Burundi and China sign an act of delivery and reception of the new Presidential Palace.

Burundian Foreign Minister Ezekiel Nibigira and Chinese Ambassador Li Changlin signed on Thursday the act of handing over and receiving the project to build the Presidential Palace of Gasenyi (north of Bujumbura) funded by China during a solemn ceremony enhanced by the presence of Burundi‘s second vice-president, Joseph Butore.

This signing ceremony was preceded by a guided tour of the Presidential Palace building. “It is a great pleasure for us to come to the signing ceremony of the act of handing over and receiving the project of the presidential palace,” Ambassador Li said in a press briefing.

 The most important work” already done by China in Burundi.

The Chinese Ambassador first thanked Second Vice President Butore for enhancing the ceremony. The determination of the construction site of this palace was spread over several years, said Ambassador Li before noting that the construction of this palace lasted two and a half years. According to Mr. Li, this Burundian presidential palace in Gasenyi is “the most important work” already done by China so far in Burundi.

The delivery and reception of this palace is “a symbol of sincere friendship and active cooperation” between China and Burundi, said the Chinese ambassador. With this, he recalled that in December 2018, China and Burundi celebrated the 55th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. The relations between our two countries, he insisted, are at their “best” in their history.

Ambassador Li recalled that at the China-Africa Cooperation Forum Summit held in September 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced eight major initiatives for cooperation between China and Africa in general, and for cooperation between Burundi and China in particular.

“For the moment, we are putting in synergy all these measures in a concrete way, with Burundi’s National Development Plan (PNB).For this reason, the Chinese Embassy mobilized a dozen young interpreters to translate Burundi’s PNB into Chinese; this to identify priority areas for cooperation. In any case, for all the promises we made to our Burundian brothers, the Chinese will hold them with all their energy and their heart, “he said.

Sino-Burundian cooperation will insist on improving the working conditions of Burundians civil servants 

The Chinese ambassador pleaded that in the future, Sino-Burundian cooperation will insist on projects aimed at improving the working conditions of Burundian civil servants as well as those aimed at improving the well-being of the Burundian population. On the question of the budget for the construction of this palace, Ambassador Li said this is not the appropriate time to give the figures ad hoc.

For his part, Minister Nibigira expressed the satisfaction of the Burundian government of President Pierre Nkurunziza because, since the independence of Burundi in July 1962 to date, Burundi had never obtained a building of such importance.

“It is for the first time in its history that Burundi has such a beautiful building. It is for this reason that I would like to thank on behalf of the Burundian government, the Chinese government for this gift offered. This materializes the strongest political and diplomatic relations between Burundi and China, “said Burundian Foreign Minister.

On this, he added, the Burundian government will engage all the energies so that the Sino-Burundian relations always go ahead in 2019 and in the years to come.


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