Parliament Warns of Mineral Resource Theft in Burundi Due to Lack of Qualified Experts

Min Ibrahim Uwizeye

During the plenary session to review the proposed revisions to the mining code in Burundi, MPs highlighted a significant issue: the country lacks knowledgeable professionals in the field of minerals, leaving it exposed to the looting of its mineral resources.

During the session of Monday, June 19, 2023, MP Gilbert Nduwayo highlighted the insufficient expertise of Burundi in preventing mineral theft. To address this issue, MP Nduwayo suggested that the government should prioritize the academic training of Burundians in mining within schools and universities in Burundi. According to him, this would equip students with the necessary skills to excel in this industry in the future.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Gélase Daniel Ndabirabe, addressed the issue of numerous students being denied the opportunity to pursue this specialty and emphasized the need for the Ministry of National Education to take prompt action to promote and bring attention to this field. He urged for immediate measures to be taken to support and encourage students interested in this discipline.

Minister Ibrahim Uwizeye, in charge of mineral ressources and energy recognized the significance of engaging local experts in the mining industry to safeguard the country’s interests. However, despite their efforts to send numerous students overseas, the outcomes have been unsatisfactory as the skills required to effectively utilize the country’s mineral resources are still deficient.

The MPs emphasized the crucial need for Burundi to prioritize the development of its own highly skilled professionals in the minerals sector to safeguard its national interests. Without prompt action, the country will remain vulnerable to the exploitation of its valuable mineral resources.

Following a spirited discussion among Members of Parliament, the proposed legislation was unanimously approved.

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