31 January 2014

East Africa: EAC Parliament Approves Sh185 Million Budget

Nairobi — The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has approved Sh185.1 million supplementary budget for the East African Community (EAC).

The additional funding will be spent on activities aimed at strengthening integration in the region in the current financial year ending June 2014.

Presenting the supplementary budget request to the House on behalf of the Chair of Council of Ministers, Ugandan Minister of State for EAC Affairs Shem Bageine said the supplementary budget would prioritise on three main areas.

He said Sh98.7 million, to be sourced from United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be spent in enhancing agriculture, trade and customs.

This will focus on implementing the EAC Food Security and Nutrition Policy and developing Regional Animal Resources database at the Secretariat.

Some of the trade activities will include facilitating the study of the EAC Common Trade Policy and Strategy, development of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Framework in all the partner states and coming up with strategies to promote exports to the European and emerging markets.

On the other hand Sh42.7million will be allocated to EAC-World Bank Public Financial Management Harmonisation Project while Sh43.7 million will be used for strengthening the East and Southern Africa-India Ocean (ESA-IO) Maritime Security Project.

The latter project is expected to assist the region in the implementation of the Regional Strategy and Action Plan against Piracy and overall insecurity.

In May last year, EALA approved a budget of Sh11.8 billion for the current 2013/2014 financial year, which prioritised on the consolidation of the Common Market, completion of negotiations and movement towards the East African Monetary Union Protocol.

The budget also focused on investment promotion and private sector development, co-operation in cross-border infrastructure and enhancing the extractive and processing industries.

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