OLOCUME disagrees with BRB decision to close forex offices

Gabriel Rufyiri, Chairman of a corruption watchdog-OLUCOME says the decision taken by the Burundi Central Bank-BRB doesn’t provide any solution to the problem of the lack of foreign currencies in Burundi. He says the country faces a major challenge since financial partners reduced their support to the government in 2015.

Gabriel Rufyiri: “It would be better for the country to increase the exportable products”

“Some items have become rare in the market due to this scarcity,” he says adding that importing raw materials to get those items requires foreign currencies. Moreover, he says, the prices of some products increase day after day. The price of cement has moved from BIF 24,500 to BI 32,000 per a 50kg bag. Soft drinks, namely Fanta, cost BIF 1000 instead of BIF 700. The price of sugar has gone from BIF 2340 to 3000 per kg in some localities.

The corruption watchdog Chairman says the foreign currency sources of the Burundian government are coffee, tea, cotton, tourism and the mining sector. “Unfortunately, over 70% of the mining revenues aren’t repatriated to the public treasury while the mining sector brings in a lot of foreign currencies,” he deplores.

Gabriel Rufyiri exhorts the government to restore relations with financial partners to get more foreign currencies. “It would be better for the country to increase the exportable products, stimulate investors and develop tourism to have enough foreign currencies,” he says.