The East African Community (EAC) council of ministers has presented budget estimates for the Financial Year 2014/2015 totalling $124,069,695 (about Shs316 billion).
The 2014/2015 budget, presented to the East African Legislative Assembly sitting in Arusha on Wednesday, is down from $130 million (Shs331 billion) in the previous Financial Year.
Deputy minister for EAC Abdallah Sadala Abdallah, Tanzania, while presenting the budget speech on behalf of the Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, said: “This budget will prioritise the operationalisation of the Single Customs Territory including the setting up of an institutional framework to manage it.”
He added that the budget will also look at the full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol with particular focus on free movement of goods, services, labour and capital as well as the implementation of the EAC industrialisation policy.
Other key areas include development of cross-border infrastructure with particular focus on implementing decisions of the Summit Retreat, implementation of the roadmap towards the EAC Monetary Union, implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (COMESA-EAC-SADC) and the sensitisation of East Africans towards deepened East Africa integration.
The budget is allocated to the Organs and Institutions of the EAC as follows; East African Community Secretariat- $76, 074, 052, (about Shs193 billion) East African Legislative Assembly-$15,489,836 (about Shs38.2 billion) and the East African Court of Justice-$4,582,190 (about Shs11.4 billion).
The Inter-University Council for East Africa shall receive-$ 9,411,320 (about Shs23.9 billion), Lake Victoria Basin Commission $13,372,466 (about Shs33.9 billion) while $2,813,771 (about Shs7.1 billion) is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation.
For the first time, three new Institutions are also set to benefit. East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive -$679,821 (about Shs1.7 billion), East African Kiswahili Commission- $722,102 (about Shs1.8 billion) and the East African Health Research Commission -$924,067 (about Shs2.3 billion).
Foreign states will foot up to 60 per cent of East African Community’s (EAC) Shs318 billion bill for the financial year starting next month. The budget indicates that the five EAC member states have only committed to contribute Shs107.3 billion or 20.8 billion each. The total contribution by members is nearly half the Shs191.4 billion required to run the EAC Secretariat alone. A total of $73,180,446 (about Shs186 billion) is expected to come from development partners, made up mainly of European Union states.