in the promotion of information and communication technologies. Those include the company GASAPE (social networking) initiated by Gateka Saxe Perry which created the radio and television Humuriza FM in the province of Gitega.
Other young people are showing their visibility in innovative projects to transform biodegradable waste into combustible briquettes and organic manure in Burundi, Rwanda and the DRC. Another young person from the town of Gitega, Didace Baranderetse, has set up a SOPRAV company which designs and manufactures poultry egg incubators. Miss Kathia Gretta Irankunda, a native of the city of Gitega, undertook, in January 2021, the project to transform water hyacinth (an invasive plant in Lake Tanganyika) into woven objects, such as bags and tablecloths. Other young people have undertaken sanitation projects in their towns, including installing public trash cans and building ecological latrines.
For their part, the women leaders presented their innovative projects marked in particular by the promotion of handicrafts, the manufacture of shoes and the supervision of young entrepreneurs.
Those young people and women have undertaken these innovative projects with the objective of providing answers to the challenges facing many cities in the Great Lakes countries, including poor waste management, unsanitary conditions leading to endemic diseases, high unemployment, deforestation and deforestation. Those projects have already provided answers to these challenges, such as improving the cleanliness of the city, creating jobs, manufacturing local products which are cheaper compared to imported products and protecting the environment.
The participants appreciated the emergence of the varied talents of young and female entrepreneurs. However, they deplored the low level of supervision of young people and women entrepreneurs. They therefore recommended that local authorities provide effective supervision for those entrepreneurs and sensitize the population to consume local products and to respect copyright.
For their part, young people and women entrepreneurs were invited to respect the different stages of project design and to break the tendency of wanting to start their projects with substantial financial means, as some tend to do.
The 9th PALPGL General Assembly elected the mayor of the city of Bujumbura, Mr. Jimmy Hatungimana, as chairman of the PALPGL board. That Assembly also elected the other members of the new PALPGL board of directors.
In his closing speech, the governor of Gitega province, Mr. Venant Manirambona, congratulated the new managers of the PALPGL while wishing them every success in the accomplishment of their missions. He also recommended the implementation of the recommendations formulated during these meetings to move forward in promoting the policy of empowering young people and women entrepreneurs.
The new leader of PALPGL, Mr. Jimmy Hatungimana, has pledged his availability to better fulfill that new responsibility.