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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 11 JULY 2018

A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 11 July 2018 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :

1. Draft Order Granting a Gold and associated minerals Exploitation License in Masaka-Butihinda Commune to African Mining Limited company + Draft Exploitation Convention, presented by the Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mining.

In August 2017, African Mining Limited obtained a prospecting license for gold and related minerals on the Muhwazi perimeter located in Butihinda Commune, Muyinga Province.

After 9 months of research, the convincing results led to the identification of industrially exploitable targets of which Masaka target is the best studied.

African Mining Limited has consequently filed a feasibility study and an application for an exploitation permit on the Masaka perimeter, in accordance with the requirements of the Burundi Mining Code.

The technical services in charge of the mines which analyzed the file found it to be in conformity. And, in view of the economic impact of the project for the country, among other things the creation of jobs, the expected revenues for the public treasury ; it is proposed to grant the exploitation permit as requested.

The adoption of the project was subject to finalizing certain aspects of form.

2. Draft Decree on the first renewal of the Colombo-Tantalite exploration license and its associated minerals to N.T.E.G.A. HOLDING S.A, presented by the Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mining.

The company N.T.E.G.A Holding Burundi Ltd obtained the Colombo-tantalite research permit and its subsequent elements on the perimeter denominated "Runyankezi" in May 2015.

After three years of research, this company has filed an application for renewal of its license in accordance with the provisions of the Mining Code of Burundi. The analysis of the reports transmitted by this company during the three years proves that the company has fulfilled its administrative and technical obligations as provided by the laws and regulations in force, as well as the Convention signed in 2015.

Given the need to evaluate mineral resources and increase the country’s mineral potential, given that the company has met its obligations and has the technical and financial means to continue the research program, it is proposed that its permit be renewed.

The draft has been adopted.

3. Draft Ministerial Order fixing Ceilings of expenditures for the first quarter of 2018/2019, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

The Government of Burundi has embarked on a comprehensive program of Public Finance Management Reforms that derive from the December 2008 Public Finance Act. These reforms mainly concern the preparation and execution of the State Budget, public accounting, as well as the control of the use of the State Budget.
As part of the implementation of the December 2008 Law on the Management of Public Finance, the Budget Law of 2018/2019 provides for the elaboration of ceilings for quarterly expenditures which must be validated by the Council of Ministers.

These ceilings of expenditures constitute an indispensable tool for the regulation of Expenditure and contribute to the enhancement of the State’s Cash Flow Plan, which is the main basis for the rational management of the State Treasury.
These ceilings, which are in line with the State Treasury Plan, concern all expenditures except those that are mandatory, i.e. wage and debt expenses. Thus, in the course of the 2018/2019 budgetary management, the rate of commitment of expenditure will depend on the rate of revenue collection by the Bank of the Republic of Burundi.

The draft has been adopted.

4. Draft Reorganization Decree of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
5. Draft Reorganization Decree of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.
The above drafts were presented by the Ministers in charge of the respective ministries. These texts are intended to harmonize the missions of the ministries whose structures have undergone reorganization in terms of missions following the setting up of the new government team.
The missions of the various ministries are defined by Decree No. 100/037 of 19 April 2018 revising Decree No. 100/29 of 18 September 2015 on the structure, functioning and missions of the Government of the Republic of Burundi. These missions will be carried out through the structures of each ministry, that is, the General Directorates, the Departments’ Directions, the Autonomous Administrations and other self-managed organizations under their supervision.
The draft decrees presented for adoption therefore put in place the organizational structures of these ministries so that they can carry out the missions assigned to them.
These projects were adopted with a few amendments.

6. Draft Decree on the reorganization and operation of the Higher Institute of Military Cadets (ISCAM), presented by the Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs.

ISCAM is currently operating under the decree of November 1975 pertaining to its creation. This 43 years old text is therefore unsuited to the current moment. The text organizing the ISCAM must in particular comply with the Organic Law of 2017 governing the National Defense Force of Burundi especially as it is one of the implementing texts. Also, the text governing ISCAM with regard to Academic Education must comply with the Law of 2011 governing Higher Education in Burundi, particularly with regard to the Teaching Programs, the credits, the conditions that must be fulfilled by lecturers of ISCAM, and others.
The project was adopted subject to making some adjustments.

7. Draft Decree granting a public land located in Warubondo, Gatumba Zone in Mutimbuzi Commune to ProCerv Ltd, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Spatial Planning.

Following the decree declaring the public utility of the Special Economic Zone and the creation of a Special Economic Zone in Warubondo, Gatumba Zone, of the Commune Mutimbuzi in February 2017, the ProCerv Company based in the United Arab Emirates and experienced in the field of Special Economic Zones was interested in this area.

A memorandum of understanding on the establishment of a Special Economic Zone in Warubondo has been signed for this purpose between the Government of Burundi and this company, together with a Road Map followed by the signing of a contract on the establishment, operation and management of this Special Economic Zone as part of the implementation of this Memorandum. In this contract, it is stipulated that the State undertakes to grant ProCerv the site of the Special Economic Zone of Warubondo.
The purpose of this Draft Decree is to grant ProCerv this land of Warubondo with a surface area of about 587ha for a period of 50 years and comply with the Land Code. This renewable term corresponds to that of the contract.

The project was adopted subject to the finalization of the legal aspects by a team designated for this purpose.
8. Draft Joint Ministerial Ordinance Implementing the Order n ° 121 / VP2 / 0012/2017 of 20 June 2017 fixing the rates of rent paid or collected by the State, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Spatial Planning.

Despite all the efforts made by the Government to control rental costs, rents paid by the Government remained very high while those received by the latter on its buildings occupied by third parties remain derisory.
As part of the implementation of the recommendations of the various Government Retreats since 2016 relating to the reduction of the cost of rents paid by the Government and the adjustment of those it receives on its leased buildings, an order to put in place a commission to implement the proposals on the objective criteria for setting rents paid or collected by the Government was signed by the second Vice President of the Republic on 20 June 2017.

The purpose of this project is to implement the above-mentioned Order by setting a reference formula as the basis for calculating the rent payable or to be collected by the Government, by clarifying the terms of reference of the Commission set up by this Order and that of technical services responsible for the management of buildings housing state services and leases of buildings.

The project was adopted with the recommendation that the new rates be implemented as early as August 2018.

9. Draft Decree on the allocation of a land in Gitega for the construction of a worship center, conferences and other major events to the CNDD-FDD Party, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works, Equipment and Spatial Planning.

The CNDD-FDD Party has filed a request to the Ministry in charge of Urban Land Management for a plot of land in the city of Gitega. The CNDD-FDD Party plans to build a large infrastructure that will include a worship center and a venue for conferences and other major events.

The draft was adopted subject to slight amendments.

10. Note on the Draft Concession Contract of the Hotel Source du Nil, presented by the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

As part of the privatization policy of public companies, the Hotel Source du Nil was on the list of companies to privatize but shareholders felt that the process of concession was more likely to succeed compared to outright sale.
This process was launched in 2009 and a Negotiating Committee has been set up. An international tender was launched in 2010 and TPS SERENA Hotel was selected. Since then, negotiations have been conducted to prepare and put in place the conditions for concluding a concession contract. But in May 2018, TPS SERENA Hotel declared it was no longer interested in continuing the takeover negotiations of the Hotel Source du Nil. The presented Note proposes two options namely to transform the Hotel into offices of civil servants because rents are expensive for the State, or to seek other interested parties interested with a concession. The Council opted for the latter, and recommended that an international tender be launched as quickly as possible in order to seek another buyer, while raising awareness among national economic operators to invest in this strategic hotel infrastructure.

In the chapter of “Any Other Business”, the Minister of the Interior, Patriotic Education and Local Development informed the Council that Summer Camps for students on holidays will soon begin and asked for support from Government members in coaching these young people during the outings they make in the provinces under their supervision, but also in their native communities. He also spoke about the Local Solidarity Day to be celebrated on July 28, 2018 and the Communal Day to be celebrated on August 4, 2018.

Done at Bujumbura, July 12, 2018

Philippe NZOBONARIBA
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-

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