In New York for the 72nd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of Burkina Faso, His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, participated in a high-level G5 Sahel meeting on Monday 18 September.
The objective of the meeting was to make the international community aware of the urgent need to support the joint anti-terrorist force which will begin operations in October, despite having received just a quarter of its budget. In addition to the funding issue, discussions focused on the relationship between the G5 Force and the UN forces.
The summit brought together the presidents of the five Sahel bloc countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Chad), French President Emmanuel Macron, African Union President Alpha Condé, President of the AU Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, the head of European Diplomacy Federica Mogherini and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. As a sign of growing US interest in the issue, a Homeland Security advisor was also present at the meeting. Burkina Faso, which has suffered several jihadist attacks, the first in January 2016 and the latest in July 2017, is tackling the problem head on. Among the measures taken by President Kaboré, who is calling for “a merciless fight against this global scourge”, and his Government are: the setting up of a full Department of Homeland Security and the appointment of a Minister of Defense, the redeployment of the security and defense forces (SDFs) in the north, equipping the SDF, strengthening international cooperation and joint operations with Mali (and with the French Barkhane force in particular).
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré will speak at the United Nations Forum on Thursday, 21 September. He will especially advocate for “a true people’s UN”. For the President of Burkina Faso, the changes of the world and the duty of justice for Africa demand a reform of the United Nations, notably within the Security Council. He will thus call on his counterparts to “build a more modern, stronger and more effective United Nations”. On the sidelines of the general debate, the President of Burkina Faso will take part in numerous panels and will meet with high-level personalities including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He will attend a High-Level Meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, the Summit for a Global Pact for the Environment, and an African Union (AU) demonstration on Harnessing the Demographic Dividend.
Burkina Faso strengthens economic ties with the US
As part of “Burkina Day”, President Kaboré chaired a roundtable organized by the Atlantic Council and the US Chamber of Commerce on September 18 on Ways and Means of Contributing to the Strengthening of Economic Relations between the United States of America and Burkina Faso. This was an opportunity for the Head of State to present to American businessmen the investment opportunities, the promising sectors and the reforms undertaken by the government to create an attractive business climate and to propose “the organization of a forum for US investors in Burkina Faso in 2018” and a “meeting on democracy and good governance”.
Roch Marc Christian Kaboré thanked the US government for renewing its confidence through the Second Compact of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and explained to investors how the government of Burkina Faso has simplified and made transparent the procedures for the implementation of public-private partnership (PPP) projects. The following day, the President of Burkina Faso, the Prime Minister of Canada, the French President and the US Vice President attended a dinner hosted by the Atlantic Council.
National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES): Focus on investment opportunities.
While at the UN, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré will present his vision on development policy in Burkina Faso and highlight the progress made by his country. Burkina Faso has embarked on an ambitious structural transformation project aimed at improving the living conditions of Burkina Faso through strong, inclusive and sustainable growth. The goal of the National Plan for Economic and Social Development (PNDES) by 2020 is to achieve an average growth rate of 7.7% and create 50,000 jobs per year. Developed through a participatory and inclusive process, the PNDES is based on three strategic pillars: “reforming institutions and modernizing the administration”, “developing human capital” and “Boosting sectors with strong economic and employment growth and job potential”.
At a meeting in Paris in December 2016, multilateral financial institutions, donor countries and private investors committed to mobilizing 28 billion Euros by 2020 to finance the PNDES.
Burkina Faso has thus undertaken major institutional and legislative reforms aimed at attracting, facilitating and securing investments to revive the economy. The desire to strengthen participatory democracy by placing citizens at the heart of the functioning of the State led the country to join the “Open Government Partnership” in 2016. The first National Action Plan is being drawn up with the participation of non-state stakeholders, civil society organizations and the media. Lastly, a preliminary draft constitution will soon be submitted to a referendum.