Vice Chairperson of the COMESA Authority and President of the Republic of Burundi His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza is impressed with the preparations for the forthcoming 20th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled for Bujumbura in April.
The President said this when Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya called on him at his office in the capital Bujumbura. President Nkurunziza thanked the Secretary General and his delegation for going to Burundi to ensure that the Summit preparations are on course.
“I am very happy to receive you in Burundi. I thank you for your leadership and resolve to ensure that we shall have a successful Summit here in Burundi. We thank you for your leadership at COMESA and we are confident that with your guaranteed support and that of your dedicated team working in partnership with our National Coordinating team, the Summit will be a great success,” the President said.
Secretary General Ngwenya thanked President Nkurunziza for the warm welcome and promised to ensure that the Summit takes place as scheduled. He informed the President that Burundi as the incoming Chair of the Authority will need to come up with a theme which they will need to champion during their tenure.
The COMESA team led by Mr Ngwenya arrived in Burundi on Wednesday 24th January 2018 for a Pre- Summit preparatory follow up meeting with the host.
On the first day of the mission, the team was briefed by the Joint COMESA - Burundi Organizing committees on the progress made so far regarding the preparations for the Summit. The team also visited the Burundi National Assembly, which is the proposed venue for the Summit.
Speaking to the Press after the meeting with the President, Mr Ngwenya said the 20th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit will be historic especially that Tunisia will join COMESA as anew member while Somalia will resume her membership.
“I am very sure that we shall have a very successful Summit just like the President has indicated and I will also ensure that this becomes the best Summit. I want people to remember me for a good Summit,” he said.
MrNgwenya added that time has come for Burundi to show the world that the media reports that showcase the country as a conflict prone nation are just a mere story propagated by people who donot know the wealth of the nation.
“We shall bring the international media from various parts of the world to come and report on Burundi from here and not from outside the country. This is because if we don’t report about ourselves here people will do it for us and when they do that, they can twist the story to suit their agenda,” he added.
Earlier, the Secretary General met the 2nd Vice President of Burundi His Excellency Joseph Butore.
Mr Ngwenya is accompanied by MsJoyce Kamau, Officer in Charge of the Human Resource and Administration Division, Chief of Conferences Dr. AlickMhizha and Head of Procurement Unit Mr Josephat Kinyele. Others are Legal Officer MsKudzanaiNyangweta,Mr Arthur Zulu from the Information Technology Division and MrDaniel Banda, from the Corporate Communications Unit.
Burundi last hosted the COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit in 1985.