BUJUMBURA November 3rd (ABP) – The president of the Observatory for the fight against Corruption and economic embezzlement, OLUCOME, Mr. Gabriel Rufyiri, indicated Thursday, November 2, 2023, during a press conference, that the deficiency of foreign exchange comes mainly from the low production of export products.
Mr. Rufyiri said that in the past Burundi mainly exported coffee and tea. Those products brought in a lot of foreign currency which helped Burundi to cover almost all imports without problem and had reserves. But currently, he said, they observe a trade balance which remains in deficit following a fall in production of those industrial crops, namely coffee, cotton and other crops as well as the mining sector, which could bring currencies in the country.
Therefore, given that currencies are the key to purchasing all basic necessities abroad, OLUCOME asked the government to make the Bank of the Republic of Burundi independent in matters of currency management, to revise the measure relating to the purchase of plane tickets in foreign currencies, with a view to favoring citizens in their businesses, to rigorously monitor the beneficiaries of those currencies, and to put in place monitoring tools to achieve good results.
To diversify sources of foreign currency, OLUCOME also suggested that the State invest in industrial crops that generate foreign currency, mainly coffee, tea and cotton. He also suggested the development of the minerals, tourism, diaspora and foreign direct investment sectors. He also mentioned international cooperation, vigorously combating informal and fraudulent circuits of buying and selling currencies (the black market), so as not to weaken formal operators. The other possible solution, according to him, is to improve the business climate according to Doing Business indicators to attract more foreign investors and so on.
To fight against inflation and the lack of foreign currency, OLUCOME also called on the Burundian population to make efforts to increase production.