Burundi's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, visits the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD)

Albert Shingiro visited the ICD in Berlin on April 8th, 2024 to promote cultural ties and dialogue as part of his diplomatic mission

April 26th, 2024
Marina R. Ferrández Esclapez, News from Berlin
20240426 Burundis Minister of Foreign Affairs.jpg

On April 8th 2024, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy was honored to host Albert Shingiro, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of Burundi. His visit underscored the critical role of cultural diplomacy in enhancing international relations and fostering mutual understanding among diverse cultures.

The visit aimed to discuss the roles and impacts of cultural diplomacy in contemporary international relations. It served as a platform for exploring how cultural initiatives can bridge the gaps between nations and strengthen global cooperation.

During his speech, Minister Shingiro stressed the importance of transitioning from traditional diplomatic methods to those that facilitate direct, people-to-people connections. This approach helps maintain and deepen international relationships, transcending governmental changes. He also highlighted the significance of incorporating cultural diplomacy into educational frameworks, thus enriching the learning experiences of students and preparing them to become well-versed global leaders aware of diverse cultural dynamics. The minister emphasized on the significance of cultural diplomacy as it helps in bringing people together and fosters mutual understanding. Apart from addressing vital issues like human rights, climate change, immigration, and security, traveling also promotes cultural exchange, which in turn, enhances dialogue between different civilizations.

The Minister mentioned the role of cultural diplomacy in universities and academies. He suggested that Burundians could benefit from training at the ICD to promote peace and security. Furthermore, Minister Shingiro showcased the promotion of Burundi's cultural heritage, particularly through the sacred drum, a UNESCO-recognized cultural symbol, used to enhance global awareness of Burundian culture and encourage intercultural exchanges.

The relations between Africa and Europe and Africa and the United States were also discussed. Regarding Europe, the Minister pointed out that south-north cooperation already existed and that they maintained good relations because it is the neighboring continent and their borders coincide, but that now they were seeking to multiply partners because the partners complement each other. In relation to the US, the Minister named the African summit that took place in 2022, he pointed out that a very important point was to strengthen economic diplomacy focused on commercial exchanges, foreign investments, and transfer of tourism technologies. Africa works together with the USA with important tools such as the "GOA", which allows access to African products in the USA, it also mentioned the mega program "Power Africa" that allows the strengthening of the energy sector and the electrification of the continent to improve relations and strengthen private sector business between Africa and the USA.

The Minister concluded by stating that Burundi had suffered a turbulent period in terms of politics and security between the years 2015-2020. Until then they were a bit isolated, but now they have returned to the regional and international scene.

The visit reaffirmed the necessity for a continued focus on cultural diplomacy as an integral part of foreign relations strategies, setting a positive framework for future collaborations aimed at leveraging cultural exchanges to foster international peace and cooperation.



News from Berlin