BUJUMBURA September 3rd (ABP) – Burundi’s second Deputy President Joseph Butore returned to Burundi from Japan, where he participated in the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) held from August 28th to 30th. Upon arriving at Bujumbura’s “Melchior Ndadaye” international airport, Mr. Butore told reporters that the debates and exchanges of that 7th edition of TICAD were geared towards encouraging investment in Africa. He said the central theme of the conference was to advance Africa’s development through people, technology and innovation. The sessions were organized around six themes, namely information and communication technologies, improving the business climate and dialogue with the private sector, agriculture, education and human peace and stability and the blue economy.

During an inventory, a map of development of the African continent was drawn up. The first general observation is that today, Africa knows what it wants and is aware of the stage already reached. Africa knows where it wants to go and sees the goal it wants to achieve. And this can be read in particular on 20-63 agenda which is the compass of Africa. In addition, each country has its strategic orientation document. In the case of Burundi, it is the 10-year National Development Plan (NDP). The second observation was made from concrete examples showing that today, the African continent is capable and is ready to welcome big investors, among others, the company Ethiopian Air Lines which makes its flights practically in all African countries or around the world. In the banking sector, the example of ECOBANK, which began in Togo and which has opened its offices in 23 African countries so far, was cited. The third observation is that we should not continue to say that Africa is a high-risk area, and that it cannot accommodate large investments. It has been realized that some large projects are more profitable when they are executed in Africa than when they are executed elsewhere. In addition, there is no country in the world where there is no risk, said Dr. Butore. According to him, the issue of risk is a taboo to put aside so as not to block the development of Africa.

In terms of what should be done, how to do it, and where to do it first, the TICAD 7 participants were unanimous, saying that it would be better to do what the African citizen is capable of doing. To do so, there is a need to integrate business ideas, innovations in business and Japan is ready to accompany African States.

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