Turn EAC Secretariat into commission, delegates told

The study team on the East African Community (EAC) Common Market has recommended that the EAC Secretariat be turned into a commission.

The study team on the East African Community (EAC) Common Market has recommended that the EAC Secretariat be turned into a commission.

MA Consulting group, a Kenyan based firm hired by the East African Community also recommended that the financing structure of the bloc be changed.

MA Consulting drafted the white document being used by delegates from partner states of the EAC. The delegates are in Kigali, Rwanda to deliberate on issues surrounding an EAC Common Market.

“These countries have got different GDP. Since the GDP of Burundi is different from that of Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, contribution should depend on their performance,” said Dan Kenneth Ameyo a study team member.

The team also recommended that the secretariat be changed into a commission because of its inefficiency to address the issues of the common market.

“The secretariat can not run the activities of the common market since it serves the interests of individual states. We are looking at functioning institutions for the future,” Ameyo added.

The financing reforms proposed are opposed to the current structure where member states are supposed to finance the EAC secretariat in equal proportions. They propose that the commission be funded by partner states assessed at 0.5 per cent of the previous year’s GDP.

The consulting team recommends that development projects particularly infrastructure development be funded by a charge of 1.5 per cent on the total customs revenue.

“This level of contribution should be reviewed every three years,” said Ameyo.

He added that any funds accruing from donors should b deposited in a special account to finance projects and programmes as may be agreed between the commission and the donors.

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