Manasseh Nshuti, Minister of State in charge of EAC affairs on Friday, September 25 submitted to the regional Assembly a budget amounting to US $97.7 million for the financial year 2020/2021.
Out of this amount, $ 55m (57%) will be contributed equally by Partner States or raised as other internal revenues and $ 41m (43%) is expected to be sourced from the Development Partners.
Presenting the budget speech themed "Stimulating the economy to safeguard livelihoods, jobs, businesses and industrial recovery," as chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, Nshuti told lawmakers that this budget will complement other Partner States’ efforts and collaborations with development partners to build the region’s economic recovery from Covid-19 disruptions.
Nshuti presented the budget estimates at a sitting held via virtual conference.
Nshuti said: "The Budget estimates for the Financial Year 2020/21 are being presented at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the lives and economies of all countries in the world, leading to lockdowns and a slowdown in economic activities."
"The impact of the pandemic on EAC Partner States, though not yet assessed fully, is no doubt catastrophic."
Last year, the House approved a Budget of US $116,428,004 for the Community for the Financial Year 2019/2020.
After Nshuti's budget speech reading or tabling on Friday lawmakers will next week scrutinise the numbers - through committees - before debate and eventual passage by the full House.
Priority Interventions for the financial year 2020/2021, Nshuti said, would focus on several priority programmes. Key among them are on the consolidation of Single Customs Territory (SCT) to cover imports and intra-EAC traded goods, including agricultural and other widely consumed products as well as enhanced infrastructure development in the region.
Nshuti further said the EAC would enhance free movement of all factors of production and other areas of co-operation across the Partner States, as envisaged under the Common Market and Monetary Union Protocols and strive for the promotion of peace, security and good governance.
Another priority, Nshuti informed the House, is to enhance regional industrial development through investment in key priority sectors, skills development, technological advancement and innovation to stimulate economic development. In Agriculture, the EAC is expected to work towards improvement of agricultural productivity, value addition and facilitation of movement of agricultural goods to enhance food security in the region.
The 2020/2021 Budget is allocated to the Organs and Institutions of the EAC as follows; East African Community Secretariat ($48,564,400), East African Legislative Assembly ($16,755,725) and the East African Court of Justice ($3,970,406).
The Inter-University Council for East Africa shall receive ($10,977,276), Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($8,380,057) while $ 3,077,934 is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
In addition, the East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive ($ 1,536,751), East African Kiswahili Commission ($ 1,399,318), the East African Health Research Commission ($ 1,879,600) while the East African Competition Authority, shall benefit from $1,128,240in the Financial Year 2020/21.Follow https://twitter.com/KarhangaJames