BUJUMBURA June 13th (ABP) – The Government of Burundi through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation and the Delegation of the European Union to Burundi organized Friday, June 10, 2022 in Bujumbura, the ceremonies marking the day cooperation between Burundi and the European Union for its first edition.
In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Ambassador Albert Shingiro first welcomed the multifaceted and multidimensional support that development partners continue to provide to support the socio-economic development of Burundi and its people. That member of the government recalled that the celebration of the day of cooperation between Burundi and the European Union comes a few months after the lifting of the economic sanctions which had been imposed on Burundi in the wake of 2015. It also comes at a time when the he European Union and Burundi are in the process of strengthening and diversifying the relations of friendship and cooperation in order to make up for the delay recorded.
According to Minister Shingiro, the cooperation day is a showcase that shows how cooperation based on trust and mutual understanding improves the lives of beneficiary populations. He did not fail to note that young people who constitute the majority of the Burundian population are the target of this activity, also explaining that these young people are the backbone of the fight against poverty and the building of inclusive societies.
Ambassador Shingiro also commends the fact that the European Union has placed particular emphasis on supporting entrepreneurship in the agricultural sector, with the aim of contributing to the creation of added value and jobs in rural areas, in conjunction with the priorities of the Burundian government, including the agricultural sector.
He ended his speech by wishing that the various visits of friendship and solidarity be reactivated. He also asked to review the dynamism of the past proudly displayed by the parties concerned at the time of the programming and execution of cooperation projects, to capitalize on the major achievements resulting from direct support in the development sectors, to engage in fruitful discussions within the bilateral monitoring or intergovernmental negotiation commissions, and finally to relaunch the discussion framework to complete the security sector development program which was on the right track.
The Ambassador of the European Union Mr. Claude Bochu also indicated that Burundi and the European Union have started a new phase of their partnership. The resumption and intensification of political dialogue since the beginning of 2021 have made it possible to deepen the normalization of relations and thus to consider new prospects for cooperation and partnership. He pointed out that the “Europe team” brings together all the European actors who can play a role in the partnership for development with Burundi. He cited the European institutions, the 27 Member States of the European Union and in particular Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France which are represented in Bujumbura and added the financial institutions such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the member state development banks.
According to Mr. Bochu, the Europe team, in close consultation with the authorities, supports the country’s efforts through numerous cooperation programs. He listed the health sector, education, culture, energy, infrastructure, rural development, governance, justice, support for civil society and the environment. Thanks to a joint strategic vision, the European Union supports several axes of the PND 2018-2027.
The Ambassador of the European Union did not forget to mention that between 2015 and 2021, the Europe team contributed 33% of support from development partners, i.e. more than 900 million euros. He promised that the European Union will remain a reliable and first-rate friend for Burundi through its “sustainable and diversified partnership.”
Note that the celebration of the day of cooperation between Burundi and the European Union was an opportunity to visit the various stands where we had made the exhibition of the various projects (of the various sectors) financed by the Union. European Union, and the ceremonies took place in the presence of heads of diplomatic missions of EU Member States, Burundi’s development partners, representatives of Member States’ NGOs operating in Burundi and others.