Parliamentarians representing the Public Accounts Committees (PACs) of 14 countries, on Thursday, blasted donors for what they say are unilateral actions and decisions that hamper the continent's development.
The executive should concentrate more on reducing waste and generating more revenue from internal sources
This was part of the key resolutions of the sixth Eastern Africa Association of Public Accounts Committee (EAAPAC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and conference, held at parliament buildings in Kigali since Monday.
"With respect to unilateral actions and decisions by development partners negating the pre-agreed commitments to budget support, this conference condemns this practice and calls upon all parties to honour and commit themselves to the agreed positions in accordance with the Accra Declaration on Aid Effectiveness," they said.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the Southern Africa Development Community Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (SADCOPAC) and the Western Africa Association of Public Accounts Committees (WAAPAC), Auditor Generals and Budget Controllers. It also resolved that PACs jointly with other House Committees shall "advocate against over dependence on donor funding by the executive in the budget making process."
"Instead, the executive should concentrate more on reducing budgetary waste and generating more revenue from internal sources such as oil, minerals, tourism and gas."
They called on EAAPAC to develop strategies to deal with common cross border financial malpractices involving public funds; lobby their respective legislatures to extend the scope of their Auditor Generals to all public resources and extractive industries; and lobby the executive to ensure that countries endowed with natural resources such as minerals, oil and gas subscribe to the principals of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The lawmakers urged PACs to immediately commence deliberations towards realisation of the establishment of an umbrella body bringing together all African PACs within the next 18 months.
They also called on PACs jointly with other House Committees and stakeholders to take necessary steps to ensure that appropriate legislation on budget making and spending is enacted or reviewed whenever necessary to ensure transparent and accountable processes in budget formulation and spending.
The conference was held under the theme: "Building the foundation of an effective financial management system through transparency and accountability in the budget formulation and spending process." The last day focused on three topics, all centred on development partners in budget formulation and implementation.
Closing the session, the Deputy Speaker of the Rwandan Chamber of Deputies, Evariste Kalisa, said the conference was a means to strengthen legislatures' relationships in a bid to foster growth within their respective countries through improved systems of accountability and transparency in public finance management.
"I hope that each member of EAAPAC and everyone who participated will take the necessary measures to ensure that the resolutions from this conference are implemented as agreed upon," he said.
Chairperson of the Rwandan PAC, Juvenal Nkusi, told the delegates that: "You have contributed very much for our training and knowledge on how the Public Accounts Committee works and you have made important contributions on how we will play our roles."
EAAPAC Chairperson, Kassiano E. Wadri, who also doubles as the chair of the PAC in Uganda, said: "This has been an industry of knowledge and from this industry of knowledge, we want to assure you that we are leaving this place more energised than before as we work to ensure that taxpayers in our respective countries get value for money."