BUJUMBURA November 12th (ABP) – The Burundi Head of State, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye visiting the United Arab Emirates on Wednesday delivered a speech on the occasion of the Burundi National Day ceremonies during the Dubai World Expo, “Expo 2020 Dubai”.
According to him, the Dubai Expo “Expo 2020 Dubai” is an international event with the objectives of educating the public, promoting progress, increasing trade cooperation and sustainable development on planet earth. It is the largest meeting place for economic operators in the world, bringing together representatives of States, the private sector, civil society and the general public around interactive exhibitions, shows, workshops, conferences, the tourism industry and much more.
It is therefore an interesting event for several reasons: Firstly, by its theme “Connecting Minds, Building the Future”, with three sub-themes: mobility, sustainability, economic development and job opportunities; which fits well with Burundi’s concerns.
Secondly, according to the Burundian Head of State, the “Expo 2020 Dubai” Exhibition constitutes an opportunity to show what Burundi has in particular and which could interest the international community, in particular the investment potential, the tourism potential, economic potential and cultural specificities.
Thus, this event constitutes a platform for international cooperation and sharing of the latest technologies and innovative applications to preserve nature and improve our lives. He took this opportunity to present the potential of Burundi. He mentioned that Burundi has great potential in digital infrastructure, thanks to a national fiber optic mesh network, the densest in Sub-Saharan Africa which has opened up it digitally to Tanzania and Kenya via the cable under -Marin, traveling all the provinces of the country. In Burundi, optical fiber is currently throughout the country, an important asset for the digital economy in this modern digital world.
In addition, Burundi is full of many business opportunities in the ICT sector with a young population of over 12 million inhabitants, with more than 95% mobile coverage and so on. However, he stressed that access to terminals remains a challenge, with an internet penetration rate of 10.3%.
To be able to achieve the necessary changes in approach to advance with new technologies including the 5th Generation, Evariste Ndayishimiye mentioned that the government of Burundi has on its agenda the continual improvement of the business climate in the ICT sector by implementing proper regulatory framework and strategies to facilitate access to terminals.
Regarding the cultural richness of Burundi, he stressed that thanks to its cultural values of ancestral heritage, the country is not an isolated state even if it is geographically disadvantaged by its remoteness from seas and oceans.
Indeed, the life of Burundi as a nation-State is always associated with the cultural foundations that have built it since time immemorial. Those are only the result of a transmission of the cultural heritage from generation to generation. They are made up of both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, witnesses of the creative and innovative genius of the Burundians’ mastery of the natural environment and of traditional know-how in the face of daily vicissitudes.
In ancient times, the Burundians were already familiar with art and crafts based mainly on the iron, pottery and handicrafts industry. Through the heritage from father to son, these artistic activities are still relevant today and today they allow us to be proud of them in exhibitions of works of art organized at local, regional and international level, an opportunity for our country to establish intercultural exchanges with the rest of the world, he stressed; adding that Burundi is full of a set of elements of living heritage, scattered throughout the national territory. As such, the Burundian drum is now part of the intangible heritage of humanity, which further enriches Burundian culture.
He did not forget to point out other positive cultural values which are fundamental elements constituting the unity and sovereignty of the Burundian nation which touch and advocate wisdom, respect, heroism, unity, bravery, justice, patriotism, honor, courage, love, sharing, solidarity. Those same intrinsic values of the Burundians resulted in a failure to conquer the country by powerful Germany, at the time of European imperialism at the end of the 19th century, for a period of seven years. This set of values builds and facilitates us today to maintain effective friendly relations with the people of the East African Community, Africa and the whole world.
At the same time, the Head of State praised the beauty of Burundi by its relief and its mild climate, which granted it the privilege of being called “Country of a thousand and one villages”, the Switzerland of Africa, or the heart of Africa. The architectural civilization in the vault of royal residences offers special attention to tourists. In addition, the natural forests of Kibira, Kigwena, the Rukoko nature reserve, the Ruvubu and Rusizi park generally embody cultural aspects which add the pleasant to the useful in terms of the tourist offer, according to the Head of State.
He did not forget to relate the beauty of Lake Tanganyika, a reservoir of fresh water with a rich and varied flora and fauna, the Northern Lakes known as “Bird lakes” which are a paradise which serves as a place of stay for birds from Europe fleeing the cold of Winter, the southernmost source of the Nile River, Karera Falls, the Germans’ faults. All those assets constitute, ultimately, an important potential for the socioeconomic development of the region, being the link between East and West Africa and between North Africa and the South African part, added the head of state.
In the area of trade and investment, he stressed that Burundi meets all the conditions conducive to economic operators wishing to come to invest in Burundi in the sectors of agricultural transformation, the mining sector, the energy sector, industrial fishing, infrastructure sector.
He did not forget to point out that Burundi has other assets, in particular a dynamic youth who are very interested in cultural and creative industries, a vast Common Market of the East African Community, EAC, capable of stimulating creativity and thus increase the production of artistic and literary works, in quality and quantity on the one hand, and the mobility of creators on the other hand
He ended his remarks with a commitment from the government of Burundi to do everything in its power to develop, maintain and fruit the ties of friendship and win-win cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and Burundi in all fields of activity.