BUJUMBURA November 1st (ABP) – The National Assembly (NA) analyzed and approved six bills during the August ordinary session. This was said on Thursday October 31, 2019 by the Speaker of that Lower House of Parliament, Mr. Pascal Nyabenda, at the closing ceremonies of that first session of 2019-2020.

Indeed, five bills concerned ratification by the Republic of Burundi. This is the Agreement Establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). It is also the amendment of Article 24 of the Protocol establishing the EAC Customs Union. The same applies to the Protocol Establishing the Customs Union of the EAC, the Protocol Amending the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Amendment to the Agreement on Trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights as well as the loan agreement between Burundi and the Import-Export Bank of India on the construction project of the Parliament House in Gitega and ministerial buildings in Burundi. The sixth bill dealt with the reorganization and promotion of physical and sports activities.

The National Assembly then focused on monitoring government action, with 11 Ministers answering oral questions from the MPs. These are the Ministers in charge of Public Health, Justice, EAC Affairs, Environment and Agriculture, Public Security, Interior, Decentralization and Institutional Reform, Trade and Industry, Transport and Public Works, Youth Affairs, and that of Good Governance.

The parliamentary committee in charge of agriculture made a field trip to evaluate the 2019-2020 coffee campaign.

The Speaker of the National Assembly stressed that progress in the agricultural sector is commendable. For him, the construction of the organo-mineral fertilizer plant (FOMI) will have a positive impact on socio-economic development. The quantity of foreign currency destined for the importation of chemical fertilizers will be reduced. There will also be job creation.

He also invited people and the administration to extend a warm welcome to the Burundian refugees who are returning from the United Republic of Tanzania. The National Assembly also congratulated the defense and security forces, the people and the administration for quickly neutralizing the criminals who have recently threatened security in Bubanza province.

Parliamentary recess is not an opportunity for inactivity, but rather to approach citizens in order to listen to their grievances and to make them aware of the social and economic policies put in place and implemented by the government, especially in the context of the Burundi’s National Development Plan, NDP-Burundi 2018-2027.

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