World Bank Vice President Reaffirms Support to Burundi

February 1, 2012

The World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development, Rachel Kyte, concluded her two and a half day visit to Burundi today by reaffirming the World Bank Group’s commitment to support Burundi’s sustainable development.  Her remarks came as the World Bank helps the government to implement its poverty reduction strategy.

“I congratulate the Government for its commitment to reform and its new strategy. There remain huge challenges ahead to allow Burundian access to energy, finance and markets. We urge our development partners and the investment community to recognize Burundi’s progress and the opportunities it offers”, she said.

During her visit, Kyte met with President Pierre Nkurunziza and Second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri. They discussed Burundi’s development priorities and how regional integration, especially in the East African Community, may shape the future growth of the country.

The Vice President also held a special meeting with Finance and Economic Development Planning Minister, Ms. Clotilde Nizigama, and other members of the Cabinet with whom she discussed their priorities, and the role of the Bank Group in leveraging financing from other sources. She emphasized the importance of prioritizing key areas of intervention.

Kyte said the World Bank will continue to work with the government in diversifying and improving agriculture productivity. She said that infrastructure, such as energy and roads, are fundamental pillars of economic growth and called for greater involvement of the private sector. She also held meetings with development partners including ambassadors, civil society, and private sector representatives.

While visiting Bank-financed projects in Bubanza to get a firsthand account of the impact from beneficiaries and see results on the ground, Kyte stressed the importance of investing in women and assuring their equality. She freely interacted with beneficiaries to bank financing including women, local government officials, small rice farmers, coffee growers and ex-combatants.

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