Bujumbura is engaging in a phoenix-like resurrection from the ashes. Since 2023, the Burundi Government has launched a charming initiative aiming to raise the city’s profile and establish a stronger presence on the global stage after years of lethargy and invisibility due to years of civil crisis.
It is not so often that Bujumbura, the economic capital city of Burundi – a country that has been plagued by crisis since its independence – is recognized for positive things outside its notable Lake Tanganyika. But, since this year 2023, thanks to efforts in diplomacy by President Evariste Ndayishimiye, things are changing and Bujumbura is becoming that seductive crossing-roads point in the heart of Africa.
In January, a high-level meeting between regional leaders was held in Bujumbura, generating excitement across the country as it marked the first time in nearly 40 years that Burundi hosted more than five presidents at once. The last time being when Bujumbura hosted the International Summit of French-speaking Countries in 1984 under the leadership of President Jean Baptiste Bagaza who is remembered for his visionary leadership, which transformed Burundi into a dynamic economy, and he continued to rule the country until 1987.
Nearly 36 years later, Bujumbura is once again in the spotlight. Three events in particular deserve recognition:
– On February 2nd, Bujumbura hosted the 20th Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State of the East African Community, with all eight EAC presidents in attendance except for Salva Kiir.
– Since February 20th, Bujumbura has been recognized as the official African Youth Capital, following Burundi’s successful proposal during the 36th AU Summit to host the annual continental dialogue for African youth.
– From May 2nd to May 6th, Bujumbura will hold the 11th high-level meeting on Peace, Security, and Cooperation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region, with several leaders expected to attend.
From hosting regional summits and being recognized as the African Youth Capital to convening high-level meetings on peace, security, and cooperation in the region, Bujumbura is showcasing its potential as a dynamic and influential hub in East Africa. The city has once again emerged as a key player on the regional stage and no doubt that it is poised for even greater achievements in the years ahead. Things We Love to See.