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The East African : Apr 27th 2015
April 25- May 1, 2015 The EastAfrican YEARS OF BURUNDI ACHIEVEMENTS Celeb≥ating majo≥ ≥efo≥ms in education and healthca≥e Message from the President’s Office on the socio-economic progress made so far for his party, the CNDD-FDD, President Pierre Nkurunziza and his government are not short of innovation and creativity to keep sharpened the determination of the people of Burundi to be tireless builders of a better and progressive Burundi. This is demonstrated by a O special communication and encouragement to all those who give blood and sweat for the realisation of the social project through which Burundians shall live in peace and devote their time to progress and development. Free basic education Since President Nkurun- ziza took charge of state affairs, change has been the leitmotif at both ends of the spectrum. As a result, the president announced free basic education just after he was sworn in, in August 2005. Consequently, the number of students increased by 57 per cent between 2005 and 2013 (to 2,059,212 pupils from 1,309,385 ), with a consequent increase in high schools and universities. To meet needs for this massive enrollment, the government invested in construction of additional schools. As a result, from 2005 to 2013, Burundi has been able to build more than 1,600 primary schools and doubled the number of classrooms from n the eve of the 2015 elections and nearing the end of two terms in power 15,172 to 30,082. There is now at least one primary school at all the 2,910 hills of Burundi. Community secondary schools and basic schools are significantly increasing across the country; the sons and daughters of Burundi will no longer have to travel miles to reach the source of book knowledge and become open minded. Because education is the engine of human development, Burundi scheme relies on the elementary school to address the deficiencies of classical education from the colonial era. It must be stressed here that the challenge of the classical school whose benefits were certainly many, is that it no longer reflects the evolution of the country and the world. As a result, the majority of graduates of general or technical education, universities or higher education institutions become job seekers or simply unemployed. Hence the reform initiated through the elementary school where the emphasis is on teaching trades and the entrepreneurial spirit. The goal now is to nurture brains, minds and hands that can adapt to the expectations of the labor market and job creation. Free healthcare for chil- dren under the age of five and promotion of health insurance The well-being of the popu- lation is constantly considered as a priority by the Nku- runziza regime. Therefore, in addition to free basic education, the government has taken another popular measure of free health care for children under five and pregnant mothers or those giving birth in public health facilities. Strengthening local health structures and medical personnel to meet the needs of all beneficiaries contributed to the reduction of maternal mortality and mortality for children under five. The results achieved are encouraging; for example, the birth rate in health facilities increased sharply from 13 per cent in 2005 to 71.4 per cent in 2013 resulting in a decrease in maternal mortality (from 615 to 500 deaths per 100,000 births) and children under five years (from 176 to 59 deaths per 1,000 births) between 2005 and 2010 (MICS 2005 and EDSBII, 2010). In addition to children and pregnant mothers, the other components of the population cannot easily access health care in normal conditions of cost. Thus the population was sensitised and encouraged to obtain health assistance cards in order to get treatment at a lower cost, the supplement being supported by the state. The birth control policy The population explosion is a real threat that jeopardises any development efforts, especially given the pressure on land. Having many children is no longer a sign of prosperity but a source of conflicts TURN TO PAGE 4 This data shows the dramatic change in schools built under the stewardship of President Pierre Nkurunziza 3000 3500 4000 11500 2000 2500 500 1000 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 Primary 2009 2010 Secondary 2011 2012 2013 2, 132 2, 334 2, 536 1, 369 486 502 527 694 864 970 1, 039 1,121 Primary school education has expanded and enrolment has grown Number of schools 2, 909 3, 109 3, 358 3, 549 3, 663 3, 786 SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT 3 GROWTH FROM 2005 TO 2013, BURUNDI HAS BEEN ABLE TO BUILD MORE THAN 1,600 PRIMARY SCHOOLS AND DOUBLED THE NUMBER OF CLASSROOMS FROM 15,172 TO 30,082. Govt sets up agencies to add≥ess painful past injustices THE ESTABLISHMENT of the Nation Commission on Land and Other Assets (CNTB). Triggered by the will to correct the injustices of our national history, the government is working hard to address both sensitive and vital issues on litigation related to dispossession of land and other property following the 1972 monstrous massacre and other dark years of national history. The CNTB has already addressed disputes of land and other property looted from the victims of the crisis dating back to 1972. Despite the hostility of those who defend the status quo and the grotesque theories of the so called bona fide purchasers of looted goods, laws guaranteeing the rights of victims the special procedures in this matter have been passed to avoid the pitfalls classic jurisdiction. These reforms as well as the will to tackle the painful past of national history reassured hundreds of thousands of Burundians living in exile who consequently decided to return to the motherland with the hope of recovering their property and above all to make peace with those they left behind. The work of the CNTB and suc- cess of teams involved on this nationwide project naturally augur success hoped for another project: that of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The establishment of the Om- budsman institution The establishment of the Om- budsman Institution was provided for in the Arusha Accords and in the constitution of 2005. The term comes from the Swedish Ombudsman and means “one who speaks on behalf of others.” The Ombudsman is far from being a spokesman but rather plays the role of mediator while remaining an independent administrative authority. In Burundi, the Ombudsman is required to contribute to the development of democratic culture as to the rights of citizens and workers. “The Ombudsman receives complaints and conducts investigations of management mistakes and violations of citizens’ rights committed by public services and the judiciary and make recommendations thereon to the competent authorities. He also provides mediation between government and citizens and between departments and the administration and plays the role of observer in relation to the functioning of public administration.” Since taking office, the Ombudsman has dealt with several issues. To mention but a few, one would point out the puzzle involving bikers; farmers demanding payment for the plants they had sold to the ministry in charge of the environment; the populations of Mutambara and the site known as Kumase. We still remember the role of the Ombudsman for indoctrinating the youth the culture of non-violent communication and the refusal of any manipulation for political ends. The fight against corruption and economic mismanagement Since the entry of the CNDD-FDD leaders in the capital city following the signing of the Arusha and Pretoria Peace Agreements, the message sent to the city and to the world was crystal clear: “the nation’s predicaments are not due to ethnicity but to poor governance”. It means that the leaders attach particular impor- tance to the rule of law. Research and the promotion of good governance have been made parts and priorities of the system. Thus, laws and reforms aimed at establishing the rule of law in Burundi have been initiated and introduced in Burundi. The fight against impunity, corruption and economic mismanagement, the establishment of a brigade and a court to fight against corruption are achievements under Nkurunziza’s belt. In his inauguration speech, 59 days after his election, President Nkurunziza declared “zero tolerance” on corruption and related offences. In order to enforce the zero tolerance policy, Pierre Nkurunziza pushed further with the creation of an anti-bribery brigade and an anti-corruption court, institutions that have never existed before in Burundi.
Apr 19th 2015
May 3rd 2015