• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

The 9th edition of African School Feeding Day has been celebrated


Mar 2, 2024

BUJUMBURA, March 2 (ABP) – Burundi celebrated on Friday March 1, 2024, the 9th edition of the African School Feeding Day (JAAS). The ceremonies took place in the Bujumbura city (economic capital). That day was organized under the theme: “Investing in local school feeding to transform education systems for an inclusive and prosperous future on an African continent”. That activity was attended by the President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Evariste Ndayishimiye, the First Lady of Burundi, Mrs. Angeline Ndayishimiye; the godmother of school feeding in Burundi and a delegation of more than 25 member countries of the African Union (AU).

In his appropriate remarks, the President of the Republic of Burundi welcomed the holding of that day in Burundi and extended a warm welcome to the various foreign delegations present at that ceremony. According to him, education constitutes a fundamental basis on which people around the world rely for the socio-economic development of their countries. “That sector must be at the center of any initiative aimed at lifting African youth out of poverty and preparing them for a better future,” he explained.

                                                                        Professor Mohammed Belhocine with the pupils of the Rukaramu basic school

In order to build the resilient quality education system for increased access to inclusive learning, President Ndayishimiye reported that Burundi has set the objective of achieving universal coverage of school feeding for schools. in the preschool and basic cycle by 2030.

He further added that all those initiatives are among the government’s priorities to ensure food security and economic growth.

In that same school feeding program, he continued, the government of Burundi has, in that 2024 budget year, set the annual school feeding program going from 4.8 billion Burundian francs to 12, 5 billion in order to have school canteens.

Speaking, Professor Mohammed Belhocine; Commissioner of the Education Division of the Department of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of the AU Commission (ESTI), said that the achievements in the field of nutrition show significant educational improvements in member countries.

                                                                               View of the plates containing the meal at Rukaramu Basic School

As an illustration, he indicated that 1.65.9 million children in Africa now benefit from school feeding on a daily basis, more than double the number since 2016, emphasizing that 2.89% of countries have now adopted school meal policies, compared to 68% in 2020.

According to the Burundian Minister of National Education and Scientific Research, Professor François Havyarimana, the school feeding program motivates families to enroll their children and keep them in school all year round, where they benefit, in addition to learning, from a safe, diversified and nutritious diet.

Thus, he said, where the program is implemented, it has made it possible to reduce the dropout rate and increase the school enrolment rate compared to areas not covered by the program. Note that the celebration of that day ended with a guided visit to the Rukaramu Basic School in the Mutimbuzi commune in the province of Bujumbura, to share experiences on the achievements made by Burundi in terms of school canteens.