PARCEM: Arab countries not ready to assist Burundi

Faustin Ndikumana, Chairman of PARCEM

Faustin Ndikumana, Chairman of PARCEM

On the occasion of the celebration of Eid El Hadj , Pascal Nyabenda, Speaker of the Burundian National Assembly who has joined Burundian Muslims in Gatumba, western part of Bujumbura the capital, asked them to plead for Arab countries’ assistance to Burundi.

Faustin Ndikumana, the Chairman of PARCEM, a local NGO committed to awakening and changing Burundian mentality says Arab countries are not absolutely ready to assist Burundi financially for two main reasons.

First, Arab countries are facing financial difficulties as the price of oil, their main source of income has dropped significantly on the international market.

He indicates that Arab countries used to fund Burundi through development projects such as rice farming in Imbo plain, through the Imbo Regional Development Company (SRDI) However, due to the current economic situation of these countries, it is no longer possible.

“Algeria, which was involved in the construction of paramedical schools in Burundi over the past few years, has now enormous difficulties,” says Ndikumana.

Second, Arab countries are not likely to give a direct budgetary support through foreign direct investment. He explains that they put capital into some politically stable countries. “They cannot invest in a country in crisis.

Given the current security situation in Burundi, they cannot bring their capital in Burundi”, he claims.
The chairman of PARCEM states that foreign investors can only come to Burundi once the political stability is restored. The economic crisis that Burundi is currently going through dates back from April,2015 when president Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third controversial term in office. A few months later, part of the International community such as USA and EU decided to suspend some support to Burundi as the commitments proposed by Bujumbura to end the crisis were not sufficient enough to address their concerns.