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Sangwe cooperative societies: Pillars of development in Burundi.

publie le Monday 25 October 2021
parCommunication and Spokesperson’s Office

Doomed to failure in their prescribed missions as a result of non-compliance with the law that governed them, the "cooperatives" were abolished and the cooperative societies were created. Indeed, the cooperatives were struck by a lack of coordination. While the regulatory texts focused on social issues, they were actually engaged in commercial activities with excessive exemptions from the Government, which caused the State to lose a lot of money. In addition, the government had no control over their operations.

All these failures have pushed the abolition of cooperatives by Law No. 1/12 of June 28, 2017 to give way to cooperative societies. The cooperative societies therefore not only benefit from the state’s assistance at the administrative and financial level but also have other advantages since they now operate as enterprises capable of importing and exporting and carrying out their own development projects. It is in this logic that the Sangwe cooperative societies were created. They are therefore the pillars of development. They are par excellence the node of wealth multiplication in villages and in the communes through agro-pastoralism.

They facilitate social cohesion, inter-communal and provincial bartering, the creation of tourism opportunities, and the reinforcement of good customs and mores that have always characterized Burundian society. It is also a place for training and capacity building in telecommunication, design of action plans, modern management of companies, solicitation and repayment of bank loans.

For the implementation of this law, the Right Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly took advantage of the parliamentary recess of July 2021 to inculcate the population on the missions of the Sangwe cooperative societies and their expectations. Thus, the provinces of Makamba, Rutana, Cankuzo, Ruyigi and Muyinga benefited from the mobilization of the Right Honorable Gelase Daniel Ndabirabe through various moralization sessions organized for this purpose.
The participants welcomed this awakening of conscience and pledged to follow the advice given to them to the letter. They also pointed out the challenges they face.

These are related to the mismanagement of state funding, as some managers have misappropriated the 10 million credit that the state had granted to Sangwe cooperative societies for each village. The Right Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly ordered them to think about returning this money or risk being sanctioned. There are also challenges related to the lack of storage sheds for the production and the surplus yield without a market. The Right Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly told them to build storage sheds during the community works. As for the disposal market, the Burundian Government has already found a way out by buying the production at a price that encourages the agro-pastoralists.
If the cooperative societies continue in the same vein, no one can doubt that Burundi will experience an exemplary economic, social, tourist and cultural development both in the Great Lakes region and in the concert of nations. As well, the vision of the Government of Burundi that the Sangwe cooperatives will contribute to the liquidation of the public debt and the deficit will be effective by 2027.

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