Symposium: Burundi and its colonial past

Participants at the symposium in Freiburg / Participants au symposium de Fribourg (Photo: P.Dr. Déogratias Maruhukiro)

En français ci-dessous.

On Saturday, October 29, 2022, the symposium on Burundi's colonial past took place at the University of Freiburg. The event, co-organized by the University of Freiburg in collaboration with RAPRED-Girubuntu, was enriched by the presence of the Ambassador of Burundi to Germany, H.E. Appolonie Nibona.

The aim of the symposium was to shed light on aspects that have already been scientifically discussed and to develop recommendations for the next steps. From education to political challenges and conflicts and reconciliation work to reading personal notes from resident Pierre Rykmans, the contributions were very diverse. In addition, this symposium represented a good opportunity for various researchers to meet, get to know each other, network and consider collaboration, even if it was found that the interest of researchers from the former colonial powers was far below that of their African colleagues* lies inside. But Burundians both in the diaspora and in Burundi, as well as other people interested in this work of remembrance, were also able to find a framework for dialogue and exchange about these sensitive topics. One point that deserves special mention is the photo of the invitation to the symposium. In this photo you can see the Mwami Mwambutsa Bangiricenge and his guardians, including Karabona directly behind the Mwami, the Belgian resident Pierre Rykmans. The picture was taken in front of a Catholic community, possibly that of Mugera. During the symposium, journalist François Rykmans read out some personal notes of his grandfather Pierre Rykmans in the presence of Mwami Mwambutsa's granddaughters.

One of the notable recommendations was the reform of the Burundian education system. The education system inherited from the colonial era has been reviewed and revised, but still depends to a certain extent on the former colonial power. Therefore, ways to change this situation were discussed, particularly returning to the fundamental Burundian value of Ubuntu in the education sector.

Le Burundi and son passé colonial: Mémoire, Enjeux et Solde en débat

Samedi October 29, 2022, the University of Freiburg held a symposium on the colonial past of Burundi. The event was co-organized by the University of Freiburg and cooperated with RAPRED-Girubuntu and was presented by the Ambassador of Burundi in Allemagne, Mme Appolonie Nibona venue de Berlin.

Le but du symposium était de revenir sur les aspects que la recherche scientifique a déjà abordé ainsi que de dessiner des recommandations sur les prochaines approaches. De l'education aux défis et conflicts politiques et le travail de réconciliation, en passant par la lecture de notes personalles du résident Pierre Rykmans, les apports étaient très riches. Sur le plan de la recherche et du réseautage universitaire, this rencontre était a good occasion for different chercheurs sur le subject de se rencontre, faire connaissance et envisager de collaborer bien que la remarque a était faite que l'intérêt des chercheurs des anciennes puissances coloniales It's a little inferior to the African-American teachers. Mais aussi les Burundais de la diaspora, ceux du Burundi ainsi que d’autres personnes intéressées par ce travail de mémoire, réconciliation ont pu avoir un cadre de dialogue et d’échange sur ces sujets sensitives. A point is a fair marker, this is the photo d’invitation au symposium. On this photo, on y voit le Mwami Mwambutsa Bangiricenge and his tutors dont Karabona juste derrière le Mwami, le résident Rykmans, c'était devant une paroisse catholique, peut-être celle de Mugera. Lors du symposium, the journaliste François Rykmans and certain personal notes from the grand father Pierre Rykmans, in the presence of the little girls of Mwami Mwambutsa.

The recommendations that are mentioned are the reform of the Burundian educational system. Ce dernier herité de l'époque colonial a été revu, revisité mais dépend encore dans a certaine measure de l'ancienne puissance coloniale et des slopes de changement de this situation ont été abordés notamment celle du retour à la valeur fondamentale burundaise d'Ubuntu dans le domaine éducatif.

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