BUJUMBURA July 4th (ABP) – The Cabinet analyzed the strategy of modernization and operationalization of the Burundi Bureau of Standardization and Quality Control (BBN).
In 2018, Burundi adopted a National Development Plan which constitutes the reference framework for the State’s economic policy. As part of the contribution of its implementation in its axis which aims to support the private and public sectors for the promotion of exports, the rationalization of imports and the protection of consumers, a strategy of modernization and operationalization of the BBN, accreditation of its laboratories and certification of its services must be set up. It aims to improve analyses and quality control. It is in this perspective that this strategy has been drawn up, based mainly on the current inventory as well as the analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is from these data that the objectives, priority strategic activities and expected results for the revitalization of the BBN were identified.
The immediate needs in human resources, material and equipment have been inventoried. The vision of that strategy is that by 2027, the BBN will have certified services and accredited laboratories in order to ensure the credibility and competitiveness of certified products on the national, regional and international markets, and to allow the protection of consumers. The overall objective is to contribute to the socio-economic development of Burundi by increasing the competitiveness of local products and consumer protection through the strengthening of BBN services. The strategic action plan drawn up for the modernization and operationalization of the BBN will be implemented over three years, with an estimated budget of six million US dollars.
After discussion and debate, the Strategy was passed with the recommendations of working in synergy with the other entities concerned by certification and, if necessary, setting up a single multifunctional national laboratory; set up norms and standards at the sanitary, phytosanitary, plant and animal levels and ensure their application, provide the BBN with sufficient and competent staff as well as the necessary equipment required, carry out budgeting by financial year budget and express the budget in Burundi francs.
The Cabinet also studied a note on the state of implementation of the concession contract signed between the State of Burundi and the project company “SARAKO Sprl”. The government of Burundi has entered into a public-private partnership contract for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of two solar power plants in Bubanza (10 MW) and Gitega (10 MW) with the Tauber Solar Holding GmbH group in joint venture with SARAKO PVP Co. Ltd, dated September 14, 2014. Subsequently, that group submitted amendments to the signed contract, in particular the transfer of the concession contract to the group TS Mauritius GmbH and Sarako management (Africa) Ltd, shareholder in the project company “SARAKO Burundi Sprl” which will be the new concessionaire, as well as on certain provisions of the concession contract. After analyzing those amendments, the Government of Burundi authorized the transfer of the concession contract to the new concessionaire, as well as the modification of certain provisions of the concession contract. Unfortunately, the observation is that there is an excessive and unjustified delay in the effective implementation of the concession contract, because the commissioning of the two power plants was twelve months, a period counted from the date of approval of the concession contract.
Furthermore, the exploitation of that concession contract would pose problems for the following reasons: The tariff of 0.25 USD per KWh is too high if one refers to other energy contracts in progress, the REGIDESO cannot support this tariff, the exemption from taxes to the concessionaire violates the law on the general regime of public-private partnership contracts, the contract does not provide for the mechanism for transferring the plant at the end of the contract.
The purpose of the note is to request the approval of the Cabinet to proceed with the termination of that concession contract to release the sites to other partners justifying the technical and financial means for the construction of the two power plants. At the end of the analysis, the Cabinet recommended ensuring that all the steps and legal mechanisms necessary to terminate the contract have been respected and asked that the file be brought back to the Cabinet Meeting.