On the 10th of November 2016, Cordaid organized an official launch of its Strategic Partnership on Lobby and Advocacy in Burundi. The event brought together more than 80 participants including Members of Parliament, representatives of different Ministries, the Chief of Cooperation of the European Union in Burundi, several UN agencies, international and local NGOs, private sector and the media.
This Strategic Partnership focuses on strengthening the social contract between government and citizens in 6 countries, including Burundi. It has been founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
At the opening ceremony, speeches were given by Mr Harry Verweij, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Zarir Hugues Merat, Country Director of Cordaid in Burundi.
Nothing can be realized in development if national actors and particularly decision-makers are not interested and fully involved in the project and if civil society is not given a space to contribute.
Zarir Merat, Cordaid Burundi
According to Mr Merat, despite cultural and geographical diversity, there are some common challenges for Burundi and the other countries where the partnership is being implemented (Afghanistan, DRC, South Sudan, Nigeria and CAR). “Nothing can be realized in development if national actors and particularly decision-makers are not interested and fully involved in the project and if civil society is not given a space to contribute. To succeed, there must be collaboration of all stakeholders. At any stage, Cordaid will ensure that lobby and advocacy activities implemented bring added value, have a significant impact and allow change at the society level, for a better future for the whole nation”, he mentioned.
In his speech, the Ambassador who officially launched the project said:” The Dutch government has funded this project after realizing that the questions related to access to justice for all, youth employment and inclusion of women in peace processes are essential for social inclusion and for the benefit of Burundi. We need to work together and join efforts in order to reach the desired outcomes and changes, to better live together in Burundi. In addition, as a fragile state, Burundi should think at how to change its governance and link it to a social contract adapted to the challenges of the country, i.e.: how strengths and talents of different groups of the society should be capitalized for the same objective.”
We need to work together and join efforts in order to reach the desired outcomes and changes, to better live together in Burundi.
Dutch Ambassador Mr Harry Verweij
According to the Ambassador, an inclusive and participatory approach for all stakeholders is needed in order to get qualitative and inclusive outcomes. He ended by congratulating Cordaid for organizing the event and emphasized the importance of maintaining regular communication and continuous sharing of the achieved results during implementation.
After these two opening speeches, the floor was given to the participants who asked a lot of questions. This session was characterized by intense and fruitful discussions about the objectives, beneficiaries, budget, partners and activities of the project. Representatives of different Ministries and Official institutions such as MPs, Presidents of different Bar Associations expressed their interest, the willingness to be involved and to contribute towards the achievement of the project’s main goal.
All the stakeholders look forward to the implementation of the project and the impact it will bring at both local and national levels. Cordaid will do its best to make this project successful and beneficial to Burundian society.