BUJUMBURA March 12nd (ABP) – The Cabinet, which met on Wednesday March 6, 2019, focused on two bills, three decree bills, an ordinance bill, a memorandum of understanding and a note on the use of bin bags for the conservation of agricultural products, according to a press release from the General Secretary of the Government issued on Monday.

The first bill concerns the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the protocol for the elimination of the illicit trade in tobacco products. Indeed, Burundi has ratified the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control since 2005. The Cabinet Meeting noted that even though the tobacco trade is regulated, the illicit trade in tobacco products is notable and the fraud has become commonplace. This situation makes tobacco available at affordable prices, leading to very high consumption especially among young people. This situation undermines the measures taken by both parties to protect citizens from the consequences of smoking. The purpose of the protocol is to eliminate all forms of illicit trade in tobacco products, in accordance with the provisions of that Convention. Ratification of that protocol will make it possible to reduce the illegal channels of production and marketing of tobacco products and, as a result, increase the price of tobacco, thereby reducing its accessibility by people, who will therefore be protected from its harmful consequences.

The second bill deals with the peaceful use, surety and security of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation. Burundi joined the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2009. With this bill, Burundi wants to have a law that regulates practices using ionizing radiation. A team has been appointed to rework that bill and bring it back to the Cabinet within a month.

The decree bill on creation, mission, organization and functioning of the Burundi Urban Planning and Housing Authority (OBUHA) was initiated to find the solution to the continuous growth of the urban population which implies a continuous growth of housing needs. The solution proposed by this decree bill is to bring together certain existing institutions involved in the field of urban planning, housing and construction to better organize them in the same structure, in this case, the Burundi Urban Planning and Housing Authority (OBUHA).

The second decree bill relates to the creation and organization of the structures of the Multi-sectoral Food Security and Nutrition Platform (PMSAN) whose main mission is to coordinate all efforts and to guide sectoral policies and plans in framework for food security and nutrition development and advocacy for resource mobilization. That decree bill aims to adapt the legal framework governing its structures to the structure of the government which changed in 2018. Some of the ministries that are members of the platform have changed their name or merged with others, hence the need to adapt the composition of the Platform to this evolution.

The third decree bills relates to the creation, mission and functioning of the Burundi Road Agency. Its main mission will be to ensure multi-year planning, supervision, coordination of road maintenance activities and construction of new roads.

Another item analyzed by the Cabinet Meeting concerned the memorandum of understanding between the Republic of Burundi and Mango Tree Group Co Ltd on the project for the promotion of lake transport on Lake Tanganyika. The memorandum addresses the emergency need for ships able to transport goods and people through the ports of Tanzania, DR Congo and Zambia. In order to meet the purpose of that memorandum bill, Mango Tree Group has offered to promote transport on Lake Tanganyika through the construction of a mixed cargo and passenger boat to and from those different ports.

The ministerial ordinance bill setting the terms and conditions for the implementation of the project to modernize the automobile technical control services and the granting of transport authorizations would make concrete the commitments already made by the government in terms of modernization, securing and computerizing services.

Regarding the note on the use of bin bags for the conservation of agricultural products in Burundi, the objective is to preserve agricultural products, in order to reduce post-harvest losses. Those bags are hermetic, airtight and chemical-free, have three layers, which greatly help to fight against diseases and pests that attack agricultural products in stock.

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