BUJUMBURA January 8th (ABP) – Relations between Burundi and India are “in good shape” in various fields of political, economic, social and cultural cooperation, since the launch of bilateral cooperation several years ago, according to Inès Sonia Niyubahwe, Director of Communication and Spokesperson of the Burundian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These good political relations were marked by an official visit to India by Burundian Head of State Pierre Nkurunziza in September 2012.
The cooperation between Burundi and India has always been characterized by exchanges of high level visits and mutual support in international forums. In August 2009, Burundi opened its embassy in New Delhi. With the continuation of strengthening friendly ties, Burundi and India concluded a bilateral cooperation agreement in 2012, “Niyubahwe said, adding that the consolidation of diplomatic relations between the two countries meant that India opens a short time later, in turn, an accredited embassy in Burundi, but with residence in Kampala (Uganda).
“Six years after the conclusion of a Burundian-Indian cooperation agreement, the Burundian Foreign Ministry has made a number of development projects already funded by India in Burundi; which to me is one of the most important dividends that Burundi has already derived from its cooperation with India,” she said. On the list, Niyubahwe cited the construction of a 20 to 30 megawatt hydroelectric power plant on the Kaburantwa River in the Cibitoke province (northwestern Burundi), while making it clear that the agreement to open an ad hoc credit line was signed in May 2011 by the two governments.
The agreement concluded in Bujumbura in October 2011 on the construction of a Pan-African Institute for Educational Planning and Administration for Burundi, as well as the annual granting of university scholarships for Burundian students, is also another manifestation of the “good” relations of Burundian-Indian cooperation, she insisted. For example, she pointed out, in 2018, India granted Burundi around 10 long-term university scholarships (bachelor’s degrees, masters and doctorates combined) and 40 traineeships for short-term training.
Director Niyubahwe also reported the “good” Burundian-Indian economic cooperation. “Today, Indian nationals residing in Burundi are also investing in the country. Burundi is also witnessing a movement of Indian businessmen who are investing in Burundi. It is worth emphasizing here that beyond this economic dimension in Burundian-Indian relations, there is also the exchange of cultures between the two countries,” she added.
On the issue of cooperation projects for the coming years, Ms. Niyubahwe pointed out that prospects for cooperation between Burundi and India are positive. “Today, in addition to the bilateral cooperation projects being negotiated, Burundi is also active at the level of multilateral cooperation with this country by participating regularly in the India-Africa forums in which the Indian government is currently working a lot,” she said.
Note that India, which is now part of the “emerging powers”, is also part of the BRICS, a group of five countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) whose Heads of State meet since 2011 in annual summits.