The EAC Secretary General Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko has attended a High Level Committee of the European Development Fund (EDF) in Brussels, Belgium.
The EDF meeting in Brussels brought together the Secretaries General of the EAC, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), and EU representatives from Brussels.
The purpose of the high level meeting was to discuss the implementation of the EDF 11 under which EAC was allocated 85 million Euros for a period of 5 years. The resources were distributed as follows: Peace and Security (15million Euros), regional integration (45 million Euros), natural resources management (20 million Euros), and institutional strengthening (5 million Euros).
According to EAC, out of the allocated 85 million Euros, projects worth 70 million Euros have reached advanced stages. A project on regional electoral support worth 5 million Euros is under implementation, a project on establishing a Trade Related Facility for 35 million has been finalized which will allow Partner States access to funds for trade facilitation, the EAC said.
A project on water resources management worth 10 million Euros led by Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and KfW is at formulation stage. This project focuses on LVBC with plans for construction of water and sanitation infrastructure along major towns in the basin.
EAC is also preparing to submit a project on promotion aquaculture led by Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) worth 20 million Euros as well as project on peace and security and institutional strengthening.
During the meeting EAC was applauded for having passed the key EU pillars assessment, and will now discuss implementation modalities with EU which will mean the Community using its own procedures. The meeting was also informed of the entry of the Republic of South Sudan into the EAC.
In his remarks, Amb. Mfumukeko urged the EU to consider priorities such as enhancing food security and income generation for employment to improve livelihoods.
During the meeting, the EU underlined the need to find sustainable financing solutions for donor-funded staff positions. EU also announced a creation of a technical facility of 14 million euros to support capacity building of project preparation on soft infrastructure projects.
Under EDF 11, EU has allocated 600 million Euros for the five Regional Economic Communities (RECs). All the RECs have up to the end of December 2016 to finalize on the identification of priority projects.
The Secretary General was accompanied at the meeting by Hon Jessica Eriyo , the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration who also led the EAC delegation during Technical meetings .