East Africa: Ministerial Endorsement At Last for Delayed EAC Budget

Arusha — The East African Community (EAC) budget for 2020/2021 financial year has finally been approved.

The EAC Council of Ministers, a policy organ of the Community, passed the estimates during its meeting on Monday.

The extraordinary 41st meeting, held via video conference, approved the $97.6 million expenditure for the regional organisation during 2020/2021.

The budget will cater for the three organs and nearly a dozen institutions of the Community scattered across the region.

Of the total amount, $55.6 million will come from EAC Partner States while development partners will contribute $41.9 million.

The EAC organs are the EAC Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) and the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), all based in Arusha.

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The Institutions relying on the EAC budget are Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) and Inter-University University Council for East Africa IUCEA).

Others are East African Kiswahili Commission (EAKC), East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC), East African Science and Technology Organization and the recently established East African Competition Authority.

The Council further approved the expenditure budget estimates of $2.7 million for the Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (Cassoa).

The Entebbe-based aviation body also raises its budget contributions through the civil aviation authorities which will amount to $458,910 each during the current fiscal year.

The budget estimates will now be tabled before Eala for debate and approval, according to the chair of EAC Council of Ministers, Dr Vincent Biruta.

Dr Biruta, who is the Rwanda minister for Foreign Affairs, said tabling of the budget to the House had been delayed by a number of factors.

These include failure to convene the EAC Council of Ministers' meeting.

The situation has been compounded by the outbreak of Covid-19 which necessitated a switch to virtual conferences which had its challenges.

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