The East African Community Council of Ministers has finally adopted the Community’s 2020/2021 budget estimates.
The Council, at its 41st extra-ordinary meeting held via Video-Conferencing, adopted the USD 97.6 million budget that will cater for three EAC Organs and Institutions’ recurrent and development expenditure for the current financial year which runs from July I, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
Of the total amount, USD 55.6 million will come from EAC Partner States while development partners will contribute USD 41.9 million.
The EAC Organs are the EAC Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly and and the East African Court of Justice while the Institutions are; the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization, Inter-University University Council for East Africa, East African Kiswahili Commission, East African Health Research Commission, East African Science and Technology Organization, and the East African Competition Authority.
“The Council further approved the 2020/2021 Financial Year Expenditure Budget Estimates of USD 2.7 million for the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) in addition to Partner States contributions through their Civil Aviation Authorities towards the FY2020/2021 Budget Estimates of USD 458,910 each,” the statement reads in part.
The Chairperson of the Council, Hon. Dr. Vincent Biruta, who is also Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community, is now expected to table the 2020/2021 budget estimates before the East African Legislative Assembly for debate and approval anytime this month.
“During the FY 2020/2021, the Community will focus on seven key global priority areas, namely; consolidation of the Single Customs Territory(SCT) to cover all imports and intra-EAC traded goods, including agricultural and other widely consumed products and Infrastructure Development in the region,” the statement further reads.
“EAC will also focus on enhancing free movement of all factors of production and other areas of cooperation across the Partner States as envisaged under the Common Market and Monetary Union Protocols, and enhancement of regional industrial development through investment in key priority sectors, skills development, technological advancement and innovation to stimulate economic development.”
Other key priority areas include; improvement of agricultural productivity, value addition and facilitation of movement of agricultural goods to enhance food security in the region, promotion of regional peace, security and good governance, and institutional transformation at the regional and Partner State levels.
The Council also renewed contracts of 25 members of Professional Staff in the EAC Organs and Institutions who were appointed in 2015 and whose contracts have since expired or were due to expire by the end of August 2020 for a final term of five (5) years in accordance with the provisions of the EAC Staff Rules and Regulations (2006).
The Council further approved the issuance of new contracts for short term staff for a period of six months from July 1 to December 31, 2020.
Besides Dr. Biruta, the one-day meeting was attended by Partner Ministers of EAC Affairs, namely; Hon. Adan Mohammed (Kenya), Hon. Amb. Ezechiel Nibigira (Burundi), Hon. Deng Alor Kuol (South Sudan), Hon. Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Kahinda Otafiire (Uganda), and Hon. Dr. Damas Ndumbaru (Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Tanzania).
Also in attendance was the EAC Secretary General, Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko, and his two Deputies Eng. Steven Mlote (DSG-Infrastructure and Planning, also the Acting DSG-Finance and Administration) and Hon. Christophe Bazivamo