In the last week of March, I was in Burundi for an important visibility event.
The association of municipalities in Burundi (ABELO) organised the yearly “Journée de la Commune” (day of the municipalities) on the 27th and 28th of March 2019 in Gitega, in the Tereziya center, with support from the IDEAL Burundi project.
This event was marked by a series of presentations and testimonials on different themes, not only presenting the annual report and results of ABELO to its members, but all with the aim of sharing good practices on the one hand, and to draw the attention of the municipal administrators on certain difficult aspects of local governance on the other hand.
To kick off, the Administrator of the Bukirasazi municipality presented based on the evaluation of the performance of the municipalities in 2017, which showed the best progress was within this municipality. The Administrator notably explained that her municipality has been mainly focussing on local economic development, reinforcing social cohesion and improving the financial management of the municipality. These elements formed the basis of a training within the IDEAL project in the beginning of 2018.
Regarding the participation of women in decision-making, the main conclusions included: - That improving women’s participation is above all a matter of respect in general; and - a matter of implementation of the international, regional instruments to which Burundi has subscribed.
Subsequently, discussions were opened on the appropriation of the development of local development plans (Plans Communaux de Développement Communautaire, PCDCs) by the municipalities themselves. After reviewing the national legal framework governing the PCDCs and the different phases of its elaboration, the existing disparities between the municipalities were highlighted, in their support to the development of the third generation of PCDCs.
The lessons learned provided food for thought for all municipalities, and even caused a shared commitment among them to periodically save part of the budget of their respective municipalities, in order to finance the 4th generation of PCDCs that will take place from 2023 until 2024.
For more information on this event, and our activities in Burundi in general, please visit: