In framework of UCLG Africa support in the implementation of the policy of decentralization in Burundi, the Secretary General of UCLG Africa, Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, took part in the first meeting of the Interdepartmental Steering Committee and management of the National Policy of Decentralization (CIOPD) as an observer, on 13 February 2017 in Bujumbura.
The second Vice-president of the Republic of Burundi, HEM Joseph Butore chaired the meeting. In his opening remarks, he recalled the importance of the CIOPD, a framework of which the execution was intended by the Head of State of Burundi to accelerate the effective implementation of the decentralization national policy. The adoption of the law on the transfer of skills to municipalities was decisive progress for this policy.
The agenda of the meeting focused on:
-The presentation of the Action Plan of the CIOPD for 2017-2019 period;
-The presentation of the draft decree on the creation, organization and functioning of the Joint Commission of arbitration, including the proposal of the members of the joint Arbitration Committee;
-Submission to the CIOPD for approval, the terms of reference for the recruitment of consultancy services for the preparation of a roadmap for the implementation of the law on the transfer of competencies to the municipalities;
-The presentation for adoption of the model of ideal municipality, by the Minister of community development, Mrs. Jeanne d’Arc Kagayo. The ideal Administration would include three departments:
(1) Department of administration and finance;
(2) socio-economic and cultural Department;
(3) municipal technical services.
Each Department would include services that the number would depend on the needs of the various municipalities. If this model is adopted, the next step is to propose the organization of training courses for these permanent Executive Secretaries of municipalities, for which, the support of UCLG Africa will be needed;
-The presentation of the road map of the work of the CIOPD for 2017 with the schedule of meetings proposed for this instance.
Thus, members of the CIOPD proceeded to the adoption of the Action Plan of the MS/CIOPD, the Action Plan for three years 2017-2019, for the implementation of the national local economic development strategy and the roadmap of validation of the texts and reports from studies of implementation of the law on the transfer of skills.
On the adoption of the ideal municipality model, the Members of the CIOPD prefer to take time to gather more arguments before adopting the organizational chart. This point should be included in upcoming meeting of the CIOPD.
In his closing remarks, the 2nd President of the Republic insisted on the expectations of the people towards decentralization and the importance that the Head of State grants to the CIOPD as an instance of impulse of the dynamics of decentralization.
14 of the 20 members of the Burundian Government sit on the CIOPD, 9 of whom were present in person and 6 represented. This first meeting of the CIOPD sufficiently showed the importance the Government attaches to the implementation of decentralization.
The achievements should be the basis for further progress. The commitment of Burundi in favor of decentralization should now be considered as irreversible.