It is commendable that the President engages with the youth to understand the struggles they face in their entrepreneurial pursuits. However, investing in high-quality service delivery is actually the ultimate key to nurturing innovation among young people.
« If the services offered in Burundi continue to be mediocre, and God only knows how many people complain about the sluggishness and poor quality of services offered: unreliable internet, issuing of passports, visas, at the airport, Banks… If nothing is fixed, everything else will just be wishful thinking», did I write in one of my recent articles. I believe this is also true for young people’s entrepreneurship and innovation..
The Inkerebutsi Day, which will take place this Friday, October 10, 2023, at Jardin Public, provides a great opportunity for the young people to interact with the President and express their opinions on matters that are important to them and the changes they hope to see in Burundi.
Evariste Ndayishimiye, the president of Burundi, is known as “Umujama w’Abajeunes,” or “Friend of the Youth,” and he has made it a habit to meet with young people at least once a year.
On today’s show, the president will engage with young people in a press conference that will be broadcast live. This will be followed by a public talent show featuring Vichou Love, B-Face, and other artists. Young Burundians with great minds will be recognized for the creative solutions they came up with while building their businesses.
It’s no lie that President Ndayishimiye has taken such great care to empower young people in Burundi – resulting in stronger outcomes for all citizens. He has put in place initiatives and services that promote their projects for example creating the BIJE and PAEEJ fund to financially support their projects. He recently ratified the African Youth Charter, proving his commitment to making the youth, key stakeholders in Burundi’s development and across the whole continent. It’s quite good.
However, good is not enough
Some more concrete actions towards investing in quality services delivery and curbing corruption need to be taken for the youth to play effectively their role in making Burundi an emerging country by 2040.
Poor service delivery is one of the problems Burundian youth encounter while pursuing entrepreneurship. For example, you will have eight months from the date of application to get your passport ready. You will also need at least one thousand BIF to get a reasonably functioning internet connection, and sometimes even that won’t work well. Finding administrative documents is also a nightmare because you often have to visit two or more offices to get one document, and most of the time those offices are very far from one another that you will need to take a taxi especially because motorbikes and bicycles don’t access to certain areas of the town and so many more other difficulties deter young people from their entrepreneurial ambitions
In my opinion, the government should focus on increasing customer satisfaction by offering better services and ensuring consistent implementation of good governance practices and fair law application across all sectors of administration and economy.
By equipping future generations with employable skills training relevant to the global market; empowering small businesses; and working towards achieving transparency through holding public officials accountable for their actions, only then can real strides be made down the path towards developmental goals in Burundi. A combination of these initiatives will help young entrepreneurs become innovative while propelling the nation towards progress at large scale
The final point I want to mention is working on the image of our country both internally and externally which includes improvements to be made in social media and news coverage about our nationhood.
It includes empowering youths through promoting entrepreneurship and investing in projects such as arts & music festivals etc.. That way, our nationhood will always be highlighted first before bringing attention towards negative aspects often been presented or portrayed by media outlets outside our boundaries.