Following the establishment of a Directorate in charge of promoting the employment of migrants and the establishment of institutions coordinating activities in this Directorate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation quickly moved on to the next step.
As part of realizing the common will shared at the highest level between the Leaders of the Republic of Burundi in Gitega and those of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyadh, to strengthen, cement and expand the areas of cooperation between our two countries through mutually beneficial partnerships, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation HE Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO proceeded to the signing of two Agreements on the recruitment of migrant workers in general and domestic workers in particular, between the Government of Burundi and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during an official mission he carried out to the Kingdom of ‘Saudi Arabia at the beginning of October 2021.
HE Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO said he was satisfied and was very pleased with the signing of these agreements because “moreover, in a constantly changing and increasingly interdependent world, the regional or international mobility of the workforce remains essential for both countries of origin and countries of destination. To avoid possible abuse, this mobility must be orderly, safe and regular” he said.
He indeed confided that, what pushed him to invest in the signing of these agreements it is above all the legal and social protection of our young people who left so far in this country in search of employment without any legal and social protection. For him, these agreements will put an end to the clandestinity and the abuses of which some of our young people were victims. The second reason is that these agreements will open up job opportunities to our youth, who represent more than 60% of the population.
As the first agreement opens the door to young Burundians with a trade in other fields, once there, they will acquire experience and new technologies that they can use for the benefit of our country at the end of their stay in Arabia.
These agreements come at the right time because, as soon as they are implemented, things will not be the same as before. Instead, Burundian migrant workers will be able to observe the end of clandestinity, benefit from legal and social protection, and protection in terms of respect for workers’ rights. Recruitment will be well organized and regulated, there will be the possibility of opening a bank account in the name of the worker to pay his salary directly. Training before deployment on the requirements of the profession and the culture of the host country will be provided to Burundian workers. Above all, there will be a monitoring committee on both sides to ensure compliance with the clauses of these agreements.
Another good news is that young Burundians with professions or talents sought in the host countries will have the chance to go there and work legally with the guarantee of social and legal protection.
Note that similar agreements will soon be signed with other Gulf countries and elsewhere in order to broaden the basket of opportunities for Burundian youth in search of employment. Diplomatic demarches on this subject are underway and are going well.
The two agreements will be definitively in force after the internal ratification procedures in each country. In the case of Burundi, they will first go to the Council of Ministers for analysis, before being sent to Parliament for adoption. The procedural shuttle of these two instruments will end with the promulgation by the Highest Authorities.