Embassy of Burundi to Germany – Report on the Visit of H.E. President Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi
On December 11th, 2012, the Embassy of Burundi and the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) had the privilege of hosting a reception at the ICD House of Arts & Culture in honor of H.E. President Pierre Nkurunziza, President of the Republic of Burundi. The high-profile event gathered Burundian diplomats, members of civil society, academics, journalists, students, and representatives of the Burundian diaspora in Germany.
The event began with a welcome address by Mark Donfried, Founder and Director of the ICD, which was then followed by a Keynote Speech delivered by the President. In his speech, President Nkurunziza drew attention to the numerous challenges the people of his country are currently facing, particularly in the areas of health and education, and consistently highlighted the need to bring sustainable and durable solutions.
In addition, he stressed that dimensions of conflict vary across countries; for instance what is happening is Rwanda is different to what is happening in Burundi, and what is happening in Libya or Egypt is of a different nature entirely. Therefore, solutions need to be country-specific in order to be successful in the long-term.
Finally, the President stressed the need for all nations to gather together and engage in substantive dialogue to contribute to global development.
A short interview followed the lecture in which the President spoke about the role of Cultural Diplomacy not only in Burundi, but in Africa as a whole. When asked whether Cultural Diplomacy in Africa was on the same level as Cultural Diplomacy in the developing world (i.e. Europe and America), President Nkurunziza stated that “the sense of culture, and the values of Cultural Diplomacy are understood and shared by all people and societies around the globe.” He stressed that culture is an important catalyst and a means for socialization in an interdependent world.
Furthermore, the President highlighted the significant role of the international community in bringing peace and stability to post-conflict regions. President Nkurunziza mentioned that aside from providing financial and logistic aid, international actors must act as facilitators for international negotiation in order to devise active solutions.The event concluded with an Evening Reception hosted by the Embassy of Burundi. The guests had the opportunity to engage in informal networking while tasting wonderful delicacies from the country.