Belgium renews development cooperation with Burundi

Over the next five years, Belgium will provide 75 million euros in development aid to Burundi for support in agriculture, healthcare and education. This is the first new bilateral cooperation programme with the East African country since 2015.

Burundi’s vice-president, Prosper Bazombanza, said in a televised speech on Tuesday that Burundi would receive the aid over five years, Bloomberg reported. The office of Belgian minister of Development Cooperation Caroline Gennez confirmed the news.

The support is part of the first new bilateral cooperation programme with Burundi since 2015. The Belgian government suspended certain development programmes following violence in Burundi after the re-election of president Pierre Nkurunziza. Most programmes continued, however.

The new cooperation will not restart projects that were suspended in 2015. There will be a focus on good governance within the sectors supported by Belgium: agriculture, healthcare and education, and on strengthening civil society organisations and civic initiatives.

Burundi was a German colony from 1890, but was placed under Belgian rule after World War I until it gained its independence in 1962.

Burundi's vice-president, Prosper Bazombanza © PHOTO TCHANDROU NITANGA / AFP

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