This Sunday, 22 December 2013, the former Burundian Diaspora from Kenya through G 25 Events (Generation of the vision 2025) have organized the 1st gathering of Burundians who used to live in Kenya in order to promote information, unity, dialogue and communication between them.-By Lorraine Josiane Manishatse
The meeting of the former Burundian Diaspora of Kenya had the objective of putting together Burundians who lived in Kenya to share experience and skills acquired from Kenya for the development of Burundi. They are eager to bring their contribution after coming back to their motherland. The meeting was mainly focused on business opportunities in Burundi through different lectures, speeches and entertainment. According to Iradukunda Joseph Jib, the Manager and Cofounder of G25 Events and the Owner of Across Burundi (a Service Enterprise), Burundians who lived in Kenya for many reasons came with great knowledge because they learnt many things. They need to be together to talk about achievement success, experience sharing of their daily life and available opportunities in Burundi. It was also a pertinent opportunity to exchange on difficulties and challenges they encounter in their day-to-day business.
Young entrepreneurs’ opportunities are limited in Burundi
For Iradukunda, It is very difficult to do business in Burundi because Burundians do not often believe in the youth. Furthermore, business is based on friendship: “in Burundi merit doesn’t count”. “When I was in Kenya, I learnt that it is better to create your own job than seeking one. I was taught to be creative, innovative, to aim higher and never give up. That is the reason why when I came back to Burundi, I have created my own enterprise Across Burundi which is supplying and distributing services such as branding, printing as well as diverse office materials and equipment,” he states. Iradukunda indicates that it was not easy to start his business. In Burundi, people do not trust in the youths. These are taken as drunkards, smokers, and careless people. Then, it is very hard to convince big businessmen to give market opportunities to young entrepreneurs. “For example, I have begun my business since 2010; it was very hard to work because even people who accepted to work with me refused to give me advance payments because they didn’t trust me. It was an obstacle to my business,” he deplores. After realizing all those challenges, former Burundian Diaspora of Kenya, thought to create a network G25 Events, so that they could meet regularly, share knowledge and experience and assist each other to overcome those obstacles. “The first meeting of G25 Events network has been held this Sunday, because of the same problem of not being trusted. Many personalities were invited but didn’t respond to our invitation because they thought that we were not able to hold the meeting. In a satisfactory way, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have considerably supported us,” he adds.
We need a change …
Iradukunda advises young Burundians to change their bad behavior. They should think about creating their own jobs for their brighter future instead of wasting much time taking alcohol and drugs. Adults are also invited to encourage and support youths in development actions because they are the future leaders of the country.
“Burundi government should help the youths through different types of training in investment and entrepreneurship because they are very expensive,” he concludes.