BUJUMBURA September 28th (ABP) – The Minister of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Mrs. Marie Chantal Nijimbere, proceeded on Monday, September 26, 2022, at the Bujumbura horse club, to the partial closing of the conference East African Community (EAC) Regional Tourism Exhibition, which was organized under the theme “Rethinking Tourism for Socio-Economic Development in the EAC”.
Minister Nijimbere was delighted with the fact that the first part of this event, which offered a meeting space for participants, buyers and investors, ended on a high note, also pointing out that it is for this occasion that the government of Burundi offered cultural evenings to the participants as a way of hospitality and recognition for the contribution of everyone to the success of that event.
As soon as the tourism sector has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is high time for the countries of the East African Community to strengthen the promotion of regional tourism as a unique destination, through the harmonization of policies, strategies as well as legal frameworks to make the EAC an attractive and dynamic region, she underlined.
She recalled that during these three days of the exhibition conference, that is to say from September 24 to 26, 2022, they were able to discover together the natural, physical and cultural tourist potentialities that the region in general and the particular country of origin. The observation is that the exploitation of that potential requires reforms, management of risks and constraints but also the involvement and dynamism of all stakeholders, especially those in the private sector and local communities, she said.
According to her, the observations, suggestions and recommendations associated with this event will enable member countries of the East African community to adopt policies that can create an attractive environment for investment in the tourism sector.
Since the first part of the event has ended, Mrs. Nijimbere specified that the 2nd part will be the familiarization tour on the various tourist sites of Burundi during which will also be celebrated the World Day of Tourism on the site of the sanctuary in Gishora in Gitega province, the political capital of Burundi. She pointed out that the opportunity will be offered to the participants to see and savor the beauty and the natural landscape of Burundi but also to visit the tourist investment offers in Burundi.
She took the opportunity to thank all the delegations who supported, through their physical presence, the second edition of the EAC Regional Tourism Exhibition Conference.
She particularly thanked the Minister in charge of Tourism of the Republic of South Sudan who, despite his busy agenda, held to the commitment of the EAC partner countries during the 10th Council meeting of Sectoral Ministers in charge of Tourism which had recommended bringing high-level country delegations to the 2nd tourism exhibition conference in Bujumbura.
She did not fail to thank the EAC General Secretariat and GIZ for their multifaceted support, without forgetting the partners and sponsors who supported the holding of this event in Bujumbura as well as the members of the organizing committee who spared no effort to make this historic event a success.
The South Sudanese Minister in charge of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Mr. Rizik Zakaria Hassan, positively appreciated the holding of this 2nd exhibition conference on the tourism sector. He was delighted to have participated in this event with his delegation composed of 27 participants from the various South Sudanese ministries.
Thus, he presented gifts to the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, to the Burundian Minister in charge of Tourism and President of this event as well as to the Secretary General of the EAC for their leadership and commitment to the promotion of the tourism sector within the community.
The gift from the Burundian Head of State was received by the Burundian Minister in charge of Tourism, while that of the Secretary General of the EAC was received by his representative at this exhibition conference, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana.
Note that the theme that was developed by the various panelists, including the legal representative of the organization Visit Burundi, Mr. Bruce Niyonzima, was centered on the promotion of the tourism sector within the region, where they recommended to the governments of EAC Partner States to promote bilateral exchanges of tourists among themselves.