BUJUMBURA January 3rd (ABP) – On the occasion of the New Year 2022, the President of the Republic, Mr. Évariste Ndayishimiye, addressed, on December 31, 2021, a message to the Nation. He was in the Ntare Rushatsi House and in the presence of the members of the government, representatives of the diplomatic and consular corps, national and international organizations.
The President of the Republic immediately announced that the year 2022 will be placed on the sign of agricultural development as “agriculture is the source of the country’s wealth”. He expressed his satisfaction with what is being done in the area of agriculture. Despite this, he meant that shortcomings have been noted in this sector and that actions have been taken to address them. The President of the Republic indicated that Burundi will be considered as a country on the way to development as all Burundians and entrepreneurs have undertaken and invested in agricultural projects.
In addition to agriculture, the President of the Republic has indicated that other sectors will be supported during the year 2022.
Regarding good governance, he indicated that the government is considering the decentralization of ministerial services to the level of communes.
In the judicial field, the President of the Republic recommended to the heads of courts of law, courts and prosecutors’ offices to defend the interests of the country by ensuring that everyone is answerable for their actions. To that end, he announced that with the exception of inmates who have been convicted of murder or life threatening, other inmates who have been convicted of embezzlement or theft will appear free. With regard to the latter, the President of the Republic specified that the objective will be to make them pay for what they have embezzled, specifying that the government will no longer pay in lieu of those who are guilty.
In terms of international cooperation, he said, entering the year 2022 coincides with an approach of good relations with the international community. In that regard, President Ndayishimiye indicated that Burundi had new friends, specifying that Burundi will continue this momentum. Regarding relations with the European Union, the President of the Republic indicated that talks have not yet been concluded but are at a satisfactory level. According to the President of the Republic, what is interesting is that the European Union is the 2nd largest contributor in development projects after the World Bank.
In the economic field, the President of the Republic is delighted that large-scale projects are underway, in particular the construction of roads, health facilities, schools and energy projects. He acknowledged that the road to economic development is still long, as those projects require the commitment of the government by applying for loans from international financial institutions. Thus, he said it is necessary that the State coffers be bailed out in order to finance those projects, thanking the taxpayers who raise those coffers.
In his message to the Nation, the President of the Republic provided a series of advice calling on the Burundians to keep peace and tighten security while remaining mobilized at work.
He called on people to protect the environment by growing fruit trees in plots and in urban areas, but also by combating erosion by drawing contour lines. He insisted on the leadership of the grassroots administrative officials so that those activities are fully implemented.
The President of the Republic also insisted on transparency in the financial management of state-owned enterprises, calling on them to report financial statements through rigorous accounting. President Ndayishimiye insisted on synergy in the fight against corruption and economic embezzlement, as well as the rigorous monitoring of public finances, not to mention the fight against irregular trade.
The Head of State called on Burundians still in exile to return home to join other Burundian citizens in the country’s development work. He also recommended to Burundian intellectuals to roll up their sleeves and give their all for the development of their country; and dissociate oneself from behavior that does not honor them.
He took the opportunity to say thank you to the international organizations which support Burundi in its development.
He expressed his gratitude to the local organizations that support Burundians in hard times. President Ndayishimiye also expressed his gratitude to the members of the government who have changed their working methods and who are currently working to serve the population. In addition, the President of the Republic thanked the journalists who are “the eyes, the ears and the mouths of the population”, indicating that they transmit to the Burundians constructive messages which help them in their development.