Assemblée Nationale du Burundi


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publie le jeudi 24 janvier 2013


Your Excellency, Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi ;

Rt. Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, Speaker the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) ;

Your Excellency, Thérence Sininguruza, First Vice-President of Burundi ;

Your Excellency, Gervais Rufyikiri, Second Vice-President of Burundi ;

Hon. Members of the Bureaus of the Parliament of Burundi ;

Your Excellency, Ombudsman of Burundi ;

Your Excellencies, Former Heads of State of Burundi ;

Hon. Shem Bageine, the Chairperson, EAC Council of Ministers ;

Hon. Ministers and Members of the Council of Ministers of the East African Community (EAC) ;

Hon. Members of EALA and the Parliament of Burundi ;

Ambassador Dr. Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of EAC ;

Your Excellencies Ambassadors and Diplomats ;

Distinguished Guests ;

Ladies and Gentlemen ;

It is an honour, a privilege and a rare opportunity for me to address this august Assembly, on behalf of the Parliament of Burundi and on my own behalf.

May I first and foremost salute and welcome His Excellency Pierre Nurunziza to Kigobe. We are very grateful to Him because He has accepted to grace and address this august Assembly, despite His very busy agenda. We wish Him a happy new year 2013 and great success as the President of Burundi and a key player in EAC integration process.

Allow me then to extend my warm welcome and my wish for a prosperous year 2013 to all EALA Members and to Rt. Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, whom I sincerely congratulate on her election on the one hand as the Speaker of EALA and, on the other hand, as the first lady Speaker of this prestigious parliamentary institution.
I seize this opportunity to assure her that the good relationships which are between the Parliament of Burundi and EALA will be enhanced, in the framework of parliamentary diplomacy.

Her election and the election of other prominent women as Speakers of national parliaments and assemblies in EAC will further the issue of gender equality, which is very critical in good governance, democratic dispensation and respect of human rights, especially the rights of women and girls.

May I also welcome and thank very sincerely all the distinguished personalities and guests who have come to participate in this ceremony. Their presence is a signal of their special interest in the proceedings of EALA and in EAC integration. I wish them a peaceful year, good health, success and prosperity.

Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Burundi ;

Hon. Members of EALA and the Parliament of Burundi ;

Ladies and Gentlemen ;

At first, we knew that the third Assembly had to meet in Bujumbura, in the Chamber of the Burundi National Assembly, from 26th November to 7th December 2012. Then it was announced that the meeting was scheduled to take place in January 2013.

We were told that the postponement was due to the official opening of the EAC Headquarters, which is also the new seat of EALA, in Arusha, Tanzania, and that EALA Members had to participate in that function.

Finally, Rt. Hon. Margaret Zziwa personally came to Bujumbura, on 5th November 2012, to reassure our Parliament that Burundi would host this Assembly, after the inauguration of the new EAC Headquarters.

I congratulate both EAC and EALA on their inauguration of the new Headquarters. I also express our heartfelt gratitude to EALA and its able leader, the Rt. Hon. Margaret Zziwa, for organising this Meeting in Burundi and therefore institutionalising the principle of holding EALA rotational meetings in the different Partner States of the EAC.

Hon. Members of EALA ;

Once again, welcome to Burundi. Feel at home in our country and our capital city, Bujumbura, near Lake Tanganyika.

In my understanding of the aims of this meeting, and as recommended by Article 49 of The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, you have come to liaise with the Parliament of Burundi.

You are also here to see how your colleagues from Burundi engage with their electorate and the people they represent in EALA.

Assuredly, you will not be disappointed at all because, as a team, they are doing their best to represent their people and sensitise them on matters relating to EAC integration process. I appreciate their collective commitment.

More importantly, in addition to your busy agenda, you have come to liaise with Burundian Parliamentarians on East African Community matters. Certainly, such matters pertain to the EALA fundamental missions of legislating, overseeing and representing our respective peoples and EAC citizens.

The Parliament of Burundi applauds you for performing such duties. I can assure you that everything possible will be done to make your stay in Burundi enjoyable and fruitful. Every effort will be made in order for this Session to take place in an enabling environment that allows it to be successful.

Hon. Members of EALA ;

With reference to the EALA two-week provisional programme for plenary and standing committees, you will hold debates on committee reports, namely a report of the Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources, which highlights good governance in natural resources.

Good management of natural resources, in an environment where climate change and outcomes of that change are to be dealt with, are critical issues for Burundi, a country where nearly 90% people live in rural areas and on agriculture.

EALA deliberations on climate change and good governance in natural resources management will be very enriching and instructive to the people of Burundi, a small country with very interesting and diversified natural resources and many opportunities.

As a matter of fact, development projects business companies are being set up by Burundians and people from different parts of the world, including East Africans.

I therefore invite you to sensitise Burundian and East African business people, so that in carrying out their activities, they preserve and protect our beautiful and diversified environment.

Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Burundi ;

Hon. Members of EALA and the Parliament of Burundi ;

Ladies and Gentlemen ;

This EALA meeting is being opened after the 13th East African Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition which was held in Bujumbura in December 2012, and whose main aim was promoting innovation, competitiveness, investment and private public partnership.

The exhibition was a great success. Indeed it showed that EAC integration was gradually becoming more people-centered. We are looking forward to seeing another East African Jua Kali/Nguvu Kazi Exhibition held in Burundi in the very near future because, Burundians from all walks of life, especially leaders, business people, representatives of the civil society, crafts people, artisans and artists, learnt a lot from their colleagues from other EAC Partner States.

By visiting the different stands, Burundians realised that issues relating to their day-to-day life could be properly addressed by engaging with their counterparts from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania and through EAC Integration.

That is why a number of challenges and obstacles, such as non-tariff barriers and obstacles to the free flow of business, the free movement of people, labour, services and capital, should be eliminated if we are, as East Africans, to consolidate the Customs Union and implement the Common Market Protocol, in order to sustain economic growth and create jobs for the millions of East African youths, who are willing to work hard, but who remain jobless.

To achieve this, we need new laws. We need also to harmonise the laws that are already in place. That is what national assemblies and parliaments of EAC Partner States and EALA are there for. They are also there to ensure that such laws are rightly implemented by respective governments and that EAC integration process is paving the way to good governance, democratic rule and the rule of law.

Regarding the Parliament of Burundi, we remain committed to adopting all the required bills and popularizing them so that their implementation can lead to a smooth integration of the EAC.

Your Excellency, Mr. President of the Republic of Burundi ;

Hon. Members of EALA and the Parliament of Burundi ;

Distinguished Guests ;

Ladies and Gentlemen ;

The people of Kenya are on the road to historic general elections which will be held in March 2013. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express our strong support to the people of Kenya in their political process. They deserve peaceful, fair and transparent elections, so that they can have democratically-elected leaders and Members of parliament.

It is with such a wish that I humbly invite His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, the President of the Republic of Burundi, to address us.

Thank you for your kind attention.

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