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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 14 NOVEMBER 2018

A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 14 November 2018 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :

1. Draft National School Feeding Policy, presented by the Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training.

School feeding is important because it is at the intersection of two priority sectors namely agriculture and education. The purpose of this policy is to define a set of principles for the implementation of a national endogenous school feeding program. It aims in particular to :

(i) Raise awareness and increase the consumption of adequate, nutritious and locally available food to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition among school-age and pre-school children, thereby encouraging children’s enrollment and school attendance ;

(ii) Improve school completion and equitable learning for schoolchildren ;
(iii) Establish a stable market for local food produced by small farmers and their cooperatives ;

(iv) Promote and technically support the development of agriculture and the local community.

The implementation of this policy will extend over a period of fifteen years and its funding will come from the public treasury, special funds, local government revenues, parents and various donors.

The Council had analyzed this draft and returned it with, among other recommendations, to rework it on the basis of more reliable data.

After analysis of the new document presented, the Council found it in conformity with its orientations and adopted it especially that it is adapted to the National Development Plan o2018-2027 with the recommendation to make it a National Program instead of a National Policy.

2. Draft decree revising Decree No. 100/056 of 21 April 1992 on the reorganization and operation of the Kamenge University Hospital Center, presented by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The Kamenge University Hospital Center was created with three main missions : to provide quality medical care, to train and supervise students, and to conduct health related research.
As these missions progressed, shortcomings were observed, leading to reflections for far-reaching changes to improve services.
As gaps to be corrected, it is a question of better defining the missions of the University Hospital Center of Kamenge, of redefining its tutelage, of revitalizing the Medical Council which existed but which never functioned because of the overlapping of texts. This project corrects all these shortcomings.

After exchange and debate, the project was adopted with some corrections to be made.

3. Draft decree revising Decree No. 100/279 of 18 October 2012 on the reorganization and operation of the University of Burundi, presented by the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

On October 26, 2016, the Council of Ministers analyzed the draft decree revising Decree No. 100/279 of 18 October 2012 on the reorganization and operation of the University of Burundi. This revision was introduced in the context of the reform of the higher education system and followed the recommendations of the General Symposium of Education of December 2014.

This draft decree was adopted with the recommendation to continue the reflection on the question of the supervision of the University Hospital Center of Kamenge.

Decree No. 100/113 of 18 August 2018 on the organization of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research placed the University Hospital Center of Kamenge under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

This project is proposed to take into account this question of trusteeship, which has been decided by the decree currently organizing the Ministry.
The project was adopted with some corrections to consider.

4. Bill revising Law No. 1/31 of 31/12/2013 revising Law No. 1/1 of 04/01/2011 on the missions, composition, organization and functioning of the National Commission of Land and Other Assets.

5. Bill revising Law No. 1/26 of 15/09/2014 on the establishment, organization, composition, functioning and jurisdiction of the Special Court of Lands and Other Assets.
Both projects were presented by Minister of Justice, Civil Protection and Keeper of the Seals.

After a short exchange on these projects, the Council considered that a preliminary evaluation of the achievements of these two bodies was necessary in order to proceed to the revision of the laws governing them having thoroughly dissected the challenges they encounter in their operation.
The Bills will be returned to Council after this evaluation within one month.

6. Note on the project of digitization of land titles, modernization and decentralization of the services of the Directorate of Land Titles, presented by the Minister of Justice, Civil Protection and Keeper of the Seals.

Since 2008, Burundi has undertaken land reform with a view to addressing the country’s land problems.

To this end, a Letter of Land Policy was adopted in 2010 which provides guidelines for the proper management of land and natural resources, particularly the issue of land appropriation and the legal protection of land rights.

In the framework of the renovation of the land legislation, the decentralization of the land management and the rational management of the lands, the law n ° 1/13 of August 9, 2011 was promulgated to revise the Land Code of Burundi which provides for the creation of the Land Titles Offices in each Province.
Despite the implementation of these legal instruments, challenges in securing land rights remain important.

During the various government retreats, it was recommended to the Ministry in charge of Justice, to do everything to improve the field of land registration, modernize and decentralize the services of the Directorate of Land Titles.

It is in this context that a project aimed at the digitization of land titles, the modernization and the decentralization of the services of the Directorate of Land Titles has been designed.

This Note indicates the step already taken in the progress of this project and requests the approval of the Council of Ministers for the continuation of the process. The Council has agreed in principle to continue the project and a ministerial team has been set up to look into the project to ensure that the interests of the population have been taken into account and that it will actually be able to access the services offered by the winner of the contract.

7. Note on the state of play of the mining sector in relation to the suspension of all activities by the National Safety Council, presented by the Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines.

The mining and quarrying sector is currently governed by Law No. 1/21 of 15 October 2013 on the Mining Code of Burundi and its implementing regulations, including the Burundi Mining Regulations.

This Code distinguishes operators in the mining sector, namely companies that conduct mining research, companies that exploit and export minerals, comptoirs for the purchase and export of minerals, and cooperatives that do artisanal mining and extraction of quarries.

In the face of cheating in the export of ores and the deplorable degradation of the environment observed at the operating sites, the National Security Council decided to suspend all exploitation and export activities. ores for a period of one month from October 1, 2018.

The Minister in charge of Mines immediately undertook field visits in all provinces of the country to exchange with all stakeholders namely the administrative authorities, police authorities and operators in the sector of mines and quarries.

At the end of these field visits, it was found that some operators in the mining and quarrying sector do not respect the essential instructions for the control of their activities.

The Note indicates the criteria to be met for the resumption of activities and these criteria are defined according to the category of operators, i.e. cooperatives, comptoirs, research and / or industrial exploitation companies.

The Note ends by asking all concerned services to take necessary measures to face these challenges that haunt the mining sector and above all to enforce Article 92 of the Burundi Mining Code which prohibits officials and State Agents, magistrates, members of the defense and security forces or any person exercising a paid job based on a written contract, employees of public bodies to carry out mining operations. The fact that some authorities are indirect members of operating cooperatives is a handicap for the fight against illegal extractions.

The Council took note of the contents of the Note and requested that everything be done to ensure that illegal and anarchic mining of minerals and quarries is stopped. The defense and security forces have been particularly requested to get involved.

8. Any Other Business

  • The Minister of Justice, Civil Protection and Keeper of the Seals spoke about the cases of disobedience to the enforcement of judgments delivered by the Courts and Tribunals.
  • The Minister of Public Health and the fight against AIDS has informed the Council of the meningitis vaccination campaign that will take place from 4 to 13 December 2018.
  • The Minister of Communication and Media spoke about the case of the Center for Information, Education, Communication, Population and Development (CIEP) where the staff is paid outside the statutes that govern this structure, and the Printing of the Burundian Press Agency (ABP) which is very powerful but whose machines are outdated. He also advocated for the antenna of Manga to be equipped with a generator so that the various radios that request this antenna relay can easily broadcast throughout the national territory.
  • The Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender spoke of people who are often murdered on the pretext that they are "wizards", which is a serious case of human rights violations. He also informed that many requests for dialysis treatment interventions are registered at the Ministry level. He asked the Minister in charge of Public Health to make a study on these cases which become numerous and to give guidance.
  • Lastly, in relation to the cases of pupils who give birth but those who impregnated them remain unknown, the Council asked the Ministers in charge of Education and the Interior that every effort should be made to ensure that the father of the child be identified and that the child is enrolled at the Civil Registry.

Done at Bujumbura, November 15, 2018

Prosper NTAHORWAMIYE
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government. -

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