Dieudone Irakoze: “ I’m encouraging every Burundian youth in diaspora to follow the same steps” (Interview)
This past week on July 10th and 11th, 2017, The Burundi Investment Promotion Agency (API), The Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burundi (CFCIB) in partnership with the Coalition of Youth in Action (CJA) held the very 1st edition Summit on Investment and Leadership. This summit was held at the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika, under the theme: “INVEST AND LEAD”, which followed by a study tour on business opportunities in different locations Across the country. Among the participants was , Dieudone Irakoze who is a Diaspora Youth from the United states. Dieudone is Co-founder and Vice President of Tuvugane, a Kentucky based Burundian Youth Organization. Indundi was able to interact with him about his journey.
Indundi: API has organized an event called ” INVEST AND LEAD” . As a diaspora youth, what did you learn from this event?
Dieudone Irakoze: I learned about the importance of partnership and investment. I learn that the picture that is painted outside of the country is very bias and the reality is the opposite. Burundians today are committed to working together to build the country without expecting much from the outside, therefore it’s time that the Burundian diaspora invest and collaborate in this national development effort.
Indundi: Why did you choose to attend the event and what would you tell your fellow Burundians in Diaspora?
Dieudone Irakoze: I chose to attend this conference as a Burundian born in exile and raised in exile to share my experience and I did not give up despite the circumstances. Therefore, I’m encouraging every Burundian diaspora to follow the same steps. You would imagine how I feel after seeing my country for the first time and seeing a different picture comparing to what’s portrayed by media. The world will never understand Burundi as long as they refer to the propaganda out there.
Indundi: Would this conference help you set up goals to help in development of Burundi
Dieudone Irakoze: Yes, I’ve met different inspiring young Burundians who are doing great things and I am looking forward to growing our partnership in development of my lovely country. I’ve also met different leaders from different sectors, men and women who are taking our country forward, although you won’t find that on the outside media. What I did not see neither experienced is the insecurity and the ethnicity issues.
Indundi: Thank you for your time
Dieudone Irakoze: My pleasure
The summit, which brought together more than 200 participants (local entrepreneurs, young leaders emerging in entrepreneurship and leaders from Burundi), aimed to share ideas and learn from expert conferences on themes related to “Entrepreneurship, sustainable economy and leadership that will guide participants in their current work and in their future decisions.