On Wednesday October 20, 2021, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO held a press conference on the quarterly achievements of the Ministry for the month of July-September 2021-2022 which are already assessed at the execution rate: 95%.
In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation His Excellency Ambassador Albert SHINGIRO, said that on the basis of the Action Plans of the Government and the Ministry for the fiscal year 2020-2021 as well as on the basis of initiatives and innovations outside of Action Plans, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation carried out actions around six main areas, namely: strengthening good governance; strengthening and expanding development cooperation; strengthening diplomatic communication; the consolidation of a strategic relationship between the diaspora and the Government; the challenges encountered and the prospects for the future.
As part of the strengthening of good governance, the fight against corruption and economic malfeasance and the implementation of axis 13 of the Burundi National Development Plan 2018-2027 on governance, concrete actions have been carried out.
Without being exhaustive, these include, among others: active participation in community work, in actions of the national reforestation project “Ewe Burundi Urambaye” and organization of cleanliness campaigns around services; the intensification of social dialogue through the organization of regular monthly and / or quarterly consultation meetings with the staff of the Ministry, the organization of quarterly visits and field trips for monitoring and evaluation in decentralized services; taking anti-corruption measures and reducing administrative slowness in processing files and raising awareness on the fight against corruption among Central Administration staff during the General Assembly and Diplomatic and Consular Missions of Burundi abroad; organization of training workshops in key areas of Diplomacy; organization of monitoring and evaluation missions for the achievements of Regional and International Organizations and Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations; the Ministry carried out inspection missions in Diplomatic and Consular Missions; the training of Executives of the General Inspection and of the General Direction of Administration and Management in performance auditing; the unanimous adoption, for the first time in history, of the bill on the organization of the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Burundi by the two chambers of Parliament; the adoption during the Council of Ministers of July 07 2021, of the decree on the Sector Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation by the Council of Ministers; to adopt the draft decree regulating the granting and management of diplomatic passports by the Council of Ministers; monitoring the implementation of the Sector Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation; have the draft protocol guide for Burundi adopted by the Council of Ministers; have the performance contracts signed by all Senior Executives and Executives of the Central Administration and the Heads of Diplomatic and Consular Missions; ensure the popularization of Burundi’s foreign policy within national and international institutions; the Ministry made the follow-up of the construction works of the chanceries, residences and fences of lands of some diplomatic missions. The Ministry is also seeking funding for the construction of the building that will house its services.
With regard to the strengthening and extension of development cooperation within the framework of the implementation of axis 16 of the National Development Plan (PND Burundi 2018-2027) which speaks of the Development of Regional and International Cooperation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation ensured the monitoring of the financing of the rehabilitation project of the Melchior NDADAYE International Airport, the Port of Bujumbura as well as the deviation of the national road (RN1) next to the presidential palace called “ Kwa Ntare House”, the Ministry finalized the development of the National Regional Integration Strategy (SNIR) and the Action Plan for its implementation; the Ministry is currently negotiating several bilateral agreements on the employment of Migrants from Saudi Arabia; the Ministry has also negotiated 22 Technical and Economic Cooperation Agreements with bilateral and multilateral partners; the Ministry has further negotiated scholarships and internships with bilateral partners; the Ministry held two (2) sessions of the Permanent Mixed Commissions of cooperation between the Republic of Burundi and its partners; and the Ministry continues to advocate for the resumption of direct cooperation with the European Union (EU).
In terms of strengthening diplomatic communication
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation has started preparations for the holding of one exchange and information session for the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Consular and Representatives of International Organizations accredited to Burundi, the Ministry participated in several regional and international meetings and conferences; the Ministry received bilateral and multilateral partners in audience and publish the related information; the Ministry has also produced and sent a quarterly newsletter and magazines bringing together current affairs subjects of the country to the Diplomatic and Consular Missions of Burundi abroad and to the Diplomatic and Consular Missions and to the International Organizations accredited in Burundi. As part of strengthening the communication diplomacy which is oriented towards diplomacy focused on economic development, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation has adopted an internal and external Communication Strategy document valid from 2020 to 2027.
Regarding the consolidation of a strategic relationship between the Diaspora and the Government, as well as the promotion of the employment of migrants
The Ministry organized with resounding success in July the week of the Diaspora. During this week, the President of the Republic held a moralization session with the members of the diaspora who had made a trip to Burundi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation ensured the follow-up of the processing of applications for exemption from personal effects of Burundians living abroad and who expressed the wish to voluntarily return to their native country. A legal framework to properly regulate this activity is in the process of being finalized and a joint order between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation and the Minister in charge of finance has just been signed.
Although the Ministry’s achivevements for the period from July to September 2021 are satisfactory, the Minister spoke of some challenges encountered: the context of the COVID-19 pandemic which has impacted and slowed down the activities of the Ministry, especially at the level of the Foreign Service; the lack of sufficient resources to achieve all the objectives of the Ministry. However, the Ministry is delighted with the results recorded with the means available. He undertakes to redouble his efforts to maintain the current dynamism in order to achieve as much as possible the objectives of the Laborious and Responsible Government: “Reta Nkozi, Reta Mvyeyi” in the field of cooperation. It is also determined to maintain the current memento to allow Burundi to regain its rightful place in the concert of Nations and on the diplomatic map.
With regard to future prospects, the Ministry intends, among other things, to draw up the implementation plan for the decree on the Sector Policy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation; adopt the draft revision of the decree regulating the granting and management of diplomatic passports by the Council of Ministers; Prepare an internal audit manual, after the finalization of the Ministry’s Strategy on good governance and the fight against corruption and economic embezzlement; continue the process of ratifying certain cooperation agreements and others.