Burundi Central Bank wants to ensure the stabilization of the national currency

In a meeting organized this 20th by the Burundi Central Bank (BRB) with operators, managers or owners of exchange offices, Jean Ciza, the BRB governor states that the non-compliance with money-exchange regulations is the main cause of depreciation of the domestic currency. He recognizes that the situation is bleak compared to the previous period.

Ciza Jean, Governor of Burundi Central Bank

Ciza Jean, Governor of Burundi Central Bank

“The Central Bank as a guarantor of stability of the national currency, cannot allow the local currency depreciation,” says Ciza.

For him, it is deplorable that BRB observes the current violation of the currency regulations. “As you know, when there is no regulation there is disorder,” he mentions.

The Governor of BRB indicates that if exchange offices do their trade according to the regulations, it will have no substantial influence on the market because the bulk of imports is financed by commercial banks.

However, Jean Ciza regrets that there are people who want to transgress regulations. They are moving to the exchange offices while in general currency exchange bureaux are not allowed to sell more than $ 3,000 per individual per day.

“There are those who seek even 100,000 or 200,000 dollars in exchange offices. Normally these currencies should pass through the banking system, that’s what we’re looking for”, he highlights.

He clarifies that exchange offices should be limited to just small operations such as currency provided by visitors, tourists and officials returning from missions.

“Given this situation, the exchange offices caused needless panic. If the latter sell the dollar at BIF 2500 while the official price is BIF 1670, it is quite understandably expensive”, he put it.

The BRB governor explained that police and the national intelligence service were invited to ensure the enforcement of the regulations.

The central bank is looking at how people in particular situations such as students or patients seeking treatment abroad may have currencies via authorized institutions supervised by the national bank.

Ketty, one money changer who participated in the conference denies BRB allegations that they are responsible for Burundi currency depreciation. “We are also victims like all Barundians. I’m starving. I invested BIF 60 million but today I gain 3000 per day.” She asks the Burundi national bank to help them have foreign currency very easily “. For her, the expectation from the meeting would be to put an end to such a situation, but not accusing each other.

The situation is bleak compared to the previous period

Ciza asserts that the situation is bleak compared to the previous period and it is not peculiar to Burundi. He explains the phenomenon with two reasons. First, the financial crisis since 2008 because of the falling world commodity prices. The second reason being Burundian partners who have declined to offer the usual financial support to Burundi following the prevailing security situation.