The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) yesterday approved the East African Community (EAC) budget estimates for the financial year 2020/21, amounting to $ 104,063,020. The 2020/2021 financial year budget was approved via a virtual conference on Wednesday.
Under the EALA members vote for budget distribution to EAC organs, the EAC secretariat will receive $48,418,301, while the East African Legislative Assembly gets $ 23,067,137.
The East African Court of Justice is expected to benefit from the pooled money, earning $ 4,198,406, while $ 8,380,057 is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Basin Commission.
The EALA assembly further approved $ 1,536,751 for the activities of the East African Science and Technology Commission and $ 1,399,318 for the activities of the East African Kiswahili Commission.
The East African Health Research Commission is to benefit from $ 1,879,600, East African Competition Authority $ 1,128,240, the Inter-University Council for East Africa, $10,977,276 and Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) will pocket $ 3,077,934.
Of the total approved budget, the Assembly reallocated $ 518,050 to other activities considered pertinent to the integration agenda, given the available resources.
The approved 2020/21 Budget was presented last week to the EALA house by the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers and state minister of Foreign Affairs of Rwanda, Prof Nshuti Manasseh.
The EAC Budget Speech is themed: “Stimulating the economy to safeguard livelihoods, jobs, businesses and industrial recovery.” According to EALA.
The Budget estimates ($104,063,020) were presented at a time when the EAC region as well as the globe is still reeling from the effects (and after-effects) of the Covid-19 pandemic, leading to lockdowns and a slowdown in economic activities.
In his speech, Nshuti reiterated the EAC budget would complement the efforts of the partner states and development partners to spur economic recovery arising from the Covid1-9 disruptions.
“The budget estimates for financial year 2020/2021 are being presented at a time that COVID-19 Pandemic has severely affected the lives and economies of all countries in the world, leading to lockdowns and a slowdown in economic activities,” Nshuti said.
According to the EALA, the EAC partner states will contribute equally 57% of the total approved estimated budget($ 104,063,020) or raised as other internal revenues, and 43% is expected to be sourced from the development partners.
In the financial year 2020/2021, EAC will focus on the following key priority programs including consolidation of the single customs territory (SCT) to cover all imports and intra-EAC traded goods, such as agricultural and other widely consumed products like infrastructure development in the East African community.
Other priority areas are enhancing free movement of all factors of production and areas of cooperation across the partner states as envisaged under the Common Market and Monetary Union Protocols priority including skills development, technological advancement, and innovation to stimulate economic development.
The East African Community says it will also embark on the improvement of agricultural productivity, value addition, and facilitation of movement of goods to enhance food security in the region and promotion of regional peace, security, and good governance.