The East African Community on Thursday tabled $91.5 million budget for the financial Year 2022-2023.
The economy of the East African Community is projected to decline from an average of 5.9 percent in 2021 to 5.3 percent in 2022, according to the regional Council of Ministers.
The EAC Chair of the Council of Ministers and Kenyan Minister for East African Affairs, Betty Maina, said that the rising commodity prices is negatively impacting the economy of the region.
“The budget estimates for the financial year 2022-23 are being presented at a time when the speedy economic recovery experienced in the region and beyond in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic is being threatened by rising prices of fuel and other commodities occasioned by the Russia-Ukrainian conflict,” Ms Maina said during the budget speech presentation to the East African Legislative Assembly members in Arusha.
The East African Legislative Assembly lawmakers raised concerns over the continued decline of the community’s budget.
According to the legislators, the EAC budget has reduced by almost $30 million from $120 million five years ago to the current $91 million.
“For a community that is supposed to grow and we are actually growing, because now we have brought in DRC, we are expanding institutions, but also at the same time the budget is reducing. I think there is a very big challenge and there is a problem somewhere,” said Denis Namara.
George Odongo said, “We are thinking big we are speaking big we have very good ambitions as the community, but we are putting almost no resources to activate our ambitions as the community. We need a reality check as the community and it starts with conversations around what is our strategic interest in our integration.”
Paul Musali added, “They are saying that the economy is declining and challenges related to the conflicts and pandemics but the capitals’ budgets have increments.”
According to the EAC, the region is continuing with the implementation of the Single Customs Territory following resumption of global economic activities and easing of the Covid-19 containment measures.
59 percent of the budget will be contributed equally by Partner States and 41 percent is expected to be sourced from development partners.
Out of the $91.5 million the EAC-Secretariat will receive $45.1 million, the East African Legislative Assembly $15 million, the East African Court of Justice $3.8 million, Lake Victoria Basin Commission $8.2 million and the Inter University Council for East Africa $10.5 million.
In addition, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization will get $2.8 million, East African Science & Technology Commission $1.7million, East African Kiswahili Commission $1.2 million, East African Health Research Commission $1.8million, and East African Competition Authority (EACA) $1 million.