, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 4 – The East African Council of Ministers has presented the region’s budget estimates for the 2014/2015 financial year of Sh10.8 billion ($124,069,695).
The budget prioritises the full implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol with particular focus on free movement of goods, services, labour and capital as well as the implementation of the EAC Industrialisation Policy.
The budget estimates were presented before the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) by Tanzania Deputy EAC Minister Abdallah Sadala Abdallah on behalf of the EAC Council of Ministers chair Phyllis Kandie.
“Further amendments of the national laws to conform to the Common Market Protocol are envisaged for the next Financial Year. The Council of Ministers intends to introduce a Bill to the EALA to deal with challenges been witnessed with regards to implementation of the Protocol,” Sadala mentioned.
Other key areas include development of cross-border infrastructure with particular focus on implementing decisions of the Summit Retreat and the sensitisation of East Africans towards deepened East Africa integration.
“The EAC Common Market Scorecard 2014 launched in February should be able to assist Partner States to identify areas of slow or limited progress and foster stronger peer learning to accelerate its implementation,” the minister said.
The East African Community Secretariat has been allocated Sh6.6 billion, East African Legislative Assembly Sh1.3 billion, while the East African Court of Justice has been given a share of Sh401 million.
The Inter-University Council for East Africa shall receive Sh823 million, Lake Victoria Basin Commission Sh1.2 billion while Sh246 million is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation.
For the first time, three new institutions are also set to benefit. East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive Sh59 million, East African Kiswahili Commission Sh63.2 million and the East African Health Research Commission Sh80.9 million.
The highest financiers of the budget will be Ministries of EAC from the five Partner State including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi which are expected to give a contribution of Sh3.6b illion. Others include the development partners.
The regional budget has now dropped for the second time in a row from Sh11.8 billion in 2012/2013 financial year, Sh11 billion in 2013/2014 and finally to Sh10.8 billion.
The estimates will now await approval by EALA.