EAC presents budget estimates of $91.5 million for fiscal year 2022/2023

The East African Community (EAC) has tabled before the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) the budget estimates for the financial year 2022/2023 totaling 91,579,215 dollars.

Delivering the address to the Assembly, the Chairperson of the Cabinet and Cabinet Secretary of Kenya for EAC and Regional Development, Betty Maina, said that the budget estimates for the financial year 2022/22023 are presented at a time where the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is threatened by rising fuel and other commodity prices occasioned by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

“Economic growth in the EAC region averaged 5.9% in 2021, compared to an average of 2.3% in 2020. The strong regional economic growth in 2021 was largely supported by the increased removal of COVID-19 related restrictions, public investments and strong performance in the productive sectors,” Maina said.

The Cabinet Secretary noted that rising commodity prices, especially fuel and food, are having a negative impact on the welfare of East Africans and the world.

“Global economic growth is expected to slow from 6.1% in 2021 to 3.6% in 2022. Economic growth in the EAC region is expected to decline from an average of 5.9% in 2021 to 5.3% in 2022 and 5.7% in 2023,” she added.

The theme of the 2022/2023 budget is “Accelerate economic recovery and strengthen productive sectors to improve livelihoods”.

Maina said the EAC would focus on 10 priority areas, namely: peace and security; Private sector development and participation; Economic integration; Improving productivity, adding value and promoting regional supply chains; EAC Digitization Program; Health; Implementation of the EAC Monetary Union roadmap, infrastructure development, and; Institutional strengthening and transformation.

The 2022/2023 budget is allocated to EAC organs and institutions as follows:

  • EAC Secretariat – USD 45,137,041
  • East African Legislative Assembly – USD 15,086,640
  • East African Court of Justice – USD 3,803,836; Lake Victoria Basin Commission – US$8,289,474
  • East Africa Science and Technology Commission – USD 1,725,256
  • East Africa Kiswahili Commission – US$1,284,219; East African Health Research Commission – USD 1,867,665
  • East African Competition Authority – USD 1,011,132; Inter-University Council for East Africa – US$10,566,869
  • Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization – US$2,807,083.

This year’s budget is down from the US$91,784,296 approved by the August House for the 2021/2022 fiscal year.

The Minister highlighted the finalization of the revision of the Common External Tariff (TEC), the elimination of twenty-five non-tariff barriers (NTBs) reported during the year and the harmonization of more than 145 standards for goods commonly traded in more than 16 sectors. like some of the milestones achieved by the EAC in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Regarding the EAC Single Customs Territory, the Cabinet Secretary revealed that the next financial year would, among other things, focus on the integration of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of South Sudan into the customs union.

Customs would also focus on: integrating electronic cargo tracking systems along transit corridors; Improved interconnectivity of systems in key sectors to facilitate information exchange, as well as capacity building for trade, especially women small traders.

Regarding the Monetary Union, the SC informed the Chamber that the process of establishing the East African Monetary Institute (EAMI) was launched in March 2022 with a verification mission to partner states that had declared their interest in hosting the EAMI.

“The 42n/a The Board meeting is expected to consider the report of the Audit Committee and determine the seat of the EAMI, in accordance with Section 7 of the East African Monetary Institute Act 2019. Other administrative procedures, including the development of the organizational structure of EAMI, have also been initiated. EAMI is expected to do much of the preparatory work for the establishment of the East African Monetary Union,” said CS Maina.

Regarding the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the SC declared that the term of the 4th Assembly will end on 17e December 2022.

“As expected, the mandate for the start of the 5th Assembly is expected to come into effect shortly thereafter. As a Council, we will give the Assembly all the necessary support to inaugurate the new Assembly,” Maina said.

During the 2022/2023 fiscal year, the Assembly will prioritize the enactment of Executive/Council Bills that are under consideration by its Standing Committees.

These Bills are critical to the smooth functioning of the EAC Customs Union, such as the EAC Customs Management (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and the Standardization, Accreditation and EAC Conformity Assessment, 2022); to improve health and social services to the people of East Africa like the EAC Pharmaceuticals Bill, 2020 and the EAC Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Bill , 2021); the preservation of our culture as the cultural heritage of the EAC Bill, 2022.

While others are in favor of the gradual operationalization of the Monetary Union, including the EAC Financial Services Commission Bill 2022 and the Compliance and Enforcement Bill 2022. EAC monitoring.

“As a Council, we are optimistic that the Assembly will pass these bills before December 2022,” the Cabinet Secretary said.

Regarding the East African Court of Justice, the SC revealed that after celebrating its 20e anniversary in November 2021, the Court has, in an effort to increase its visibility and bring its services closer to citizens, decided to hold its November sessions in Partner States on a rotating basis.

“The November sessions will be preceded by the annual Judicial Symposium of the East African Court of Justice.”

The SC stated that the priority interventions of the EACJ in the 2022/2023 financial year will be: to increase the number of cases concluded in a timely manner; increase the Court’s visibility in partner states; strengthen the skills of judges and court staff for the effective delivery of justice; and strengthen collaboration with other regional and international tribunals.

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