The most important resource is people

Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, and the delegation from Burundi with State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet, Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the SEZ, and the Tambourinaires du Burundi | Photo credit: SEZ/fotonoid

Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, and the delegation from Burundi with State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet, Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the SEZ, and the Tambourinaires du Burundi | Photo credit: SEZ/fotonoid

Stuttgart, April 10, 2024 | At the state development policy conference on April 6th, politicians and civil society organizations spoke about greater equity in resources and the state partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi. As part of the Fair Trade trade fair, two hundred committed people met in Stuttgart to work on solutions for better use of raw materials and to promote the deepening of the partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi.

“People and resources are not equally distributed around the world,” emphasized Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi at the national development policy conference in Stuttgart. In his speech, he highlighted the need for diplomatic channels to “agree on a fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of resources.” State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet, responsible for media and development policy and the state's representative to the federal government, emphasized the importance of local partnerships and civil society in international efforts for greater sustainability: “The most important resource for partnerships is people. They represent the connection between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi,” he recalled in his opening speech.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the state partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi, civil society networks and those involved in development policy discussed in workshops the question of how both regions can learn from each other in order to reduce inequalities and use our resources better. Unfair trade in raw materials with the Congo and Kenya, as well as the changes that are necessary in this country, played a role. Examples such as orientation towards the common good, energy transition and supply chains were used to discuss global connections and the necessary social-ecological change for greater resource justice.

Impulses from Burundi – resource justice must be a partnership project

The Tambourinaires du Burundi got the conference off to a brilliant start with their performance at the International Congress Center Stuttgart. The drummers' dances have been UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage since 2014. The perspective that peaceful coexistence and reconciliation are necessary so that people can successfully overcome problems plays an important role in Baden-Württemberg's partner country Burundi. Resource-related conflicts have always led to inequalities and discrimination, particularly since the colonial era in Burundi. Anny Darlène Ndorimana, director of RC Retraining from Burundi, highlighted the importance of environmental protection as an opportunity in her keynote: “From accompanying rural women, we have learned that protecting the environment as a fair resource, just like other resources, is a relevant channel for sustainable development is”. She emphasized the successful combination of entrepreneurship and environmental protection as an opportunity and provided a practical example of implementation with the presentation of plastic recycled products from the RC Retraining initiative.

About the development policy state conference 

All results of the conference will be available as of May 6, 2024 www.sez.de/entwicklungspolitik-landesconference to find. The Council for Development Cooperation (REZ), which advises the Baden-Württemberg state government on the implementation of the development policy guidelines, will process the results of the conference in the form of a recommendation to state politics. Asked at the annual state development policy conference as part of the World:Citizens dialogue format! The development policy base has the opportunity to contribute their ideas and initiatives and thus actively shape the country's development policy. The Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation is the REZ office.

About the AMAHORO! State partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi

For more than 40 years, partnership-based relationships between people from Baden-Württemberg and Burundi have formed a bridge across borders. In 2009, the SEZ set up a coordination office for the partnership on behalf of the state of Baden-Württemberg, and in 2014 a partnership agreement was officially signed to work on joint development in both regions. For the first time in nine years, a political delegation from Baden-Württemberg visited Burundi in the summer of 2023. On this occasion, the political representatives State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet for Baden-Württemberg and Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro for Burundi issued a joint declaration of intent as a supplement to the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Government of the State of Baden-Württemberg and the Government of the Republic of Burundi of May 16, 2014 signed, in which they record the mutual intention to deepen the partnership. This should be done through regular exchanges between governments and everyone interested in and committed to the partnership. On the occasion of the start of the events to mark the 40th anniversary of the partnership at Fair Trade, a Burundian delegation led by Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro visited Baden-Württemberg. In addition, a liaison office was opened in Burundi's economic capital Bujumbura to complement the SEZ contact point in Stuttgart in order to bring people from both regions together.

Background to the SEZ

The Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) strengthens the people in Baden-Württemberg's awareness of the global connections between local actions. Through events and conferences, it raises awareness of globally responsible actions and shows how everyone can do something for a fairer world. The foundation promotes and networks private, municipal and regional initiatives to improve and deepen partnerships with countries in the so-called Global South. The partnership with Burundi, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, plays a special role.

Further information:

Details about the press photos:

1_Delegation: Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, and the delegation from Burundi with State Secretary Rudi Hoogvliet, Philipp Keil, Executive Director of the SEZ, and the Tambourinaires du Burundi | Photo credit: SEZ/fotonoid

2_Workshops: The workshops of the Development Policy State Conference were prepared by those active in the One World Promoters Program and the BW-Burundi Partnership Photo credit: SEZ/fotonoid

3_Epol_State Conference: Snapshot during the Development Policy State Conference | Photo credit: Ministry of State/ Franziska Kraufmann

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