BUJUMBURA July 4th (ABP) – “Our differences are more of a richness than a reason for tearing each other apart,” said Aloys Misago, dean of the Higher Institute of Commerce (ISCO).
He was speaking, Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at the Rohero campus of the University of Burundi (UB) on the occasion of a Conference organized by the UB in partnership with the School of Faith Workshop, Caritas Burundi on Financing of Diocese Rottenburg stutgatt (Germany), is placed under the theme “Accepting diversity”.
In his occasional speech, the director of research and innovations at UB, Dr .Tatien Masharaba asked the organizers of that major scientific meeting to consider, for more visibility of impact in society, the production of the proceedings of that conference for publication of a special number in one of the UB newspapers. He also indicated that this conference will, without doubt, lead to practical conclusions likely to allow a good promotion of the gains of diversity in all its dimensions.
The Dean of ISCO, for his part, mentioned that the said conference was organized, after having noted that in the history of Burundi the fact of not being the same in terms of physical appearance leads humans to consider totally different. The organization of that conference proves that man is the same because, according to him, current anthropological research shows that man is identical throughout the world and that the differences are minimal.
Research, he added, shows that the difference between humans is only 0.1% while 99.9% of humans have the same biological heritage. Mr. Misago further noted that the conference was organized to demonstrate that Burundians should work together without discrimination for the development of Burundi.
He also said that today the countries that have accepted diversity are currently powers. In that way, he gave the example of South Africa which is an economic power of Africa, in that country, more than three million people are foreigners. He also cited the example of Dubai which is developing “by leaps and bounds” where 85% of the inhabitants are expatriates, that is to say who came from elsewhere, which means that only 15% are natives of Dubai. In the United States, the 1st economic power in the world, the country has practically people from all over the world, he added. Professor Misago indicated that the Great Lakes region is a region of migration, that is to say that most people came from elsewhere.
However, he clarified, what the others do not have, the Burundians have. In comparison with Cameroon, where we find people of different ethnicities who live in different villages with different languages, Burundians have the same language and culture, the same religion and the same history. As a result, Burundi is a model of integration of different peoples, a historic whole that must be kept very jealously.
Burundi once experienced problems of discrimination that were caused by colonization, but today is a time to say that they are the same and must build the Burundian nation together.
Students at the University of Burundi wanted to know whether the Constitution of Burundi and the Arusha agreement which provide for ethnic quotas in political positions would not be a sign that this diversity would have been difficult to digest. For Professor Misago, the Arusha Accords is a necessary evil because the Burundian women would tear each other apart and in order to be able to put them back together, positions had to be given in relation to ethnicity. According to him, it was just to calm the Burundians, and remains confident that in the future the ethnic consideration in this or that other position will give way to competence and human dignity he hammered.