On 7th May 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO proceeded, with the Ambassador of Japan to Burundi with residence in Kigali His Excellency Imai MASAHIRO, to the signing of the amendment of the Exchange of Notes related to the modernization and extension project of the Port of Bujumbura.
In his remarks for the occasion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO first of all, thanked the Japanese Government for the financing of this project and recalled that the port of Bujumbura plays an important role in the economy of Burundi. In fact, the role of the Burundian Government will consist in setting up adequate strategies to maximize the exploitation of Lake Tanganyika which is a very important Lake for the economy of the country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO also indicated that the Republic of Burundi in collaboration with the United Republic of Tanzania is in the process of setting up a dry port in Kigoma which will receive commercial products from Dar-Es-Salaam. Some of these products will go through the road, other products will go through the Lake. Consequently, the traffic on Lake Tanganyika will be intense as far as trade is concerned.
For the Director General of the Maritime, Port and Rail Authority Mr. Jacques BIGIRIMANA, the implementation of this project will reduce the cost of transport in order to promote maritime transport which is cheaper compared to the road, it will maintain the Burundian fleet regularly by setting up a shipyard to repair boats, protect the port basin against alluvial deposits from the sewage canal of Buyenzi district and modernize the port for economic growth in Burundi and the region.
The Ambassador of Japan to Burundi with residence in Kigali, His Excellency Imai MASAHIRO recalled that the modernization and extension project of the Port of Bujumbura has four components, namely the construction of the container terminal, the construction of the naval site for the construction and repair of boats, the diversion of Buyenzi canal as well as the dredging of the harbor basin.
Subsequently, there followed the signing of the amendment to the financing agreement for the modernization and extension project of the port of Bujumbura between His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO and JICA Office Representative Mr. Shin MARUO.
The budget for the said project has increased from twenty-six million to thirty-one million US dollars. These additional costs will cover any unforeseen events, especially caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to avoid anything that could hinder the good continuity of the project.