GITEGA March 9th (ABP) – The Youth Economic Empowerment and Employment Program (PAEEJ) officially launched its activities in Gitega province (central Burundi) on Monday, March 7, 2022. That was also the opportunity to explain the mission and vision of PAEEJ-Burundi to the heads of youth cooperatives in all the communes of Gitega province.
In his speech, the PAEEJ coordinator at the national level, Mr. Désiré Manirakiza, indicated that more than 72% of the Burundians are under the age of 35 and that they are mostly unemployed. Therefore, he said that currently the government is not able to hire all young people, but that this problem appears even in other countries of the world.
He invited young people to make that economic empowerment and youth employment program their own, and to take the opportunity to develop development projects for self-development. Therefore, he told them that the PAEEJ will give them low-interest loans according to their categories. He indicated that these young people are classified in three categories including the category of farmers and breeders, that of young people who have big projects and the last category which includes young associated entrepreneurs.
According to Mr. Manirakiza, the first and second category will benefit from interest-free refundable credits while the third will repay it with 7% interest as is done in the investment bank for young people BIJE. According to him, the 1st category will take out a loan of 5 to 10 million francs while the second and third will have a loan of 10 to 100 million francs each. He also said that each cooperative must have 20 members and will benefit from 300 chicks, the main objective being that at the end of this year, each cooperative will have 1000 (one thousand) hens and that the PAEEJ will get them the market.
The national coordinator of PAEEJ explained that to be a member of the youth cooperative, you must be unemployed, residing on the hill and be between 16 and 40 years old. He also pointed out that members of the same biological family or spouses cannot join the same cooperative. Partisan or ethnic criteria are excluded. Rather, gender equality is encouraged.
In his welcoming speech, the administrator of Gitega commune Dr. Jacques Nduwimana, revealed that this commune registers more than 8000 young people, the majority of whom are looking for work. Nevertheless, he said that some of them have already changed their mentality and have already understood that they must develop the spirit of creativity themselves. It was an opportunity for him to congratulate those who have already made innovations, in particular by producing coal and chalk.
Speaking, the chief of staff of the governor of Gitega province, Mr. Gérard Nibigira indicated that the fight against poverty is a national fight. He called on young people to join others in combining their efforts to fight this enemy, according to the appeal launched by the President of the Republic Evariste Ndayishimiye.
According to him, the youth of Gitega province does not contract loans in the youth bank compared to young people from other provinces. He challenged them to be good examples by developing profitable projects to present in the program of economic empowerment and employment of young people for loan.
Note that the members of the cooperatives who will benefit from the basic loan (chicks) will be trained in modern chicken farming in the headquarters of their communes, but that each cooperative will build its own chicken coop.