BUJUMBURA April 4th (ABP) – Burundians appreciate the Doha Program of Action on the Least Developed Countries recently adopted by the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), evidenced by comments collected from certain information sources that have spoken about one or the other priority of the program.
Indeed, the Doha Program of Action has six priority areas of action for LDCs. “In environmental terms, the Doha Program of Action on LDCs could finance intensive agroforestry, including forest trees with multiple uses and which can lend themselves to massive growth,” environmental engineer Elias Niyongabo said. According to him, this agroforestry would gradually slow down water erosion of the soil. This situation would make it possible to recover the fertility of Burundian soils which is being lost at high speed, he pointed out. He added that trees have an extreme resilience to climate change, hence in terms of climate change resilience, the Doha program could contribute to reforestation.
Dr. Franck Ndorukwigira believes that the opening of the country to various expanded vaccination programs and various health programs will be possible with the Doha program of action. He also hopes that the program will help the government of Burundi to strengthen the center of emergency operations in public health in Burundi (COUSP) in order to prevent epidemics in advance. It will also contribute to studies to counter certain epidemics before they occur, he continued to say. Thanks to the Doha program of action, he insisted, the Expanded Program on Immunization in Burundi (EPI) will be strengthened. Dr Ndorukwigira believes, however, that the intervention of the Doha program of action in health matters will be unprecedented. Here, he evokes the patient care capacity which will be strengthened, the acquisition of new equipment, new vaccines and new health experts, which will improve the health system of Burundians. “With the Doha program of action, we will see a resilient Burundi from the point of view of health, which will allow the growth of national production”, he concluded.
Speaking about the first priority, Mr. Kervin Ndihokubwayo, an expert in economics and professor at the University of Burundi, defines human capital as the set of productive capacities that an individual acquires by accumulating general or specific knowledge. These abilities are linked in particular to the state of health and knowledge. According to him, faced with this world characterized by uncertainty, it is no longer enough to produce only a large quantity, but rather a large quantity of good quality and meeting the needs and the context of the environment of the countries. To achieve this, human capital is the remedy in order to convey innovation. Investing in those capacities is therefore essential for developing countries, including Burundi, which needs to catch up with other countries in terms of development, hence the Doha program of action on the least developed countries is topical as just one of the strategies to promote inclusive growth.
For Mr. Vénuste Ntirampaga, Director General of the Complex for the Promotion of Biodiversity (COPROBI), speaking in relation to the 5th priority: “My wish is that the Doha program of action would support Burundi in the drawing up and implementation of the policy as well as capacity building. It would also support the planning and implementation of a landscape approach across all economic sectors by targeting development challenges at the right scale,” he said. He also indicates that the Doha Program of Action fits well with the environmental policy of the Government of Burundi, which, with the support of the World Bank, has already undertaken a Burundi Landscape Restoration and Resilience Project (PRRPB).
With this project, he continued to say, the goal of the Government of Burundi is to restore land productivity in degraded landscapes, through institutional development and capacity building for the restoration and resilience of the Burundian landscape. The project also targets the management practices of the same landscape by controlling erosion, controlling agricultural production in order to fight against malnutrition, improving the management of protected areas and nature reserves. Mr. Ntirampaga believes that this program comes in a context where the effects of climate change continue to cause material and human damage both in Burundi and around the world.
Practically, the Doha Program of Action comes at a time when the government of Burundi has already undertaken actions oriented in the same direction as the 6 priorities of the latter. It has a National Development Program (PND 2018-2027), it set up the Youth Economic Empowerment and Employment Program (PAEEJ), the Youth Investment Bank (BIJ) and the Investment and Development Bank for Women (BIDF). Burundi also has an “Ewe Burundi urambaye” project, a national reforestation program extending over 7 years, as part of environmental protection.