February 27, 2024

EAC finance ministers table 2023/24 Budgets

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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Prof Njuguna Ndung'u displays the Budget briefcase ahead of his speech in parliament in Nairobi, Kenya on June 15, 2023.

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East African Community (EAC) countries expect overall national government spending to rise in the upcoming financial year (July 1 to June 30).

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda are to present their 2023/2024 budgets before their respective parliaments on Thursday.

According to the EAC Treaty, Finance ministers of the partner states read their budgets simultaneously, under a common theme. 

The exemptions are Burundi, South Sudan and latest entrant the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Burundi’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Audace Niyonzima, tabled his country’s budget estimate on Tuesday, with spending projected to rise 65 percent to BF3.95 trillion ($1.41 billion) in the 2023/2024 financial year. The previous budget was BF2.39 trillion.

South Sudan cabinet passed a SSP1.8 trillion ($1.38 billion) budget for the next fiscal year in May, up 12.5 percent from SSP1.4 trillion ($1.07 billion) for the 2022/2023 period. The budget is yet to tabled in parliament for approval.

DRC is yet to adjust its budget reading in harmony with the EAC. In December, the country increased its 2023 budget by 46 percent to $16 billion.

Kinshasa formally joined the regional bloc in July last year after depositing instruments of ratification on the accession of the EAC Treaty.

Budgets

Kenya’s National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Njuguna Ndung’u, a former central bank governor, will present his maiden Ksh3.6 trillion ($25.75 billion) budget for 2023/24, a 6.5 percent increase from the Ksh3.38 trillion ($24.18 billion) the previous year.

In Tanzania, the Minister of Finance and Planning Dr Mwigulu Nchemba will read his third budget of $19.23 billion (Tsh44.38 trillion) budget, up seven percent from Tsh41.48 trillion ($18 billion).

Uganda’s $13.9 billion (Ush52.74 trillion) budget was presented by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija who has held the post since March 2015. The government has increased its spending plan by Ush4.606 trillion ($1.2 billion) from Ush48.13 trillion ($13 billion) in 2022/2023.

Highlights of the budgets

KENYA

Agreements reached under EAC common Customs Union:

Prof Njuguna Ndung’u:

  • Kenya to import rice at EAC tariff of 35 percent instead of 75 percent, and wheat at 10 percent instead of 35 percent to bridge local production deficit.
  • Kenya allowed to continue imports of inputs for manufacture of baby diapers duty free for one more year, and impose duty of 35 percent on imported diapers for a year.
  • Duty free window for import of inputs for manufacture of animal feeds extended for one year. “Locally manufactured animal feed is expensive and is contributing to food inflation.” 
  • Kenya allowed to extend for one year the imposition of 25 percent duty on imported mobile phones. Duty free window for importing inputs for local assembly of mobile phones extended for a year.
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