Belgium grants 3.8 million euros for good governance

Belgium granted Burundi on Monday 3.8 million euros (approx US $4.6 million) as part of a six-year funding programme to make the country’s public institutions, especially those involved with good governance and social services, more efficient, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bujumbura said.

The total cost of the six-year programme is 5.9 million euros (approx $7.2 million).

Belgium Ambassador Léon D’Aes, who signed the agreement on behalf of his government, said Brussels would help Bujumbura to acquire the tools necessary to ensure an efficient public administration.

Minister for External Relations Térence Sinunguruza, who signed the document on behalf of Burundi, said the ministries and other state institutions that are to benefit from the grant would be determined later.

Belgium support for good governance comes as Burundi prepares to inaugurate President-elect Pierre Nkurunziza, 40, on 29 August. In July Belgium, which is the former colonial ruler of Burundi, gave the transitional government under Domitien Ndayizeye money to pay salary arrears to teachers, thereby ending a two-month strike.