- With progress made turning the Burundian economy into a post-conflict stage, the World Bank today has approved a grant of US$ 25 million to further economic reform in the country. Now, also the coffee sector is to get back on its feet.
Since the armed conflict formally ended in Burundi, the Bujumbura government already has passed two economic reforms with international funding, aimed at helping the country to establish a post-conflict economy. Passing the World Bank tests, Burundi today was granted its third reform funding grant, worth US$ 25 million.
The grant was designed to "assist the government of Burundi in implementing policies and institutional reforms to promote growth and achieve sustainable reductions in poverty," according to the World Bank. While public management and good governance still were key to the new reform package, the private sector now also was to get attention.
New reforms targeting the private sector would help support reforms in the business legal and institutional environment in order to foster private sector-led growth, as well as reforms in the coffee and domestic petroleum sectors.
Coffee production, a major historic revenue source in climatically well-located Burundi, was to become "more efficient and productive" following upcoming reforms. Petroleum products were to find "more flexible price fixing mechanisms" following reforms, according to government aims.
The Burundi government at these crossroads had pledged to substantially reduce security expenditures, cutting its defence budgets from 2010. The freed funds were to be redirected towards social spending to secure "accelerating growth and human development" and to private sector development.
To be eligible for further grants and loans from the World Bank, government must show to progress in implementing the announced reforms. "Progress in the execution of the reform programme in the coffee and domestic petroleum sectors" was defined as a critical benchmark.
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