TradeMark Africa Presents Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Government of Burundi to Boost Fight Against Covid-19

Kobero, Burundi, 24th September 2020 – Regional Aid for Trade Agency TradeMark Africa (TMA) has this morning handed over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to front line agents working at Burundi’s key borders- in order to protect lives in Burundi and strengthen the war against Covid-19. The PPEs presented were funded by UKAID through TradeMark Africa.

On hand to receive the PPEs at Kobero One Stop Border Post, were Minister of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Honourable Ambassador Ezéchiel Nibigira, Burundi Revenue Authority (OBR) Commissioner of Customs, Mr Adolphe Manirakiza and the Chairman of the Burundi Private Sector Federation (CFCIB), Audace Ndayizeye. The equipment provided includes hand sanitizers, hand washing stations, liquid hand washing soap, infrared thermometer, re-usable safety boots, full protective PPE, filtering facepiece respirator, reusable masks, plastic face shield, disposable gloves, hand sanitiser dispensers and disinfectant spray bottles.

Speaking during the handover event, Hon. EAC Minister Amb. Nibigira noted that whereas infections have slowed down in Burundi, it remains imperative for the Government, non-government actors and the citizens to continue working jointly to prevent any re-emergence of the disease.

“The fight against this pandemic presents a twin challenge for our nation, we must avoid re-emergence of the disease through new infections and we must also bolster our trade with the region in order to safeguard our economy and the livelihoods of our people”’ noted the Amb. Nibigira.

The equipment presented today will enhance the safety and working condition of front-line workers in key borders, which are critical arteries of trade in and out of Burundi and her neighbours. Among the borders where the PPEs will be distributed are Kobero (with Tanzania) and Gatumba (DRC).

TMA Country Representative for Burundi, Christian Nibasumba expressed optimism that the PPEs provided will protect key borders to continue facilitating trade without becoming infection hot spots.

“Our borders and corridors remain the key arteries through which trade flows. At TMA, we are keen to continue the partnership with all stakeholders in charge of trade facilitation to ensure trade continues to flow unhindered and the lives of all citizens living in Burundi and beyond are protected from the ongoing pandemic’ said Christian Nibasumba.

The equipment donated today is part of the Safe Trade Emergency Facility, a US$ 23 million emergency program rolled out by TradeMark Africa in the East African region in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic that seeks to ensure regional economies continue to trade in a safe way, while curbing cross-border infections.

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