Summary report of the plenary session of May 06, 2021 on consideration and adoption of two ratification bills

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By webmaster May 6, 2021 08:24

In the year two thousand and twenty-one, on the sixth day of May, the senators met in the hemicycle of the Senate for the 36th plenary session of the sixth legislature in order to consider and adopt two Ratification bills namely the bill on Ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the bill on Ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the Cooperation Agreement in the maritime and port transport sector between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. On the agenda, there was also the election of the Chairman of the Standing Committee in charge of Political, Diplomatic, Defense and Security issues.

The session was chaired by the Right Honourable Speaker of the Senate, Mr Emmanuel SINZOHAGERA, and was attended by 38 senators and the Minister of Public Service, Labor and Employment, Mrs Domine BANYANKIMBONA, representing the Government.  As usual, this session was introduced with a prayer. It started at 9:33 am and ended at 11.25 am.

Opening the session, the Right Honourable Speaker of the Senate Mr SINZOHAGERA Emmanuel first welcomed the senators and the representative of the Government. Then, he invited the Minister having the Civil Service in his attributions, for the presentation of the preamble of the first bill under consideration.

In her presentation, Minister Domine BANYANKIMBONA said that the Agreement is part of traditional diplomacy. That is why Burundi, won by the principles and objectives of the African Union on the one hand, and the objectives of sustainable development on the other hand, has embarked on a South-South partnership in Africa and is likely to contribute to regional integration and intra-African partnerships for the UN 2030 and African Union 2063 agendas.

After this presentation, the Honourable Ferdinand NDAYISAVYE, Chairman of the Standing Committee in charge of Social, Youth and Culture issues, the committee which had analyzed the report, was invited by the Right Honorable Speaker of the Senate to present that report

The Honourable senators then proceeded to speak in general debate and ask questions of clarification.

To the Senators’ concern of knowing if Burundi intends to have a sufficient quantity of goods that it will export to Equatorial Guinea, the Minister reassured them by indicating that the vision of the Government of Burundi is to sensitize all Burundians to invest in the agricultural domain to have a large production because almost all the agricultural products that Equatorial Guinea needs, come from outside. In this case, Burundi will benefit from receiving the necessary foreign exchange.

When asked whether the products that Burundi will export to Equatorial Guinea will be certified in accordance with international standards, the Minister reassured them that there are institutions responsible for carrying out this control.

Since Burundi is a landlocked country, senators are worried that imported goods may be competitive because of the high taxes. To this concern, the Minister replied that this issue had been previously dealt with and, if need be, the goods will be transported by air. In addition, she said, the goods that will be imported from Equatorial Guinea will be those which are not found in the neighbouring countries.

 
When asked how we plan to increase the quantity of sugar to cope with its shortage, the Minister replied that the rehabilitation and extension project of SOSUMO is part of the perspective of increasing the production of this product which is essential for local consumption, even for export. 
 
After these questions of clarification, the Bill on Ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea was put to the vote and it was unanimously adopted by 39 senators including 38 present and 1 proxy.
 
After adopting that first bill under analysis, the Right Honourable Emmanuel SINZOHAGERA, gave, for the second time, the opportunity to the Minister of Public Service, Labor and Employment to present the preamble of the second bill on the day's programme.
 
In her presentation, the Minister said that the Agreement will facilitate maritime transport and develop trade between Africa and other regions of the world on the one hand, and intra-African trade and trade between African states and other continents, on the other hand.

After the explanatory statement, the Honourable Rénilde NDAYISHIMIYE, President of the Standing Committee in charge of Administrative issues, Decentralization and Control of the representativeness in the institutions, a commission which had analyzed the report, was invited by the Right Honourable President of the Senate, to present that report.

After this presentation, the President of the Senate gave the floor to the Honourable Senators to express themselves in the general debate.

Given that there is a crying lack of qualified personnel in the diving field, the Honourable senators suggest to organize training programmes to strengthen this sector. In this regard, the Minister informed the august assembly that this training will be organized to ensure the safety of people and goods.

As for the use of the southern corridor for the transport of goods by lake, what is faster and less expensive, the representative of the Government took this suggestion as a recommendation. 

After these questions and suggestions, the bill on the ratification by the Republic of Burundi of the Cooperation Agreement in the sector of maritime and port transport between the Government of the Republic of Burundi and the Government of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea was submitted to the vote and adopted unanimously by the senators as the previous one.

Before closing the session, the members of the Standing Committee on Political, Diplomatic, Defence and Security issues were invited to proceed to the election of the Chairman of that Standing Committee in order to replace the Honourable Réverien NDIKURIYO, who was called to other duties. The elections were held under the supervision of the Honourable First Deputy-Speaker of the Senate and resulted in the election of the Honourable Gad NIYUKURI.

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By webmaster May 6, 2021 08:24
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