Barely a week after Partner States presented their respective budgets, the EAC has presented for consideration, budget estimates for the Financial Year 2019/2020, totaling $111,450,529 to the East African Legislative Assembly.
The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, United Republic of Tanzania, Dr Damas Ndumbaro, presented the budget speech on behalf of the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers and Rwanda’s Minister for State, EAC in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Amb Olivier Nduhungirehe.
The 2019/2020 Budget is themed: “Transforming lives through Industrialization and Job Creation for shared prosperity.
According to the Chair of Council of Ministers, the priority interventions for FY 2019/2020, will focus on the consolidation of the Single Customs Territory and promotion of intra and extra EAC trade and export competitiveness, development of regional infrastructure, effective implementation of the Common Market Protocol and the enhancement of regional industrial development.
Other areas include the implementation of the roadmap towards the EAC Monetary union, institutional transformation focusing on implementation of the institutional review recommendations and improvement of performance management at the EAC Organs and institutions.
The Chair of Council proposes that 2019/2020 Budget be allocated to the Organs and Institutions of the EAC as follows; East African Community Secretariat ($53,296,404), East African Legislative Assembly ($18,973,845) and the East African Court of Justice ($4,225,241). The Inter-University Council for East Africa shall receive ($9,586,426), Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($13,193,849) while $ 4,061,145 is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
On their part, the East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive ($ 1,915,073), East African Kiswahili Commission ($ 1,474,775) and the East African Health Research Commission ($ 3,996,270). The East African Competition Authority is to benefit from an amount of $727,501 in the Financial Year 2019/20.
The 2019/2020 Budget is to be financed by Partner State contributions through the Ministries of EAC Affairs ($49,791,446); Ministries responsible for Education – ($4,379,968) and Ministries responsible for Fisheries ($ 2,060,845).
Development Partners will support the Community to the tune of ($54,031,725) while Member Universities will inject in to the kitty $ 468,300. The miscellaneous revenue is pegged at $ 296,145 while the General Reserve shall contribute USD 422,100.
Other key areas the Minister said, include promotion of peace, security and good governance and the constitution making process for the EAC Political Confederation, factors that will be necessary for successful implementation of socio-economic programmes to further support the growth and development of the EAC region.
The EAC is further expected to streamline and further consolidate on its operational systems to achieve the desired level of efficiency, accountability and value for money.
The Chair of Council of Ministers cited a number of assumptions on which this year’s budget is pegged on to include the continued and consolidated political support of the EAC integration and the availability of adequate financial resources and remittances.
Political stability and good governance as well as safe and stable security across the region are other areas of consideration.
Last Financial Year, the August House approved a Budget of USD111, 933,303.
The said amount was earmarked for among others; consolidation of the Single Customs Territory (SCT) to cover all imports and intra-EAC traded goods; Infrastructural development in the region and liberalization of free movement of skilled labour across the Partner States.
The Minister cited performance of the EAC Organs and institutions in the above areas noting general improvements, enhanced partnerships and drive/enthusiasm to address existing and new challenges.
On the global economic performance outlook, the Minister informed the House the global economy had expanded and that the EAC region had maintained its position as the fastest growing economic bloc.
“Mr. Speaker, given the accelerated growth within Sub-Saharan Africa attributed to strong agricultural production, rapid public investment and private consumption in the past two years, the EAC region has maintained its position as the fastest-growing sub-region in Africa, with estimated growth of 6.3 percent in 2018, up from a revised growth of 5.6 percent in 2017”, the Chair of Council of Ministers said.
“Strong growth was widespread in the region, with Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda growing at more than 6 percent. Economic growth in Burundi and South Sudan remained subdued in 2018, with some strong signs of recovery. GDP growth in Burundi was 0.1 percent in 2018 compared with a contraction of about 1.3 percent in 2017. In South Sudan, the economy contracted by 1.2 percent in 2018 compared to a contraction of 3.5 percent in 2017,” Ndumbaro added.
The House is expected to debate on the Budget proposals from tomorrow.