East Africa: Finland Boosts EAC Partnership Fund

press release

Arusha, Tanzania — The Finnish Government has granted 3 million Euros to support various regional integration activities through the EAC Partnership Fund. The Grant Agreement was signed by EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera and Finnish Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania who is also accredited to EAC bloc Her Excellency Amb. Sinikka Antila during the ceremony held at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.

" It is a great pleasure for me to make the commitment for 3 additional year" It is worth noticing that after DFID ,Finland is the second biggest supporter to the Fund since 2008,remarked Finnish Ambassador

According to the signed agreement between the Government of Finland and East African Community, the Government of Finland shall make available on a grant basis and subject to annual parliamentary approval in Finland ,a contribution amounting up to a maximum of three million Euros to support the EAC Partnership Fund during the period of 2013-2016.

The first payment of one million Euros shall be made against a written request upon the entry into force of the agreement. Subsequent payments shall be made in accordance with the actual progress of the activities and on the basis of the financial needs for the coming period, against a written request.

EAC Secretary General Amb. Richard Sezibera thanked the Government of Finland for their continued support in the Partnership Fund . He commended Finnish Government for seeing the need to intensify development co-operation within the EAC.

Amb Sezibera said that the signing of multi-year agreements with development partners made it possible to predict the contribution to the Partnership Fund and therefore facilitated the development of EAC multi-year plans.

Meanwhile EAC Secretary General today held a High Level Dialogue with the Heads of Missions and supporters of Partnership Fund. The dialogue between the two parties focused on the on-going institutional review, financing of the Community, trade and investment, the EAC Partnership Fund, negotiations of South Sudan to join the Community ,signing for the Monetary Union Protocol, Economic and COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite talks

EAC Chief briefly informed the Heads of Mission about move towards a single customs territory in 2014 was high on the region's agenda; as well as implementation of the Common Market Protocol. He added the region was also focusing on infrastructure development and recently signing of the Monetary Union Protocol by the EAC Heads of State in Kampala

In attendance were representatives from UK/DFID, Germany, Finland, France, Sweden, Norway, European Union, USA, World Bank, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Denmark, Turkey, Netherlands, among others.

The EAC Partnership Fund is a basket fund mechanism with annual contributions from Development Partners (DPs) aimed at supporting the EAC projects and programmes that are geared towards regional integration. It was established on 15 September 2006 and is open to DPs who finance it through Contribution Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed between DPs and the EAC.

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