EAC presents $111 million budget to regional assembly

The budget was presented by Damas Ndumbaro (centre with briefcase) the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of Tanzania. (Courtesy)

The East African Community budget was presented to East African Legislative Assembly on Wednesday afternoon with the bloc planning on spending $111,450,529, up from the current budget of $99,770,716.

The budget was presented by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Damas Ndumbaro of Tanzania.

The 2019/2020 Budget is themed, “Transforming lives through industrialisation and job creation for shared prosperity.  

The priority interventions for include the consolidation of the Single Customs Territory and promotion of intra and extra EAC trade and export competitiveness, development of regional infrastructure, effective implementation of the Common Market Protocol and the enhancement of regional industrial development. 

Under the proposal, the secretariat will receive over $53.3m, East African Legislative Assembly $18.9m while the East African Court of Justice has been allocated $4.2m.

The Inter-University Council for East Africa will receive $9.6m, Lake Victoria Basin Commission $13m while $ 4.1m is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation.  

East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive $ 1. 9m, East African Kiswahili Commission $ 1.5m and the East African Health Research Commission is set to receive $4m. 

The 2019/2020 Budget is to be financed by Partner State contributions through the Ministries of EAC Affairs at a tune of $49.8m while ministries responsible for Education will contribute $4.4m and ministries responsible for Fisheries $ 2m.

Development Partners will support the community more than the members states, to the tune of $54m while member universities will inject into the kitty $ 468,300.

With donors and development partners funding close to half the budget, financial liquidity issues and self-financing ambitions continue to fall short. The largest donors include Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, DfID-UK, European Union, World Bank and Norway.

Financial challenges are not a new concern for the East African Community. Over the recent years, complaints by the secretariat on inability to conduct their affairs due to lack of finances has become common.

In a retreat held in Kigali in April this year, the secretariat decried severe liquidity issues caused by lack and late disbursements by partner states.

For instance, as of January 30th 2019, contributions by Partner States towards the EAC Main Budget stood at 45 per cent, several activities have been postponed due to lack of funds.

The need to identify alternative sustainable financing mechanisms for the community has been in consideration for several years now with little progress made.

 

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