From Anatole René Obam NLOM, Central Africa Administrator on the Board of the AfDB .
He was from the last generation of African Heads of State. At 55, he headed one of the most complex countries in Africa, Burundi, for 15 years. Coming from the Hutu ethnic majority, six of his Hutu predecessors were murdered, all, three months after their accession to the Supreme Judiciary. While everyone believed in the Hutu curse, he finally ruled Burundi against the odds. They lent him all the names of birds. They found him all the evils, in particular that of dictator. Worse African dictator. Yes, another African dictator, the one who remained in power thanks to the strength of Burundian democracy, patiently built and maintained by his clairvoyance. It is on a voluntary basis that he will announce his withdrawal, without these detractors believing it. He was not a candidate for his succession last May. But left the country in the hands of the majority masters.
I particularly wanted to pay him a vibrant tribute for the great African he was. It was what Patrice Emery Lumumba was. It was what Ahmed Sékou Touré was. It was what Nkwame Nkumah was. He was the incarnation of the late Melchior Ndadaye, the first Burundian Hutu president assassinated. Like these Other Pan-Africanists, He faced the difficulty. He did not back down from the many internal and external enemies. He did not run away from adversity. On the contrary.
For those who do not know Burundi, this is a country that lives on two export products, coffee and tea. To close the budget, the country counted on almost 70% of foreign aid. To prevent it from governing, to incite the population to revolt, to maintain the rebellions, to bring down the country, the 70% of foreign aid is constantly and regularly denied to it. And this for years. The country ruled by masterful hands by a young generation of technocrats has found solutions for its development, admittedly, delayed but not annihilated. Ingenious, inventive, intelligent, I greatly admired the economic model of mobilizing internal resources to cope with adversity, to cope with the patiently created economic recession. With its dynamic team, there have been more schools built, more paved roads, more hospitals and health centers built, more football and team sports stadiums built, more administrative buildings built, more public investments accomplished.
Wise decision, the political capital was even transferred from Bujumbura to Gitega, in an environment of shortage of foreign exchange, lack of financial means, economic recession. The new elite in power, the new team in power has created and implemented the concept of “Community works”, which deserves to be studied in our high schools and universities and popularized in other African countries This concept of “community works Is an alternative to official development assistance. Burundi, which was believed to be asphyxiated, dried up, deprived of its development, has continuously improved the living conditions of its populations.
At the time when the sad news goes around the world, that announcing your disappearance, His Excellency Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi, I wanted to show you all my admiration. Bravo Mr. President, Thank you Mr. President. You fought the good fight. You thus enter the closed circle of African Heroes.
Goodbye Mr. President. Goodbye dear Friend.