PARLIAMENT - Rwanda’s 2009 transitional budget has allocated about US $ 1 million (Approx Frw 550million) to Burundi as a financial aid for the latter’s contribution to the East African Community (EAC) budget.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning James Musoni told parliament on Monday that during the recent Heads of State Summit, Presidents of the four countries (Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) agreed to contribute towards Burundi’s share to the EAC budget for financial years 2007/2008 and 2008/2009.
During the previous EAC Heads of State Summits, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza informed his EAC counterparts that his country could only afford to pay US $1m this financial year, almost one third of what it is expected to pay. Each member of EAC pays US$8m fees annually.
“It was agreed that Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania who are all members, should contribute towards Burundi’s subscription fees,” Minister Musoni told lawmakers.
MPs supported the idea of providing financial assistance to Burundi and pointed out that it is the first time in history that Rwanda was giving financial assistance to another country.
Burundi ranks among the world’s poorest nations, having just emerged from several political and ethnic-based civil wars.