EAC ministers endorse 204bn/- regional budget

The East African Community (EAC) will this year table a regional budget estimated at 110 million US dollars, nearly 204bn/- for the fiscal year 2015/16 which starts in June, this year.

An official report from the EAC secretariat as relayed by Mr Richard Owora Othieno states that the new budget estimates were agreed during the just ended 31st extra-ordinary meeting of the regional council of ministers’ meeting which was held in Burundi.

The council of ministers session other than adopting the EAC budget estimates for the financial year 2015/16, it also appointed new staff of the community.

The meeting was conducted through the session of senior officials from 9 to 11 March, followed by the session of the co-ordination committee from 11 to 12 March and concluded with the Ministerial Session on Friday 13 March, this year.

The 31st extra-ordinary meeting of the EAC council of ministers, chaired by Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, Tanzania’s Minister of East African Cooperation, considered and adopted the budget estimates amounting to 110,660,098 US dollars.

The funding is to enable the Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly, East African Court of Justice, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, East African Science and Technology Commission, the East African Kiswahili Commission, the East African Health Research Commission, the East African Competition Authority, the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO) to discharge their mandate in 2015/2016.

The council referred the adopted budget estimates to the EALA for debate and approval. It also directed each partner state to contribute 8,378,107.60 US dollars towards the main budget, 824,445.60 US dollars towards the IUCEA budget while Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will contribute 518,069 US dollars each towards the LVFO budget.

The council also directed the Secretariat to fund the budget increase amounting to 3,919,530 US dollars from the EAC General Reserve Fund.

The 31st extra-ordinary meeting also approved budget estimates amounting to 2,224,653 US dollars to be funded by the partner states’ Civil Aviation Authorities and Development Partners to enable Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) discharge its mandate as follows: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will contribute 379,916 US dollars each, while Burundi and Rwanda will contribute 302,023 US dollars each and 373,925 US dollars from the development partners and 106,934 US dollars from sources.

The council also appointed 21 successful candidates in various posts at the community, which had been vacant for quite sometime.

These include three directors (Finance, Trade and Productive sectors), eight principal officers (Customs, Labour and Employment, Internal Audit), six senior officers (Public Relations, Conference, Sergeant-At-Arms) and four officers (Hansard Reporter, Research Officer).

EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera, informed the council that the community will focus on nine global key priorities namely implementation of the monetary union protocol, consolidation of the single customs territory, enhanced implementation of the EAC common market protocol; constitution making process for the EAC political federation, development of cross-border infrastructure and implementation of the EAC industrialisation policy.

Other priority areas include; implementation of the EAC Food Security Action Plan and Climate Change Strategy, transformation of the EAC into a common higher education area and establishment of an East African examination body and implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area encompassing EAC-COMESA-SADC, that will result in the establishment of an integrated market of the 26 countries, with a combined population of almost 600 million and total gross domestic product of about one trillion US dollars.
Source: Daily News, reported by Marc Nkwame, form Arusha, Tanzania
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