A Cabinet Meeting was held on Wednesday 07 and Thursday 08 February 2018 under the chairmanship of His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The following items were analyzed :
1. Draft Annual Government Action Plan for the Fiscal Year 2018, presented by the services of the Presidency of the Republic.
This Action Plan is a combination of the flagship actions that the different ministries have planned as activities for the year 2018. The selected actions are national in scope and part of the implementation of sectoral policies and strategies, the Sustainable Development Goals, and also pursue the objectives of the Burundi Vision 2025. The Plan also includes the actions resulting from the National Strategy for Good Governance and the Fight against Corruption as well as the actions stemming from the 2017 Government Retreats Recommendations.
The Action Plan indicates the main objectives, the concrete actions to be carried out, the measurable results expected, the objectively verifiable indicators, the areas of action, the deadlines, the budgets and the sources of financing.
The Plan was adopted after some amendments.
2. Draft Law revising Law No. 1/02 of March 3, 2016 on Reform of the Communal Taxation, presented by the Minister of the Interior and Patriotic Education.
The Government of Burundi has established the law of March 2016 on the reform of the communal taxation in order to better mobilize communal fiscal resources. Nevertheless, the implementation of this law has made it possible to identify certain provisions with shortcomings as well as other provisions that overlap with those of the government’s taxation.
Moreover, some of its provisions have proved non-compliant with the Constitution, notably those which give prerogatives to the Communal Councils to set tariffs and the tax base.
The present draft therefore amends provisions with shortcomings while placing others in the appropriate chapters. The rates have been reviewed and updated and established especially according to whether the taxpayer carries out the activity in the Rural Communes or in the Capital City. The law has been redrafted to reflect the realities of everyday life in the Communes.
After the exchange, the Council of Ministers recommended to reread and review the text, particularly the part of the appendices listing the activities subject to the tax, to ensure that all were listed and that the proposed tariffs are the most appropriate. The project will be brought back within a month and translated into Kirundi for better understanding by the population.
3. Draft Law Governing Foundations in Burundi, submitted by the Minister of Justice and Keeper of Seals.
The legal regime applicable to foundations in Burundi remains fixed by the decree governing public-service entities enacted on 19 July 1926, under Belgian rule, more than 90 years ago. It would therefore be abnormal to continue to apply provisions of an outdated text especially that even the Belgian legislature has already altered the law from which derives the decree governing foundations in Burundi. The foundation regulations therefore point to many flaws that need to be addressed. The establishment of this new legal regime is therefore motivated by the concern of the public authorities to establish a legal environment conducive to the creation of firm foundations operating and managed in a transparent manner with a view to efficiently carry out the activities of public utility in Burundi.
After exchange, the Council of Ministers appreciated the establishment of such legislation but noted some aspects that need to be retouched and a team that will rework on the project was appointed with instructions to learn from experiences of other countries.
4. Draft Decree establishing a National Agency for the Management of Food Security Stock (ANAGESSA in French acronyms), presented by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.
For some time now, Burundi has been tested by climatic hazards which are at the origin of either prolonged droughts or floods which destroy crops causing recurrent food shortages in certain parts of the country. The Government has therefore found that there is a need to think of ways and means to deal with these disasters. It is within this framework that on the 5th of July 2017, the Council of Ministers analyzed and approved a note on the establishment of a National Strategic Stock of Food Security with a view to finding a lasting solution to this problem. The Council then recommended that a legal framework be developed quickly. This project is therefore presented to make this recommendation a reality. After some amendments, the project was adopted.
5. Report on the prioritization of the Sustainable Development Goals in Burundi from 2016 to 2030, presented by the Minister to the Presidency in charge of Good Governance and Planning. In September 2015, Burundi joined other UN member states in adopting a new sustainable development program called "Sustainable Development Goals" (SDGs) to end poverty, tackle inequality and reduce poverty, injustice and coping with climate change by 2030. This program is taking over from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
After launching the Program, the Government of Burundi organized a national campaign to strengthen its ownership. Workshops were organized throughout the country to allow local stakeholders to be informed and to provide input on the targets and indicators on which Burundi will have to give special emphasis in the proposed order of priority. These consultations helped identify challenges and propose solutions for achieving the SDGs, while clarifying the role of each of the local actors.
This prioritization report of SDG targets and indicators is therefore the result of this process. This new Program will be a reference in the development of the National Development Plan.
Following the analysis of the Report, the Council of Ministers adopted it with the recommendation that the proposals of very Minister in their fields, modifications or enrichment reach the Ministry in charge of Planning at the latest in one week for the final document to be ready within two weeks.
6. Draft Ministerial Ordinance revising the Ordinance No 720/1479 of 29/8/2014 laying down implementing measures of the Civil Aviation Code in matters of Civil Aviation Safety in Burundi, presented by the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Equipment.
Burundi has been a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) since January 1968 and must therefore comply with its requirements. In June 2007, Burundi acceded to the Treaty Establishing the East African Community as well as the Protocol establishing the Agency for Supervision of the Safety and Security of Civil Aviation within the Community members States that all EAC member countries have undertaken to implement harmonized regulations in the air transport sector. The amendment of the 2014 ordinance therefore takes into account the new standards introduced by ICAO adapting them to national realities and incorporates new articles to harmonize this regulation with that of the East African Community in the field of civil aviation security, 2016 edition.
The project was adopted but legal aspects will be finalized by a team appointed for this purpose.
7. Note on Progress of preparations for the constitutional referendum, presented by the Minister of the Interior and Patriotic Education. The Note indicates that preparations are well under way and that work is being done in collaboration with the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), with the aim that this Referendum will take place in May 2018 as planned.
The work currently underway consists of explaining to the population the content of the Draft Constitution to be submitted for Referendum and before the actual campaign for the "yes" or "no" begins. The Note also states that the registration of voters for the Referendum as well as for the 2020 general elections began on February 8, 2018 and will last ten days.
The Note also provides information on the budget needed for the Referendum of May 2018, a budget prepared by the CENI and on which the Council of Ministers is called upon to take a decision.
The observation made by the Council of Ministers is that this draft budget was prepared on the basis of the Ministerial Order granting the budget for the elections of 2010 and 2015, which is no longer relevant, and especially that these elections were substantially supported by Burundi’s partners, which for the moment have completely disengaged.
In view of the fact that the Government and the Burundians have resolved to organize the 2020 elections themselves with a special effort in terms of the budget required by the various contributions, the Council of Ministers has requested that the preparation of the budget takes into account this reality by adapting it to the means that may be available. A new Ordinance shall consequently be issued.
It was also asked to everyone involved in this electoral process to put forward this patriotic spirit instead of focusing on the pecuniary aspect, noting that any sums paid cannot be considered as remuneration, but just an incentive.
And for greater transparency, the Council of Ministers has requested that the entire necessary budget for the 2020 elections be evaluated and made public as soon as possible, and that every three months there is an assessment of the contributions already collected in order to stop them as soon as the planned budget is collected.
8. Under “Any Other Business” section, the Minister in charge of Education has been urged to ensure that private Universities comply with the regulations in the enrollment of students and to constantly set the score required to be admitted.
Done at Bujumbura, February 09, 2018
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-