A few weeks ago in Stuttgart (Germany), Baden-Württemberg's Minister President Winfried Kretschmann and Burundian Foreign Minister Laurent Kavakure both approved and signed a partnership agreement between the federal state of Baden-Württemberg and Burundi. After Burundian representatives came in mission in Germany to sign the official document, German members of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg visited Burundi at the end of May. The delegation was led by Peter Friedrich, Minister at the Bundesrat (German upper house of parliament) for Europe and International Affairs. The group met among others Burundian local government officers and politicians. The Baden-Württemberg officials also visited various social and private projects, such as Omnis technical and vocational school (ETO) in Gitega, Carolus Magnus School of general and technical education (EPCM) as well as “Hippocrates” medical center (CMH), both located in Kajaga. These three projects have been set up by the Fondation Stamm.
Furthermore, the German representatives highly praised the different projects jointly financed by the Fondation Stamm and its partner burundikids. The boys from “Birashoboka” center had also entertained the German delegation thanks to their show with Burundian drums, the so-called “ingoma”. Dr. Gisela Splett stated in addition that huge progress has been accomplished in Burundi since her last visit in the country in 2009. She is the former spokeswoman of The Greens for the development aid politics in Baden-Württemberg and works currently as federal state secretary of the Land. As it was the case for Dr. Splett, Dietrich von Berg, honorary Consul for Burundi in the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, was also captivated by the evolving projects he visited for the first time five years ago. Besides, the two German officials keep constant contact with burundikds.
Petra Häffner, spokeswoman of The Greens for the development aid politics, sits in the Baden-Württemberg state parliament. According to her, it is important that Baden-Württemberg and burundikids keep working together in partnership with SEZ (Stiftung Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg, a German foundation that provides aid to developing countries). The continuation of this collaboration plans among others to give further assistance to the flood victims from the capital city Bujumbura affected by pouring rains since the beginning of the year. The main point of this joint idea will consist in restoring flood victims' houses.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the new partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi, formalized in Stuttgart, first took place in the 1980s. The initiative was mainly proposed by Erich Schneider who was at that time the president of the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg. The bilateral partnership and all its projects ceased from 1993 because of the violent conflicts that rose in Burundi. But since 2006, organizations and foundations such as burundkids and Fondation Stamm have been trying to make the teamwork between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi succeed again; as this bilateral collaboration could be a main key on different levels for Burundi and its future partnerships.