BUJUMBURA November 17th (ABP) – The Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, in collaboration with stakeholders in the entrepreneurial sector including Burundi business incubator (BBIN), the embassy of the Netherlands, the European Union, the Ambassador of Egypt and other technical and financial partners of the government, organized Monday, November 15, 2021 in Bujumbura, the celebration of World Entrepreneurship Week for the 2021 edition, for young entrepreneurs under the theme: “Young entrepreneurs, what needs, what support”.
In his opening remarks, the director general of sports and culture within the said ministry, Mr. Samuel Niyubahwe, first recalled that the youth should not be considered as the target of their intervention but should be considered as a key stakeholder and its significant participation in the development of solutions and promoted decision-making. He added that the first steps in that perspective have already been initiated by the President of the Republic of Burundi where he organizes dialogues and sessions to develop solutions around the challenges faced by youth.
On the same occasion, he invited the other partners to follow the good example of Dutch cooperation and follow the step already taken by the government of Burundi with the ambition of creating 250,000 jobs for young people in the years to come, and this requires the combined effort of all the players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to achieve that.
He invited the youth to no longer practice the policy of the outstretched hand but rather to roll up their sleeves and put their hands in their paws. According to him, a challenge is for the entrepreneur what fuel is for the car, and clarified that a large number of solutions to their challenges are already in their hands and in their capacities to analyze and understand the environment in which they operate.
At the end of his speech, he thanked the partners who came together to organize such an activity, in particular the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which is an actor which is promoting the synergy and complementarity of interventions.
A mapping of the entrepreneurial ecosystem was recently carried out and the results will be used in the quest for a good coordination of the interventions of the partners via the sectorial group dedicated to it which will restart soon. He promised that the ministry in charge of youth will spare no effort to support young people and create an environment conducive to the development of solutions as well as their economic activities.
The Executive Director at BBIN, Mr. Pierre Claver Nduwumwami, said that the field of entrepreneurship faces many challenges including limited knowledge in business management, business start-ups, production techniques, technologies, lack of equipment, lack of start-up funds, lack of market to sell their products, competition from other countries such as China and others.
He also stressed that entrepreneurship is the power that forces you to earn income, pay taxes and create jobs, especially at this time when we have the market across Africa, explaining that young Burundians should produce on the African market not only on the Burundian market.
Entrepreneurial Week, he said, is an opportunity for young people, management partners and government to realize that it is the right thing to do.
The Deputy Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Burundi said the private sector and entrepreneurship are major forces of innovation and the engine of economic development.
She also stressed that strengthening the private sector and developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem is not the work of a single entity or of a particular generation. It requires the involvement of several actors. She also invited young people to freely express their needs as the theme indicates and let it be known that the mapping of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Burundi will make it possible to understand who is already there, who is already doing what, and what is the stone that lack in the edifice to achieve real change.
One of the young people who were present in that activity underlined the wish to have a ministry responsible only for entrepreneurship, arguing that in Burundi, entrepreneurship belongs to the different ministries including the Ministry of Commerce and that of Youth, which he said is a challenge. He also pointed out the instability of the Burundian currency, entrepreneurship which is poorly conceived by some Burundians, the insufficient capacity of teachers who teach the entrepreneurship course in schools, the cost of registering a new business in the API which is still high and the like.
He took the opportunity to call on the government to lower the fees for registering a new business. Note that the ceremonies ended with a visit to the stands of the products of a sales exhibition organized by young entrepreneurs from November 15 to 20.