The East African Community (EAC) has raised its spending plan for the 2023/24 financial year to $103.84 million from $91.58 million last year, an 11 percent increase.
In the budget tabled on Tuesday by the EAC Council of Ministers chair, Burundi’s minister Ezechiel Nibigira, the regional bloc targets to raise about half of the funding from the seven member states’ contributions, with the remaining coming from development partners.
“Out of this amount, $59,033,010 (57 percent) will be contributed equally by partner states or raised as other internal revenues, while $44,809,870 (43 percent) will be sourced from development partners,” he told the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) sitting in Arusha.
The minister said the budget estimates were presented amid global shocks from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, tight international financial conditions, lingering effects of Covid-19 and the effects of climate change, which continue to impact the EAC economies.
“Despite these challenges, economic growth in the region improved to 4.8 percent in 2022 from 3.5 percent in 2021. The strong growth in the region was supported by the good performance of the industry, services, construction, mining and manufacturing sectors,” said Nibigira.
“Global economic growth is expected to remain weak, mainly due to anti-inflationary measures and geopolitical risks,” he added.
Nibigira projected a positive outlook for EAC economies, driven by strong performance in the services sector and increased public and private investments.
“However, downside risks remain, attributed to weaker global growth, tight financial conditions and climate change risks,” he said.
The EAC Secretariat will get the lion’s share at 49 percent of the budget, followed by Eala at 17 percent and the Inter University Council for East Africa at 12 percent.
The Lake Victoria Basin Commission has been allocated eight percent, East African Court of Justice will get four percent, and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation will get three percent.
Other organs and institutions of the EAC have been allocated two percent – East African Science and Technology Commission and the East African Health Research Commission, while East African Kiswahili Commission and the East African Competition Authority get one percent each.
The EAC member states are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The bloc, however, grapples with fulfilling its mandate blamed on poor funding due to delayed or non-remittance of funds by partner states.