BUJUMBURA July 24th (ABP) – The Great Lakes Center for Development and Enterprise (CDE), in the context of the recently launched “Birashoboka” campaign to reduce poverty in Burundi, organized, in Bujumbura on Monday July 22, 2019, a workshop for the restitution of the study report on the barriers to free enterprise in Burundi.

The report was produced by Dr. Siméon Barumwete, University Professor and Mr. Bruce Vaillant Ntangibingura  a check by ABP revealed.

According to Mr. Manirakiza, Executive Secretary of CDE-Great Lakes, that campaign is aimed to reduce all regulations in Burundi to reach a country that promotes a business-friendly environment by raising awareness among entrepreneurs, the media, consumers, national elected officials and private sector stakeholders on the vital need to support free enterprise.

Economic freedom refers to an economic system in which business activities and private property have few restrictions. That system is aimed to minimize restrictions on government creation, certification and intervention in any size of a business, he said.

Mr. Manirakiza believes that economic freedom is a prerequisite for growth and development, broader human development and the challenges of poverty in Burundi. According to him, economic freedom is the solution to poverty as the poorer we are, the more we need access to informal alternatives.

In his presentation of the results of a study conducted on “The constraints to starting a business in Burundi”, Mr. Bruce Vaillant Ntangibingura said that the ultimate goal of that study is to understand the constraints faced by the founders of a company with a view to proposing ways of solution to decision-makers.

Aware that an entrepreneur wishing to set up the business in Burundi faces many difficulties, such as the lack of information, the low level of qualification of entrepreneurs, the decentralization of structures [API (Burundi Investment Promotion Authority) and BBN (Burundi Standardization and Quality Control Authority)], the high cost of registration and certification as well as BBN’s insufficient capacity for product certification, Mr. Ntangibingura makes a number of recommendations.

According to him, BBN should be more attentive to entrepreneurs who are looking for its services and be able to adapt its services to the realities of the country. With the support of the government, it should increase its resource mobilization efforts to improve the notoriety of its certification so that it can be recognized regionally and internationally, he said.

According to that consultant, the average cost of 1,400,000 BIF for the certification of products that has been indicated by entrepreneurs is too high compared to the standards of living of Burundians in general and the level of financial resources of entrepreneurs at the start of their businesses. Efforts on communication and awareness on product certification should be stepped up, he said, adding that there should be further facilitation of access to BBN service for processing units and the upgrading of agro-food products that are in the interior of the country.

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