BUJUMBURA January 17th (ABP) – The Burundian Senate unanimously analyzed and adopted three bills on Tuesday January 15, 2019, one in connection with Burundi’s membership to the International Solar Alliance (ASI) and the two others related to the financing of the construction of the National Road No. 3, Rumonge – Nyanza-Lac section.

Senators first analyzed the bill on ratification by Burundi of the Framework Agreement on the creation of the ASI signed in Bujumbura on February 26, 2018.

The Minister of Energy and Mines, Mr. Côme Manirakiza, who represented the government in the session, explained to the Senators the Burundi’s interest in joining the Alliance. He informed that the ASI is an initiative jointly launched by India and France on November 30, 2015 in the framework of the COP 21 to make possible the “scaling up” in the deployment of solar energy in 121 countries with strong sunshine located between the two tropics, including Burundi. He pointed out that several countries of the inter-tropical zone are committed to launching a coordinated approach around four uses of solar energy in order to facilitate the scaling up of activities in areas such as decentralized solar applications for artisanal and agricultural use, isolated mini-networks, solar roofs and electro-solar mobility.

In addition, he added, several countries that have signed the Framework Agreement have submitted projects for funding. For Burundi, three projects received particular attention from the ASI Secretary Office. This is the decentralized solar application, namely the solar lights along the roads, the mini-networks for the electrification of the centers of the interior of the country or the villages, and the solar systems on the roofs for the public infrastructures such as health centers, secondary schools and others.

After exchange, that bill was adopted by 38 votes, seven by proxy. For the two other bills respectively on ratification by Burundi of the loan agreement between Burundi and the Saudi Development Fund, and ratification by Burundi of the loan agreement between Burundi and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, both concerning the project to build the National Road No. 3, Rumonge – Nyanza-Lac section signed in Bujumbura on November 26th, the Minister in charge of Public Works, Mr. Jean Bosco Ntunzwenimana, persuaded the Senators to adopt them. He explained that the rehabilitation project of that road of 52 km long is the government policy on the one hand and that of the East African Community on the other hand.

The chairman of the Permanent Committee on Social Issues, Youth and Culture, who had previously analyzed those bills, said that the main purpose of the rehabilitation project of that road is to stimulate international trade between countries by promoting regional integration, opening up the rural areas along the axis and in its​​influence zone, and enhancing the tourist potential as well as the fishing potential of Lake Tanganyika, preserving the existing road heritage through the rehabilitation of road sections that have been significantly degraded, improving the living conditions of the people by facilitating access to basic social services and reduce transport costs, especially for agricultural products to the main processing and trading centers .

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