BUJUMBURA November 27th (ABP) – The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism, Ms. Christine Niragira, launched the trade facilitation and integration project on Thursday, November 23, 2023. Great Lakes Region (PFCIGL).
Mrs. Niragira announced in her speech that the government of Burundi, through the ministry in charge of trade, with the support of the World Bank, is implementing a trade facilitation and integration project in the Great Lakes region, with the objective of facilitating trade and improving the marketing of selected value chains, mainly targeting small traders (especially women traders), in the border regions of the Great Lakes region.
She indicated that the said project supports the implementation of measures aimed at responding to the most restrictive obstacles along the borders between the Republic of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Those are the difficulties arising during border crossing for small traders requiring reforms in border management procedures, weak infrastructure, lack of appropriate facilities for collection, consolidation, processing, packaging, labeling as well as the storage of goods to be marketed, she explained.
The PFCIGL also complements the construction project of the Uvinza-Musongati-Gitega-Bujumbura/Uvira-Kindu railway, which will develop trade between the two countries. It will also support the effective implementation of the Trade Agreement between the Republic of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, signed in Kinshasa on April 29, 2022, with regard to the development of cross-border trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, the collaboration of customs administrations, facilitation of the movement of people, trade promotion and facilitation measures, to name just a few.
Mrs. Niragira also pointed out that the desire for that project is reflected in all the country’s strategic planning documents, in particular the PND and the vision of Burundi, an emerging country in 2040 and developed in 2060. Certainly, she said. points out, the PFCIGL will contribute to achieving the finality of the vision, which is to make Burundi a prosperous nation, thanks to a sustained increase in the production of goods and services, structural changes leading to an increase in the hope of life, the satisfaction of basic needs, the reduction of inequalities as well as the reduction of unemployment and poverty in all its dimensions.
She affirmed that all well-informed actors in the economic sector agree on the need to improve cross-border trade in order to significantly improve the level of integration and adaptation to the changing economic needs of the country.
To conclude his remarks, the permanent secretary at the ministry in charge of trade thanked the World Bank and the team in charge of managing the trade facilitation and integration project in the Great Lakes region, for the efforts made and the quality of the work already carried out until the stage of implementation of activities as agreed between the World Bank, technical and financial partners and Burundi, as beneficiary.
For her part, the project coordinator, Mrs. Clotilde Nizigama, specified that the PFCIGL has four components, namely improving the regulatory environment for cross-border trade, improving basic commercial infrastructure, supporting the marketing of cross-border value chains and supporting the implementation, monitoring and evaluation. She added that that project is entirely financed by the World Bank to the tune of 90 million US dollars.
It should be noted that that project provides for the construction of four border posts in Gatumba, Vugizo, Buganda and Mparambo.