EAC tables over $100M budget

By William Madouk

East African Community (EAC) has tabled before its Legislative Assembly (EALA) a budget totaling to US $103,842,880 for Financial Year 2023/2024.

This year’s budget is an increase from the amount of US$91,579,215 approved by the August House for the 2022/2023 Financial Year.

The Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and Burundi’s Minister for EAC Affairs, Dr. Ezéchiel Nibigira, said that the budget comes at a time when the EAC economies were experiencing global shocks.

While tabling the budget, Mr. Nibigira stated that those shocks arise from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, tight global financial conditions, lingering effects of Covid-19 and the impact of climate change.

“Despite these challenges, economic growth in the region improved to 4.8 percent in 2022 from 3.5 percent in 2021,” said Dr. Nibigira, who is also minister of youth and sport.

The strong growth in the region was supported by the good performance of the industry, services, construction, mining and manufacturing sectors.

“Global economic growth is expected to remain weak, mainly due to anti-inflationary measures and geopolitical risks,” he added.

He projected a positive outlook for EAC economies, largely driven by the strong performance of the services sector, prudent government policies and increased public and private investment.

“However, downside risks remain, attributed to weaker global growth, tight financial conditions and climate change risks,” Nibigira noted.

He also disclosed that the EAC total trade increased by 13.4 percent to US$74.03 billion in 2022 from US$65.268 billion in 2021.

“In 2022, EAC total exports to the rest of the world were valued at US$20.139 billion, while total imports from the rest of the world into the EAC amounted to US$53.891 billion. Further, total intra-EAC trade grew by 11.2 percent to US$10.910 billion in 2022 from US$9.810 billion in 2021,” minister continued.

The major Intra-EAC traded products are cereals, cement, iron and steel, live animals, petroleum products, sugar, foods and beverages, signifying that the economies are Agro-based with good signs of moving to industry-based.”

The Budget has been allocated to the EAC Organs and Institutions as follows; EAC Secretariat – US$50,931,553, East African Court of Justice – US$4,450,488 and East African Legislative Assembly – US$17,681,365.

Others include Lake Victoria Basin Commission – US$8,471,980, Inter-University Council for East Africa – US$12,394,945, Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation: US$2,807,993 and East African Science and Technology Commission – US$2,016,543.

Meanwhile, East African Kiswahili Commission – US$1,502,535, East African Health Research Commission – US$2,193,811, and East African Competition Authority – US$1,391,667.

Minister cited that they focus on nine areas: strengthening of regional governance processes, and domestication of regional and international commitments for sustainable peace and stability.

And harmonization of trade-related policies, laws and regulations, and streamlining of customs and trade facilitation systems for increased trade and investment.

Others include the harmonization of fiscal and monetary policies, and the establishment of requisite institutions towards the realization of the East African Monetary Union – leveraging modern technologies to enhance productivity, value addition, and to promote regional supply and value chains and digital platforms.

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