KIGALI - The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of East African Affairs, Robert Ssali, revealed to The New Times yesterday that Rwanda plans to complete its financial contribution to the EAC Secretariat by the end of December and meet the deadline set for all East African member states to complete their contributions.
Media reports had earlier indicated that all member states had delayed to fully disburse their contributions thereby derailing activities of the bloc’s secretariat.
According to the reports, Rwanda owes the Secretariat a total of $ 6,150,674, accounting for 50 percent of its total contribution.
However, according to Ssali, the figures are not accurate and are poised to depict a wrong picture of the situation, yet the payment concern is “a non-issue” to the countries.
“The figures reported are wrong and the issue is completely blown out of context,” Ssali said in a telephone interview but without elaborating the exact amount that the country is yet to clear.
Commenting on reports that the delayed contributions constrained important EAC activities, particularly the negotiations of an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, Ssali said that the reports are alarmist and not based on reality.
“All EAC countries have a deadline to meet in December and just like Rwanda, the other countries are also planning to respect the deadline. It should not be a big issue,” Ssali said.
The East African Community is the regional intergovernmental body that was ratified by the original three countries, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania in 1999.
Rwanda and Burundi acceded to the EAC Treaty on 18th June 2007 and became full members of the community in July 2007.
According to the reports, Uganda has an outstanding debt of $3,106,458, whereas Kenya’s outstanding amount is $6,160,510, Tanzania’s is US$8,629,775 while Burundi has only paid an equivalent of 8 percent leaving a deficit of $11,461,131.