Germany has said it will not avail any more money for the construction of the East African Community (EAC) headquarters,demanding construction works commence this year.
Germany, a leading donor of the regional bloc, has provided all the EUR14 million for the construction of the headquarters, located next to the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC).
“We shall not remit anymore funds for construction of the EAC headquarters and we are looking at the project taking off in September,” Dr Gabrielle Geirer, the head of the East Africa division in the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development told The New Times in Arusha, Tanzania on Thursday.
According to Geirer, any additional funds that will be required for the project will have to be disbursed through the Partner States.
Germany had initially disbursed Euro 8 million meant for the construction of a complex that would suit the three founder members of the bloc, a design that later had to change after the admission of Rwanda and Burundi.
The redesigned complex was to cost an additional Euro6 million, all of which has since been disbursed by Germany.
Geirer, who led a German delegation to attend a one-day EAC-Germany annual consultation meeting, said her country was committed to EAC’s objectives and maintaining a close friendship of cooperation.
Apart from supporting numerous capacity building programmes in the region, Germany extends support to regional integration efforts that include the ongoing Common Market negotiations that are nearing conclusion.
In his remarks, the EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu said the blame should be put on a German consulting firm, GBC Consulting Engineers, which according to him did not do their work efficiently.
The German firm in April 2007 won the tender for architectural design work for the construction of the state-of-the-art headquarters.
He however reiterated that the take off of the construction would be soon although the German firm had played a big role in the delay.
Affirming an earlier call made by Kenyan Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka in Mombasa, Kenya, Mwapachu told the German delegation that the venue for EAC headquarters still remains in Arusha, despite media reports that it would be relocated.
He told the meeting that as EAC marks its 10th Anniversary in November this year, it will also be marking ten years of rock-solid co-operation with Germany.