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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 21st AND THURSDAY 22ND OF JUNE 2017

A Cabinet Meeting was held Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22, June 2017 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :

1. Bill pertaining to the Code of the Supply of Health Care and Services in Burundi
2. Bill regulating the drug, the practice of pharmacy, the profession of optician and the art of traditional practitioners
3. Bill pertaining to the Code of Hygiene and Sanitation in Burundi
All three items were presented by the Minister of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS.

On October 19, 2016, the Council of Ministers analyzed the revision of the Public Health Code of Burundi and this revision was part of the strengthening of the prerogatives of the Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against AIDS in order to ensure a strong and reliable health system for the population.

Indeed, more than thirty years after the adoption of the aforementioned Public Health Code, the national and international contexts have undergone profound changes justifying new norms better adapted to current situations and integrating the obligations subscribed by Burundi within the framework of the Regional and International Conventions and Agreements on Public Health.

The proposed Bill addressed in a single Code various aspects of public health in general, the control of communicable diseases and other behavior with social impact, hygiene and sanitation, the family health, the health of mother and child, Pharmaceutical and traditional medicines, medical practice, biomedical research, and so on.

The Council then recommended that the analyzed subjects be grouped in three separate texts of law and it was in this context that the three draft texts :
(1) Bill pertaining to the Code of the Supply of Health Care and Services in Burundi,
(2) Bill regulating the drug, the practice of pharmacy, the profession of optician and the art of traditional practitioners and,
(3) Bill pertaining to the Code of Hygiene and Sanitation in Burundi.
The three bills were adopted subject to completion with the support of a designated team.

4. Bill pertaining to the Ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the Agreement on the Establishment of the African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK), signed in Abidjan, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire on 8 May 1993, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatization.

The Burundian economy is mainly based on agriculture with some export crops whose generated currencies do not make it possible to finance the major investments likely to promote development. It is therefore necessary to resort to other financing mechanisms similar to those offered by the African Import-Export Bank (AFREXIMBANK) adapted to African realities to promote intra- and extra-African trade.

Burundi is bursting with many business opportunities and this Bank is ready to support Burundi in developing its potential to take off economically in areas such as agriculture, tourism, energy, transport infrastructure, ICT, etc. The ratification of the agreement creating this Bank is therefore an important step before taking part in the shareholding of the Bank so as to be able to enjoy all the opportunities it offers its members.
The draft was adopted.

5. Draft Joint Ministerial Order on the Framework Regulations for the establishment and operation of technical committees / commissions, steering committees, public procurement management units, project management units and any governmental activity or event involving government funding, submitted by The Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatization.

This draft, which is part of the implementation of the 2017 Budget Law, lays down the rules for setting up and operating committees / commissions, steering committees, public procurement management units, project management units and any governmental activity or event involving government funding, in particular seminars, workshops, retreats and parties. It should be noted that this regulation comes after noting disparities in terms of incentives sought by various commissions or committees set up for a given activity. This can be seen even if the activity is part of the regular work of an executive or an activity scheduled during normal working hours. The draft therefore proposes measures to bring order.
The Council returned the project by proposing to bring it back later, improved by the contributions of the Ministry in charge of Good Governance.

6. Draft Decree on the composition, organization and functioning of the Interministerial Committee on Privatization, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatization.

This draft is part of the implementation of the law on the organization of the Privatization of Enterprises with Public Participation, services and public works which indicates that a decree specifies the composition, organization and operation of the Interministerial Committee of Privatization.

The present draft unlocks the functioning of this Committee, which has not held its meetings for more than a year following the accumulation of the function of chairman and vice-chairman of this committee, following the current structure of the Government.
The draft was adopted.

7. Concept Note on the Modernization and Control of Revenues from the Burundi Revenue Authority (E-Tax Project), presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Privatization.

Since its creation, the Burundi Revenue Authority has always evolved towards a modern tax administration, and this modernization could not be conceived in a non-computerized environment. With a view to improving and adapting the revenue collection strategy through the full computerization of the Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR), a strategic note was presented in May 2016 and proposed the on-line and automatic collection of VAT and control of the income of taxpayers.

The new approach of the proposed project covers all aspects of revenue in contrast to the 2016 note, which applied only part of the revenue, namely VAT. The outcome of this project will significantly increase the share of domestic resources in the financing of the state budget.
The note was adopted.

8. Draft Ministerial Order on the conditions for the production, collection and transport of milk and dairy products intended for human consumption in Burundi, presented by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

The Government of Burundi has initiated an extensive livestock restocking program through the importation and distribution of improved dairy cows to farmers.

Milk production therefore increased sharply from 1 liter per cow to at least 4 liters per cow per day. This milk is distributed through formal and informal marketing channels. In the informal market, it is directly delivered to consumers in the vicinity of the producer and the surrounding area. The transport of milk to urban centers is a public health concern, especially since it is carried out on foot, by bicycle or by vehicles that are not suitable for transporting milk.

In addition, there are emerging small marketing companies for milk and dairy products operating under dubious conditions. In addition, certain bovine diseases in our country impose great vigilance on milk and its derivatives. This project is therefore addressing these deficiencies in the production, collection, and transportation of milk and dairy products. It takes account of public health requirements and national socio-economic realities and complies with the standards of the East African Community in this field.

It should be recalled that the Council of Ministers had analyzed this project on 8 June 2017 and had recommended the contributions of other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Commerce. The present draft is therefore the result of this consultation, and after exchange, the project has been adopted.

9. Bill on the Ratification of the Financing Agreement between the Republic of Burundi and the International Development Association (IDA) for the Regional Integrated Agricultural Development Project in the Great Lakes (PRDAIGL), presented by the Minister Of Agriculture and Livestock.

This funding agreement amounts to USD 75 million grant from the World Bank. The objective of the project is to increase the production of rice, maize and milk in its area of coverage, namely Bubanza, Bujumbura, Cibitoke Makamba and Rumonge.

The project will support producers and producer organizations and the direct beneficiaries will be poor farmers with an average of ½ hectares of land and whose livelihoods are mainly based on rice, maize and dairy cows, vulnerable groups including unemployed young people and institutions involved in the provision of agricultural services, private investors in the agro-food sector and cooperative managers, and micro-small-medium enterprises located in the Project area.
The bill was adopted.

In the Miscellaneous, the members of the Council exchanged various information concerning the national life. Special information has attracted the attention of the members of the Government. This is a phenomenon of the proliferation of new sect-like churches whose leaders are engaged in acts of destabilization with tithes collected from their followers.
The Council invited the Minister of the Interior to take up his responsibilities to stem this phenomenon.

Done at Bujumbura, June 23, 2017

Philippe NZOBONARIBA
Secretary-General and Spokesman

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