The EAC today presented Budget estimates for the Financial Year 2016/2017 totaling US$101,374,589 to the East African Legislative Assembly sitting in Arusha.
The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, Hon Dr Susan Kolimba presented the Budget speech to an attentive House on behalf of the substantive Minister and Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, Dr Augustine Mahiga.
The 2016/2017 Budget that prioritises full implementation of the EAC Single Customs Territory, enhanced implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol especially additional commitments and interconnectivity of border immigration systems and procedures across Partner States and enhancement of productivity and value addition in key productive sectors is a drop down from $110,660,098 Million presented to the House in the previous Financial Year.
The budget also takes cognisance of development of cross-border infrastructure and harmonisation of laws, policies and standards in respective sub-sectors, implementation of a liberalised EAC airspace, enhanced implementation a One Area Network in telecommunications and the implementation of EAC Peace and Security initiatives.
According to the Minister, other key specific priorities are strengthening of the legal and judicial systems, enhancement of Information, Communication and Education to promote popular participation of the citizenry in the EAC integration process and promotion of education, science and technology for creative and productive human resources.
The Budget is allocated to the Organs and Institutions of the EAC as follows; East African Community Secretariat ($57, 872, 785), East African Legislative Assembly ($16,034,324) and the East African Court of Justice ($4,286,477).
The Inter-University Council for East Africa shall receive ($4,553,890), Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($11,214,708) while $ 2,131,422 is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization. On their part, the East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive ($ 1,161,438), East African Kiswahili Commission ($ 1,134,542) and the East African Health Research Commission ($ 1,397,438). The East African Competition Authority is to benefit from $587,565 in the Financial Year.
The 2016/2017 Budget is to be financed by Partner States contributions ($47,565,377) compared to USD 47 566,973 in the current Financial Year; Development Partners support ($46,717,601) which is a significant drop from USD 58,555,635 of the previous year, and the Member Universities will inject USD 431, 923, General Reserves USD 6, 354, 248 and miscellaneous revenue USD 305, 440.