Visit of Burundi's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation

ICD House of Arts & Culture; April 8th, 2024


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.