Two-month window for Kinshasa to align budget with EAC

Sunday April 17 2022
President Felix Tshisekedi.

President Felix Tshisekedi speaks in Nairobi after DRC formally joined the EAC bloc on April 8. Only a few formalities remain to entrench its membership. PHOTO | AFP


The Democratic Republic of Congo has only two months to align its budget with that of the East African Community following its formal entry.

President Felix Tshisekedi is also expected to create a ministry — and appoint a minister — that will deal with the EAC matters.

These are part of the requirements DRC is expected to put in place within the six-month period that the EAC has granted to DRC, to undertake internal and constitutional processes to ratify the EAC Treaty and submit to the EAC Secretary General.

“They have to quickly formalise membership in the various organs following the signing of the EAC Treaty of Accession last week in Nairobi,” said Johnson Weru, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Trade.

“First of all they have to normalise their budget preparations and reading in readiness for the new financial year that begins on July 1, as per the requirements of the EAC budget,” said Mr Weru.

“They will also be required to contribute to the budget of the EAC by August 2022.”


Instrument of acceptance

According to the EAC Treaty, all partner states are to align their financial year calendar in the budget making process to allow for presentation of their individual national budgets on the same day.

National budgets are important policy statements that could either affect or interfere with the EAC tax regime, free movement of goods and services, as stipulated in both the Customs Union and the Common Market protocol.

“They will appoint a representative to the Court of Justice. We will guide them into becoming compliant with the organs and requirements of the Treaty.”

The steps DRC still has to undergo to join the EAC fully involves; the signing of the deed of Accession to the Treaty with the Chair of the Summit which was carried out by President Uhuru Kenyatta and DRC’s Felix Tshisekedi on April 8 in Nairobi.

Thereafter, deposit the instrument of acceptance with the EAC Secretary-General by September.

“Entry also requires integrating EAC’s trade infrastructure, intermodal connectivity, One-Stop Border Posts, and trade systems to reduce trade time and costs,” said Peter Mathuki, EAC Secretary General.