BUJUMBURA September 15th (ABP) – Under the patronage of the Minister of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Mrs. Marie Chantal Nijimbere, the Enterprise Development Center (CDE) in the Great Lakes region, The Burundi Development Agency, ADB and the Federal Chamber of Trade and Industry of Burundi (CFCIB) held on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, in Bujumbura, its 5th edition of the 2023 economic summit under the theme “Private sector, pillar of economic emergence”, with a view to reflecting on the experiences here and elsewhere in relation to the policies and strategies of economic emergence developed by both local and international facilitators.
This summit also saw the participation of other members of the government including the Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs, Alain Tribert Mutabazi, the Secretary General of the Insurance Regulation and Control Agency (ARCA), Dr. Joseph Butore, academicians, reformers, parliamentarians, businessmen and women and many other development actors.
In the opening remarks of the activities of the said summit, Minister Nijimbere indicated that the government of the Republic of Burundi, through the leadership of the President of the Republic, Evariste Ndayishimiye, is strongly committed to supporting economic, legal and institutional, aimed at supporting the country’s economy with a view to improving the well-being of the Burundian population.
She noted that this 5th edition of the Economic Summit 2023, which is being held at a time when Burundi is experiencing economic shocks, following the period of the Covid-19 pandemic and following the Russo-Ukrainian war, gives participants an opportunity to develop a better understanding of what we need to do to make our economies more resilient to climate change, pandemics and potential conflicts.
“No one doubts that the private sector is an essential lever for the emergence of a country,” underlined Minister Nijimbere. Thus, she indicated that the vision Burundi emerging in 2040 and developed in 2060, places an important place on reforms aimed at improving the business climate and attracting more investments for sectors that bring economic growth such as agriculture. , agro-industry, health, education, tourism, infrastructure, energy and mining, and others.
Given that current statistics show that Burundi is a net importer, Minister Nijimbere proposed that to change the situation and reverse the trend, we must, together with the private sector, promote small and medium-sized industries as well as small and medium-sized businesses and startups, as part of the diversification of the Burundian economy.
For his part, the Director General of the ADB, Mr. Didace Ngendakumana, revealed that the private sector provides around 80% of employment in developing countries. The body promoting and facilitating local and foreign investments as well as exports recognizes that the dynamic private sector constitutes a powerful engine of job creation, one of the foundations of sustainable economic growth, a vector of innovation and poverty reduction, he added.
According to the president of the CFCIB, Olivier Suguru, Burundi is full of immense potential but which remains unexploited, the ground is still virgin in all areas. “The CDE Great Lakes deserves to be congratulated for having initiated such a framework of debate and exchange between leaders of state institutions, academia and the private sector, so that they can identify economic reforms that could stimulate the private sector development,” he proposed.
The CDE Great Lakes is a Think-Tank (private think tank which produces studies on social themes for the benefit of decision-makers) which contributes to reducing barriers to prosperity in Burundi as well as to improving life, thanks to innovative economic research that leads to policies and practices, among political decision-makers and public opinion, explained the director general of the Think-Tank, Aimable Manirakiza.
According to international experts such as the vice-president of Atlas Network (America), Pifer Casey and Hicham EL MOUSSAOUI of the Moroccan Think-Tank, if Asian countries have succeeded in developing their economies, Africa can also do so. We then need commitment, motivation, local knowledge, without forgetting cultural appropriation, because this can make the implementation of programs successful or unsuccessful. It is always interesting to draw inspiration from the experiences of others, they insisted.
All the speakers who enhanced the work of the Burundi Economic Summit 2023 placed particular emphasis on the contribution of the private sector for the effective implementation of the vision of the President of the Republic Evariste Ndayishimiye: Burundi emerges in 2040 and developed in 2060. Note that the Burundi Economic Summit is one of the activities of the week called Freedom Week organized each year by the CDE Great Lakes, in partnership with the ADB and the CFCIB.