The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation, Dr Susan Kolimba has tables a USD101, 374,589 Budget for the East African Legislative Assembly for 2016/17 financial year.
Dr Kolimba read the Budget on behalf of the substantive Minister and Chair of the EAC Council of Ministers, Dr Augustine Mahiga.
The 2016/2017 Budget is a drop down from $110,660,098 million compared to the previous financial year.
The Budget prioritizes the full implementation of the EAC Single Customs Territory, enhanced implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol especially additional commitments and inter-connectivity of border immigration systems and procedures across Partner States and enhancement of productivity and value addition in key productive sectors.
The budget also takes cognisance of development of cross-border infrastructure and harmonisation of laws, policies and standards in respective sub-sectors, implementation of a liberalised EAC airspace, enhanced implementation a One Area Network in telecommunications and the implementation of EAC Peace and Security initiatives.
According to the Minister, other key specific priorities are strengthening of the legal and judicial systems, enhancement of information, communication and education to promote popular participation of the citizenry in the EAC integration process and promotion of education, science and technology for creative and productive human resources.
The Chairman of Council termed the establishment of a policy framework and institutional structures for establishment of the EAC political federation as another key priority area in the coming financial year.
The Budget is allocated to EAC organs and institutions such as; EAC ($57, 872, 785), EALA ($16,034,324) and the East African Court of Justice ($4,286,477).
The Inter-University Council for EA shall receive ($4,553,890), Lake Victoria Basin Commission ($11,214,708) while $ 2,131,422 is earmarked for the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
On their part, the East African Science and Technology Commission shall receive ($ 1,161,438), EA Kiswahili Commission ($ 1,134,542) and the EA Health Research Commission ($ 1,397,438). The EA Competition Authority is to benefit from $587,565 in the Financial Year.
The 2016/2017 Budget is to be financed by partner state contributions ($47,565,377) compared to USD 47 566,973 in the current Financial Year; development partners support ($46,717,601) which is a significant drop from USD 58,555,635 of the previous year. The member universities will inject USD 431, 923, General Reserves USD 6, 354, 248 and miscellaneous revenue USD 305, 440.
The EAC Political Federation is yet a key priority area on the agenda in the coming financial year as the mode of the regional Constitution making process commences.
The same applies to strengthening of regional and international relations through mobilisation of Partner States’ diplomatic missions and the East African Diaspora for effective participation in EAC integration processes and building of multilateral/international networks in pursuit of EAC objectives.