By Spy Uganda Correspondent
Arusha, Tanzania: The East African Community (EAC) on Friday tabled to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) a 97,669,708 U.S. dollars budget for the 2020/21 financial year.
A statement issued by the EAC secretariat from its headquarters in the safari capital Arusha said the budget proposals were unveiled at a sitting held through video conference.
The statement said the EAC Council of Ministers chairperson Nshuti Manasseh from Rwanda tabled the budget proposals, saying the budget estimates were presented at a time when the EAC region, as well as the globe, was still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to lockdowns and a slowdown in economic activities.
“The impact of the pandemic on EAC partner states, though not yet assessed fully, is no doubt surmounting,” said Manasseh.
He said the EAC budget will complement the efforts of the partner states of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan and development partners to spur economic recovery arising from the COVID-19 disruptions.
Manasseh said the new budget will focus on the implementation of several programs, including the consolidation of single customs territory, enhancement of regional industrial development through investment in key priority sectors, skills development, technological advancement and innovation to stimulate economic development.
The statement said the EALA will debate the budget proposals next week.
It should be noted that the 2019/2020 Budget was themed: “Transforming lives through Industrialization and Job Creation for shared prosperity.” focusing 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.
The money was 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 received ($9,586,426), Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($13,193,849) while $ 4,061,145 was earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
On other hand, the East African Science and Technology Commission received ($ 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 benefited from an amount of $727,501 in the financial year 2019/20.
The 2019/2020 Budget was 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 supported the Community to the tune of ($54,031,725) while Member Universities injected into the kitty $ 468,300. The miscellaneous revenue was pegged at $296,145 while the General Reserve contributed USD 422,100.