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Sensitization workshop for Provincial Governors and Communal Administrators on the National Policy of the Diaspora

As part of the popularization of the National Diaspora Policy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation organized regional sensitization workshops on the National Diaspora Policy for the Governors of the Provinces and the Communal Administrators of Burundi. These workshops are organized region by region; West region (Rumonge, Cibitoke, Mwaro, Bubanza, Bujumbura and Bujumbura-Mairie Province), Central region (Gitega, Makamba, Muramvya, Rutana, Karusi, Ruyigi, Bururi and Cankuzo Province) and the North Region (Ngozi, Kirundo, Muyinga and Kayanza Province)

This Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at the King’s Conference Center, the Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Mr. Ferdinand BASHIKAKO proceeded to the solemn opening of the workshop at the level of the West region.

In his speech, Mr. Ferdinand BASHIKAKO reminded participants that since 2018 Burundi has adopted a strategic orientation instrument (National Development Plan of Burundi 2018-2027) whose objective is to establish priority programs of economic and social development towards the emergence of the country. He said that it is normal for sectorial implementation mechanisms to be set up in order to combine our efforts towards the expectation of tangible results. The combined efforts of all citizens both inside and outside the country are necessary. In this capacity, he announced that the role of the Diaspora in bringing this program to fruition is essential.

The Assistant of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation indicated that the Government of Burundi has already made a lot of effort towards strengthening collaboration with the Diaspora. He cited in particular the establishment of a department in charge of the Diaspora within the Ministry having Foreign Affairs in its attributions since 2009 and the establishment of a Week dedicated to the Diaspora at the end of each month of July. He also announced that other actions aimed at facilitating the Diaspora have been taken by the Government.

He continued by recalling that the Burundian Diaspora has already engaged in the country’s development process through multiple actions.

Mr. Ferdinand BASHIKAKO said that despite the step taken, challenges are not lacking. He cited in particular the mapping of the burundian Diaspora which is not yet available, the data on the numbers and areas of expertise of the burundian Diaspora which are very little known, the contributions of the Diaspora which are not always recognized and which are predictable due to the lack of data, etc. He indicated that it is in the way facing these challenges that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation pleaded with the Ministry having the interior in its attributions to involve the burundian Diaspora in the planning, the implementation and the evaluation of Communal Plans for Communal Development (PCDC) in order to encourage members of burundian Diaspora to invest in their provinces of origin.

The Assistant of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation ended his speech by indicating that this workshop was also organized to discuss together on the contribution of the Diaspora to the development of their native provinces; the role of administrators in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Diaspora projects; improving communication with the diaspora; the involvement of the Diaspora in local development planning; how to adopt incentives from the Diaspora to come and invest in the country; how to promote the contributions of the Diaspora to communal development.

Presentations on various topics were also planned in this workshop. These are among others: Policy of the Diaspora and its implication in the development of the country presented by Mr. Philibert MUREKAMBANZE, Director General having the Diaspora in his attributions; Involvement of the Diaspora in country development, case of Mali presented by Mrs. Mireille MUGISHA, representative of IOM; current situation of the implementation of the recommendations resulting from the sensitization workshop to Governors, held on December 12, 2019, presented by Mrs. Noémie Claire SINIREMERA Director of the Diaspora.

 After the presentations, the participants exchanged views and made recommendations. In most of the interventions, the participants showed that the primordial role of the Diaspora in the implementation of the National Development Plan of Burundi (PND 2018-2027) is important.

Closing the workshop activities, the Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, Mr. Ferdinand BASHIKAKO, warmly thanked the participants and those who contributed to the organization of these workshops which are so important to achieve the development of the country.

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