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Burundi Failed To re-Build Burnt Central Market worth 20% of GDP



Burundi government authorities have for the past 10 years failed to come up with a new architectural plan to build a central market.

On January, 27 2013, the Bujumbura based central market went up into incinerating flames burning goods within this facility worth a massive 20% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

According to the Coalition of Trade Unions of Burundi (COSYBU), 5,000 traders, including 3,500 carrying out related activities in this market and all around, lost their goods and their jobs.

Burundian experts on the economy including the economist Donatien Bihute, the goods lost in this fire in the central market of Bujumbura represented 20% of the country’s GDP.

Former traders that worked in the central market have since been swimming in poverty and many have returned to their villages. Many of them have become mentally ill and others have become alcoholics.

“We must have a large shopping center in a strategic location of the old central market,” says Gabriel Rufyiri the president of Anti-corruption and Economic Malpractice Observatory, or OLUCOME.

Critics blame the government for lack of vision, hesitating between the honeyed promises of the highest bidders and the sellers of illusions and other speculators.

There were some companies that asked to build it, including the probable Cino-Afrique company and the Association of Banks of Burundi, but in vain.

For the first company, Olucome learned, with supporting evidence, that it was a company of high Burundian authority who was Burundi’s ambassador to China via his Chinese wife and had no sufficient financial means to fulfill its commitment.

All those who have come to present offers for the construction of a large multi-storey shopping center with underground car parks, are speculators.

In order to come to the aid of traders, the government built a new market in Ngagara says Cotebu but this market never became profitable 10 years ago because it was poorly built.

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