Alternative funding for EAC not yet ready

East African Legisltive Assembly

What you need to know:

Alternative funding mechanism is intended to reduce dependence on unsustainable flow of funds from the donors and the partner states

Arusha. The East African Legisltive Assembly (Eala) has called for fast-tracking of an alternative funding mechanism for the Community.

The facility would address the financial challenges the East African Community (EAC) has been facing due to unsustainable flows from the donors and the partners states.

This was among the key recommendations made on Friday as the House approved the $ 111million budget for the 2019/2020 financial year.

"There is need for the Council of Ministers to finalize the modalities on alternative sustainable funding mechanism", the House's Committee of General Purpose resolved.

In addition the Committee recommended the imposition of sanctions against the partner states which fail to meet their financial obligations.

Abdikadir Aden, the chairperson of the Committee said a number of activities planned by the Community did not take place due to late remittances of funds.

The EAC Council of Ministers, which is the policy organ of the Community, was also urged to regularly submit to the Assembly the budget estimates in a timely manner. This would allow for ample time for Eala to scrutinize the budget.

The House, which adjourned its business on Friday, also raised concern on continued delay of remittances to the Community. "While the resource envelope has not increased in the last four years, EAC has witnessed remarkable growth in terms of institutions and volume of activities", he added. The growth has, however, not attracted proportionate increase in funding "to address the ever growing needs of the Community". In the 2019/2020 budget, save for the two institutions, the rest of the nearly a dozen EAC organs and bodies witnessed a zero increase in their budgets.

Debating the estimates, Victor Burikukiye (Burundi) lamented that the productive sectors were allocated a paltry three per cent of the total budget.

'It is paradoxical that whereas the EAC hopes to improve the life of its citizens, the two sectors are under budgeted for", he pointed out.