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Signing of grant agreements for three new projects funded by the AfDB and the EU

ByWebmaster

Aug 14, 2022

BUJUMBURA August 11th (ABP) – The Government of Burundi represented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Domitien Ndihokubwayo, the AfDB represented by Mr. Pascal Yembiline and the EU represented by Ambassador Claude Bochu, signed on Tuesday, August 9, 2022 in Bujumbura, grant agreements for three new projects funded by the AfDB and the EU.

Minister Ndihokubwayo announced in his speech that it is the development project of the transport corridor on Lake Tanganyika-phase I which concerns the rehabilitation of the port of Bujumbura. He specified that this project will improve the regional transport network to stimulate trade and contribute to the economic growth of the region with the amount of funding, which amounts to 19,700,000 euros for a three-year period of execution. The second agreement concerns the project to strengthen post-pandemic resilience and participation in the ZLECAF (African Continental Free Trade Area) through the development of the capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises and the private sector in countries in transition (BURUNDI, COMOROS, ZAMBIA and SIERRA LEONE).

Mr. Ndihokubwayo also pointed out that this co-financing agreement granted by the EU for the effective implementation of the first project, with an amount of 2,200,000 UC (Universal Currency) aims at the development of the private sector of the target countries, the improved regional trade volumes and revenues.

The third project concerns emergency agricultural production in Burundi. As Mr. Ndihokubwayo indicated, it aims to strengthen the food security of the people of Burundi in the face of the global crisis which has been aggravated by the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. The amount of financing is 4,000,000 UC over a period of two years.

According to the minister in charge of finance in Burundi, the expected results are very consistent and aligned with the priorities listed in the National Development Plan. He thanked the AfDB and the EU for their multiple interventions and called on the other partners and friends of Burundi to follow suit, in order to provide support for the achievement of the objectives of the PND 2018-2027, whose new action plan is currently being updated.

The Head of Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Claude Bochu, said that a modernized port of Bujumbura would allow Burundi to no longer remain on the sidelines of contributing but also to fully benefit from the positive effects of regional integration. He indicated that the donation of 20 M€ from the EU which is retroceded to the government of Burundi and in a way sublimated since the AfDB adds more than 17 M€ to it, is the result of a set of concerted actions in favor of the development of corridors and infrastructures in Burundi and in Africa.

Indeed, the EU is convinced of the importance of infrastructure as a strategic tool for development, he said, meaning that the EU has been involved in the Bujumbura port development project since 2018, because the strategic importance for Burundi and the other riparian countries of the Lake. The potential of Lake Tanganyika still remains largely untapped.

The head of the European Union delegation pointed out that the rehabilitation and modernization of the port of Bujumbura and its access roads are a unique opportunity to acquire infrastructures with a regional vocation, which are resilient and respectful of the environment. He promised that the EU will continue to provide its expertise and contribution to the success of that project and to Burundi’s development efforts.