COMESA 2018 budget down $10m as donor funded projects end

The budget for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat and agencies will decline by $10 million next year as several partners grants’ grants come to an end.

The budget for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretariat and agencies will decline by $10 million next year as several partners grants’ grants come to an end.

“Our annual budget will decrease from $42 million this year to $32 million in 2018,” COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said during the opening of the 37th meeting of the Committee on Administration and Budgetary matters in Lusaka, Zambia last week.

According at a statement from the secretariat, member states are expected to contribute $16.7 million while cooperating partners will add $15.6 million of the proposed budget. Ngwenya, however, noted that funding from development partners may go up during the year if the planning for the eleventh European Development Fund (EDF) finances is completed early and grant agreements are signed.

Some of the COMESA agencies that will be affected by the cut include the Regional Investment Agency, the Federation of Women in Business and the COMESA Competition Commission.

Ngwenya urged member states to put in place deliberate measures to increase the proportion of their financial contribution to the budget, saying COMESA development partners expect the bloc to assume greater responsibility of funding most its activities “at some time in future”.