The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has approved the East African Community’s Supplementary Budget of US$4,977,475 for the Financial Year ending June 30, 2020, to fund its additional expenditure for priority projects and programmes that were unfunded.
The overall budget 2019/2020 is US$111,450,529.
Rwanda’s State Minister For EAC, Olivier Nduhungirehe, who is the Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, tabled the EAC Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 on Wednesday.
The bill was enacted by the House after a debate and without amendments.
One of the most intriguing fact about the reason for EALA passing this supplementary budget is facilitation of delegates from Burundi and South Sudan.
The projects and activities to be supplemented during the Financial Year include an additional expenditure for the EAC Secretariat pegged at US$3,477,545.
The budget is broken as follows: a study for Sustainable Funding Mechanism (US$120,000), facilitation of delegates from Republics of South Sudan and Burundi, not funded by Development Partners (US$17,000), repair-works at EAC headquarters (US$305,000), drafting of an EAC Political Confederation Constitution (USD 150,000) and improving collaborative conservation and management of Trans Boundary Natural Resources in the EAC (US$344,770).
Other activities for support are geared towards the development of a Regional Policy on Wildlife Conservation and Management, (US$155,420), detailed Architectural and Engineering Design of the Mugina/Manyovu One-Stop-Border- Post, (US$480,000) and for the validation of the draft 6th EAC Development Strategy (2021/2022 to 2025/2026)– US$41,400.
A bulk of the amount (US$1,863,955) is to be used for Financial Sector Development and Regionalization Project, Said the Chair of the General-Purpose Committee, Hon Abdikadir Aden, yesterday February 26 in Arusha Tanzania.
East African Community is one of the regional block in Africa which was said to experience plenty of hampers, apart from its political standoffs in member states, some member countries have reportedly failed to pay its contributions.
Meanwhile, the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) is requesting for US$69,566 to aid two key projects; development of the EAC-Regional Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation (US$ 27,808) and the development of the Online Observatory Platform on Bio economy Resource Sharing (US$41,758).
The Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) needs US$78,710 for the 2nd phase of the Headquarters construction.
In his remarks, Hon Aden stated that the supplementary budget was subjected on the anticipation that Partner States will honour their financial obligations.
He therefore urged the Secretariat and the Council of Ministers to further engage with the Partner States to honour their statutory obligations to the EAC Budget for FY 2019/2020.
Almost all the EALA members supported this move.
However, Hon Susan Nakawuki opposed the bill stating that majority of the issues stated for additional expenditure were not warranted. “I also need the assurance that we are not handling a post-mortem, where the money is already expended”, the legislator stated.
The Chair of Council of Ministers in response said reforms of the structures as concerns staffing and the completion of the Sustainable funding Mechanism would be speeded up.
He further stated Council was concerned by the low remittances which stand at 61% of the total amount with few months remaining to the end of the Financial Year.
The Minister commended the Republic of Uganda for availing additional resources to support the drafting of the Political Confederation Constitution.