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MEDIA RELEASE CONSECUTIVE TO THE CABINET MEETING HELD ON FRIDAY 10 MAY 2019

A Cabinet Meeting was held on Friday 10 May 2019 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items have been analyzed :

1. Draft decree on the organization, composition and functioning of local staff recruitment committees by foreign non-governmental organizations in Burundi, presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The purpose of this draft decree is to provide NGOs operating in Burundi with a clear and consistent framework of procedures for the recruitment of local employees in accordance with the provisions of the General Framework for Cooperation between the Republic of Burundi and Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations.

It indicates the steps to follow in this recruitment to take into account the ethnic and gender balances provided for by the Constitution of the Republic of Burundi in order to correct the observed imbalances and contribute to social cohesion. The desire to correct these imbalances is part of the Government’s policies and practices that these NGOs have the mission to support. Sanctions are provided for any breach of the provisions of this project against candidates who lied about their identity, and against members of recruitment committees who have failed to fulfill their obligations.

After discussions and debate, the project was adopted pending a finalization touch by a team designated for this purpose, with the recommendation, among other things, to check whether the text should be taken in the form of a decree or a ministerial ordinance.

2. Draft decree on the creation, composition, missions and operation of a Single Window for the management of all relations between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and foreign non-governmental organizations : enrollment, registration, implementation protocol and deployment of a non-governmental organization on the ground,
3. Draft decree on the composition, mission and functioning of an interministerial committee for monitoring and evaluation of foreign non-governmental organizations in Burundi

These two projects were also presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The project related to the establishment of a single window aims to provide a solution to the different problems that foreign NGOs encounter in monitoring their files in relation to their establishment in Burundi.

Indeed, several ministries are involved in the management of enrollment, registration, implementation protocol and deployment of a foreign NGO on the ground, which is likely to complicate or slow procedures.

The establishment of a single point of contact for the management of all relations between the Government and foreign NGOs wishing to settle in Burundi will facilitate collaboration between the services concerned and will contribute to the speed of case processing. With regard to the project related to the establishment of an interministerial monitoring and evaluation committee, the law on the general framework of cooperation between the Republic of Burundi and the non-governmental organizations has been updated in 2017 to ensure better coordination of aid for more efficiency.

In fact, it appeared that a large part of the aid goes through the NGOs and that a large part is allocated to their operation to the detriment of the development activities.

The different fora held on the effectiveness of aid were unanimous in recognizing that, in order to be effective, it must be integrated into the administrative and financial circuits of the beneficiary countries. This is only possible if the Government obtains regular and verified reports on the nature and the height of NGO interventions for better coordination of these interventions.

The establishment of an Interministerial Committee for Monitoring and Evaluation of Non-Governmental Organizations in Burundi is proposed in this framework.

After analyzing these two drafts, the Council noted that they needed to be reworked in terms of their content and consequently returned them. The team designated to rework them shall get them ready within a week.

4. Consumer Protection Bill for Electronic Communications Products and Services in Burundi, presented by the Office of the President of the Republic.

Until today, there is no specific and appropriate regulation on the protection of consumers of information and communication technologies. The existing provisions are scattered in various texts, but do not define clearly and precisely the fundamental rights and obligations granted to consumers of information and communication technologies.

The protection of consumers of information and communication technologies is a factor in the development of these technologies but remains a challenge in Burundi.

Resolution 39/248 of 9 April 1985 of the United Nations and Resolution 64 of Hyderabad of 2010, to which Burundi has subscribed, recommend to States and Regulators of Telecommunications to transpose into national laws or codes of telecommunications and technologies information and communication all the fundamental rights granted to consumers. This bill is proposed in this context.

It should be recalled that this project had been analyzed in one of the previous sessions of the Council of Ministers and returned to be reworked.

After an analysis of the draft submitted for second reading, the Council found that the recommendations issued at the previous Council were properly integrated and adopted it.

5. Draft decree on the organization, missions and functioning of the Higher Institute of Police, presented by the Minister of Public Security and Disaster Management.

Since 1979, it has been created a training structure for police candidates called School of Municipal Police. Over time, the appellations have changed according to the missions and the vision of the State, becoming successively School of Police of Public Security, National School of Police and finally, Superior Institute of Police from 2004 to the present day. The Institute is today governed by a ministerial ordinance.

The organic law n ° 1/03 of February 20, 2017 on missions, organization and functioning of the National Police of Burundi provides that this Institute will be organized by a decree. Moreover, the law n ° 1/22 of November 30, 2011 on the reorganization of higher education in Burundi specifies that regulatory texts will be elaborated to adapt the training institutions of the cadres of the Armed Forces and the Police to this new law which organizes higher education in three cycles : Baccalaureate, Master and PhD. This project complies with both pieces of legislation.

The Council had analyzed this project and returned it with comments to be considered in its finalization. After analyzing the reworked project, the Council adopted it with some alterations.

6. Draft decree amending Decree No. 100/057 of 5 June 2001 reorganizing the Military Hospital, presented by the Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs.

The Military Hospital of Kamenge is currently governed by Decree No. 100/057 of 05 June 2001. In its efforts to support the Government in achieving its overall goals, this hospital is engaged in a results-based planning approach to be effective in its interventions.

It is thanks to this impetus that this hospital has undergone major developments lately, both in terms of qualified personnel and in terms of infrastructure. This has meant that its capacity has almost tripled.

In order to make these assets profitable, the Military Hospital of Kamenge has just put in place a strategic plan that provides a framework for ownership and alignment with national priorities expressed in various national planning documents.

The major changes foreseen in this strategic plan include the establishment of new support units for the General Management and the transformation of the Services in Departments. Hence the need to revise the decree that organizes the Ministry.

In addition, the Military Hospital of Kamenge registers applications as a training ground for medical students and their supervision by providing teachers. But this requires that a training mission be previously recognized at the Military Hospital of Kamenge which would become a University Hospital Center. These are the main reasons that favor the revision of the decree that organizes this Hospital.

At the end of the exchanges, the Council of Ministers adopted this project with slight corrections.

7. Note on the participation of the Bank of the Republic of Burundi in the share capital of BI-SWITCH S.M, presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation.

In the framework of the implementation of the recommendations of the World Bank, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi initiated a reform of payment systems aimed on the one hand, at the modernization of the system of exchange and settlement of interbank transactions and, on the other hand, the establishment of a credit card payment system based on interbanking.

This second component should lead to the establishment of a structure to ensure this interbanking and interoperability of banking systems. Hence the creation of BI-SWITCH S.M.

The platform on which this National Electronic Money Switch is run was acquired from the World Bank’s donation to the Government of Burundi via the Bank of the Republic of Burundi, amounting to more than two billion Burundian francs.

Given the means available to this nascent company, it is unable to buy these funds and this platform cannot be assigned to it for free because it will use it for commercial purposes. The best solution was to value this platform as part of the capital of the Bank of the Republic in this company.

In addition, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi has agreed to finance a first batch of one thousand electronic payment terminals for more than six hundred million Burundian francs. This is another contribution as capital in this society.

These contributions from the Bank of the Republic of Burundi are the best solution to support this company in its early stages, even if it gradually sells its shares to other shareholders and remains in its role of regulator and supervisor.

Of the four billion social capital of the company, the Bank of the Republic made a contribution in kind valued at two billion seven hundred million Burundian francs composed of the cost of the platform of the Electronic Switch and that of the batch of thousand terminals of electronic payment.

Following an exchange and debate on this Note, the Council adopted it with the recommendation of more vigilance to avoid cases of theft.

8. Draft joint order involving the Régie Nationale des Postes in the share capital of BI-SWITCH S.M., presented by the Minister of Youth, Posts and Information Technologies.

The joint venture BI-SWITCH S.M. has a registered capital of four billion Burundian Francs and the Bank of the Republic of Burundi is the main shareholder with 2.7 billion Burundian Francs contribution. In addition to the Bank of the Republic, the other promoters of this company are the Commercial Banks and the Régie Nationale des Postes. Among other missions, this company will develop banking interoperability.

The Régie Nationale des Postes, as an institution subject to the law governing banking activities, must also modernize its payment system by ensuring interoperability between the electronic systems of participants in the Electronic Switch.

In accordance with the provisions of the Code of Private Companies and Public Participation of May 30, 2011, the participation of a public company in the capital of a mixed company must be authorized by a joint order of the Minister exercising guardianship over this company and the Minister having finances in their attributions.

This project concerns the authorization to the Régie Nationale des Postes to participate in the share capital of BI-SWITCH S.M.

At the end of the exchanges, the Council of Ministers adopted this project.

9. Any Other Business

  • The Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Development Cooperation spoke about his recent mission to the World Bank Headquarters. He also informed the Council that, next year, Burundi will have a substitute Administrator at the World Bank who will become a Director after a period of two years. Burundi was also elected to serve as Vice-President of the African Group at the World Bank. He also informed the Council about the next visit of the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization.
  • The Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender informed the Council that the Burundian athletes have done well at the international athletics meeting for disabled people held in Morocco.
  • The Minister of National Defense and Veterans Affairs spoke about his working visit in Turkey.
  • The Council of Ministers reiterated the need for Burundi’s partners, such as UNICEF and FAO, to work on the basis of official statistics and requested that the structures responsible for producing them be regularly updated as much as possible.
  • Finally, the Council of Ministers asked the Ministers in charge of Public Works and Finance that the toll system on all roads entering the City of Bujumbura be operational at the latest within six months.

Done at Gitega, May 11, 2019

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

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