EAC members to fund bulk of bloc’s $112m budget

Sunday June 30 2024

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) members led by its speaker Joseph Ntakirutimana addressing the media at the Parliament buildings in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday, March 4, 2024. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG


The East African Community this week presented its budget, raising it 8.7 percent to $112.98 million, from $103 million last year.

But partner states’ contributions have been reviewed from $73 million to $67.78 million. Internal revenues have therefore reduced to less than 40 percent of the total budget.

The chairperson of the Council of Minister, South Sudan’s Minister for EAC Affairs, Deng Alor Kuol, presented the budget to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) even with arrears amounting to over $35 million from the past financial year, a situation blamed for stalling programmes of the secretariat.

The budget amounting to $112,984,442, out of which $67,785,519 (61percent) will be equally contributed by partner states or raised as other internal revenues, while $43,936,292 (39 percent) will be sourced from development partners, Mr Kuol said.

The EAC Secretariat has been allocated $51,677,120; the East African Court of Justice $4,858,553 and Eala $20,469,040.

“The budget for the FY2024/2025 has been developed taking into consideration timely disbursement of financial resources by partner states and development partners, in line with the EAC Financial Rules and Regulations and signed financing agreements, to facilitate the implementation of the projects and programmes,” Mr Kuol told MPs.


Read: East Africa bloc in limbo on cash crisis

He said the budget was being presented at a time the region is navigating through high fuel and food import prices, costly financial market access and pressures on the exchange rates and foreign reserves.

“Inspite of the challenges, economic performance in the EAC region in 2023 continued to improve, recording GDP growth rates ranging from 2.8 percent to 8.1percent,” he said. “Partner states’ economies are projected to continue improving, with economic growth in 2024 expected to be higher than the global and Sub-Saharan Africa growth rates of 3.2 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.”

Intra-EAC trade increased in the past financial year, despite the economic challenges the region was facing, reaching $12.1 billion — a 13.1 percent growth.

Key products traded among partner states include cereals, cement, iron and steel, livestock, petroleum products, sugar, foods and beverages.

According to the minister’s statement, EAC exports to the rest of the world improved by 7.8 percent to $26.9 billion, while EAC imports from the rest of the world declined by 0.1 percent to $53.6 billion.

“Trade is the hinge around which the EAC integration process revolves. The EAC’s total trade with the rest of the world increased by 2.37 percent to $80.6 billion in 2023, compared to $78.7 billion in 2022.”

Mr Kool paid tribute to Somalia, the eighth member to join the Community, for moving with speed to align with the bloc.

He said the Community would deploy election observation missions in Rwanda next month, South Sudan in December 2024 and in Burundi in May 2025.

EAC Secretary-General Veronica Nduva affirmed her commitment to working closely with all organs of the EAC.

Read: EACJ suspends sessions as severe funding crisis hits

“I am honoured to serve you and commit to serve with integrity and an unwavering commitment to our shared vision,” she told the House.
In the FY 2024/2025, the priorities will include implementing the EAC Communication Policy and the EAC Communication Strategy 2021/2022 – 2025/2026 and commemorating the EAC’s 25th Anniversary or Silver Jubilee.

About $67,785,519 (61percent) will be equally contributed by partner states or raised as other internal revenues, while $43,936,292 (39 percent) will be sourced from development partners, Mr Kuol said.