BUJUMBURA January 31st (ABP) – The Minister of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Ezéchiel Nibigira, made trip to the provinces of Bujumbura and Bururi respectively on Friday January 27 and Monday January 30, 2023, checks on the sites by ABP have revealed.
In Bururi, the governor of the province, Col Léonidas Bandenzamaso, said in his welcoming address that Bururi province needs a sports ground, athletics track and a bus to move players to external competitions.
Other questions asked related to the provincial youth council, which has no office, as well as youth centers in the communes and reading centers. The young people grouped within the provincial youth council asked for the opening of a center for submitting projects set up by young people because, until now, the projects are transmitted via Android phones. The other question raised concerns the use of English in the EAC of which Burundi is a member, whereas since the colonial period, the Burundian administration has used the French language, which slows down competition among Burundian nationals. Participants also suggested that sports clubs of Bujumbura travel to the interior of the country. Another issue raised is that related to the protection and sale of works of art.
Responding to all those questions, Minister Nibigira Ezekiel pointed out that the ministry does not contribute to the construction of playgrounds or the purchase of player transport buses, rather he advised administrative officials and natives to contribute to those works. As for the reading centers for young people, Minister Nibigira stressed that it is the communes that must make those infrastructures available and the ministry will be responsible for equipping them.
Minister Nibigira asked Burundians to learn the English language because, he said, Burundians are very competitive in the labor market in the sub-region. Regarding the issue of the sale of works of art, the Minister said that it is up to the Ministry of Trade to take this issue in hand. With regard to Burundians who are often imprisoned in neighboring countries, he asked young people who go to other countries for one reason or another to go there with the necessary documents and the ministry will settle their matter but while being in order.
In Bujumbura province, Governor Désiré Nsengiyumva said that young people in that province do not know how to set up projects that would help them fight against poverty.
Minister Nibigira instead called on young people to set up good projects, to team up in cooperatives, and to apply for loans. He added that the Economic Empowerment and Youth Employment Program (PAEEJ) can help them there. He also announced a training program in English in the services of the State because, English is today used in the region, in the administration, in the trade, to name but a few, and urged the persons in charge of the education to place a lot of importance on English training in schools.
Responding to a speaker who wanted to know the added value of Burundi’s entry into the EAC, the minister said that the first advantage is to be with others in the community. In addition, he mentioned, Burundi has gained a lot, as an example he pointed out that Burundians have had jobs, businessmen do their transactions with reduced taxes, road infrastructure projects (Tanzania-Mugina, Ruhwa-Rwanda) and others.
To the wish to see the Youth Investment Bank (BIJE) extend the loan payment period to six months after the harvest, Minister Nibigira indicated that the concern is justified, and that it will be analyzed by the experts.
Minister Nibigira greatly appreciated the way the provincial youth council works in Bujumbura province and asked that it work in common agreement with the PAEEJ and the provincial secretary of the Provincial Youth Council (CPJ), Longin Hakizimana, promised this collaboration especially in sensitization. He finally urged Burundians to revalue the national language, Kirundi, and use it more and more in meetings and in everyday talk.