GDA has been in contact with the “Badilisha” foundation on Rusinga Island in Kenya for some time now.
Located in Lake Victoria, this island has suffered from erosion from deforestation. For some time now, the community has been motivated to plant trees. This not only retains the soil, but also influences the water in the soil and thus the water cycle. The rains, which sometimes did not come or were too heavy, are now back to normal. The forests are created in the form of food forests. In addition, permaculture is used. We are happy to exchange our knowledge and hope for good cooperation in various areas. There will also be contact between the Innovation Center in Bujumbura and the people of Badilisha, Kenya.
Africa meets the Achterhoek is a local initiative of Global Development Africa, to improve the integration of African migrants in the Netherlands. We do this by organizing empowerment training and cultural events where Dutch people can get to know the different African cultures and vice versa. These cultural events include African cuisine, music, dance and art.
GDA strives for a mix of African and Dutch audiences at these events, offering both Dutch and African performances and buffets. These days will be widely publicized to also reach people of non-African origin. The aim is to reach African migrants through their own network and to invite and encourage them to use their own talents and qualities in a positive way. Thanks to events such as ‘Africa meets the Achterhoek’, there is more connection between both cultures. Are you interested in our next event or would you like to contribute in any way? We would like to get in touch. Want to know more about this project? View photos of GDA’s events in our photo album.
The small country of Burundi is located south of the equator in the Great Lakes Region. The partially associated Lake Tanganyika is the oldest and deepest lake in the world after Siberian Lake Baikal. It extends for 673 km and is on average 50 km wide.
The landscape is dominated by mountains and water. The hills around the Great Lakes are among the most densely populated, partly because the soil is very fertile due to volcanic activity. The altitudes also ensure a mild climate, despite its proximity to the equator. As a result, the region falls outside the habitat of the tsetse fly, so that good livestock can also be kept there.
The country has a tropical climate, which is strongly determined by altitude and season. There are two dry and two wet seasons annually. The dry seasons fall in the period June-August and January-February. The long wet season runs from March to May and the short from September to November. The average temperature is, depending on the altitude, between 24 and 17 degrees. The average rainfall is 150 cm per year. In terms of landscape, Burundi has a lot to offer: the green hills and the large Lake Tanganyika, each with its own flora and fauna. The lake also offers a barely realized potential for water fun and sports. The entire coastline between Bujumbara and Nyanza-Lac has been described as the “Burundian Riviera” by a passionate tourist office official.
Burundi has two national parks: the Kibira National Park in the northwest with alpine rainforest (which in Rwanda becomes the Nyungwe Park), and the Rurubu National Park in the northeast along the Rurubu River.
Agriculture is by far the most important economic activity. It is the main activity of about 95% of the population. The main export crops are coffee and to a lesser extent tea, sugar and cotton. In addition to the processing industry for agricultural products, there are modest industrial activities. Burundi has a homogeneous population by African standards: everyone speaks the same language, Kirundi. The largest ethnic group is the Hutu. There are also Tutsi and Twa minorities.
Women in Burundi have long been a disadvantaged group and are often still illiterate. Today, the constitution requires at least 30% of positions in government and parliament to be held by women.
Together with the local partners, Global Development Africa wants to provide some targeted vocational training in the Innovation Centre in the state of Bujumbura, Burundi. This Innovation Centre provides development and an opportunity for personal growth, entrepreneurship and self-reliance for the Burundian population and the business community. With this we stimulate the economic and social progress of Burundi from its own strength. The Innovation Centre also contributes to other GDA projects, such as the Farming in Burundi project. Training courses for Burundian farmers can be provided in the Innovation Centre.
The Economy of Burundi Burundi is rebuilding after more than two decades of civil war. An average citizen lives on money that is far below a living income. This is because 40% of the population is unemployed. Most of the unemployed are young people who have had fewer opportunities to learn a profession because of the civil war. At the moment there is still little chance of getting a vocational training, even in the capital. A large part of the rural population has moved to the port state of Bujumbura in search of a safe place. This created a large concentration of people here, which resulted in intensive use of the hotels and restaurants. At the same time, these places lack qualified personnel and a good standard of hygiene and health care.
Goal of the Innovation Centre GDA wants to give the population an impulse by developing an Innovation Centre that will also function as a meeting centre between the population and local companies. Young people are given the opportunity to follow vocational training and companies are guided to improve their products and services. This creates synergy between young talents and the business community.
What will the Innovation Centre look like? Local production of brick from river clay started in 2013. Local building materials are used, made by the people themselves. The production process has been improved from traditional to using modern brick. Under the guidance of local professionals, the foundation of the Innovation Centre was subsequently laid. This phase was made possible, among other things, by funding from the Ten Brinke Foundation.
In addition, the Innovation Centre will serve as a meeting and business centre. A restaurant will also be set up, linked to the training, where young people can gain work experience and earn a source of income. Internships and collaboration will be arranged with local hospitality industry.
Project plan GDA is currently raising funds for the finishing and furnishing in order to actually start the activities. The focus is on finishing the spaces on the ground floor in order to be able to start here as soon as possible with the guidance of small farmers and the associated training. Furthermore, a sewing workshop will be started.
The kitchen installation will then be prepared. There will also be a possibility to eat there. An ICT training will start at a later stage. Ultimately, the ambition is to develop a multifunctional building with a meeting space, various offices and an information/health centre.
When this Innovation Centre is fully operational, this experience can be used to expand to surrounding developing countries such as Rwanda, Uganda, Congo and Malawi.
Want to know more about this project? View photos of the construction of the innovation centre in our photo album.
Donate Everyone should be given the opportunity to develop. Are you helping too? Together with donors like you, GDA provides an opportunity for education and development for young people and entrepreneurs in Burundi. For a small contribution you help with the development of our Innovation Centre. You can support our project by transferring money to the bank account of Global Development Africa. This can be done easily via the donate button below.