East African Community Affairs Minister Shem Bageine on Thursday presented the EAC Budget for financial year 2013/2014 to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) sitting in Kampala.
Bageine, who doubles as Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, presented the estimates totaling to 130.4 million US dollars and the budget is allocated to the organs and institutions of the East African Community.
The organs and institutions to benefit from the Budget are; the EAC Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly, East African Court of Justice, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Inter-University Council for East Africa and Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization.
Meanwhile donors are the biggest funders of the budget contributing over 85 million dollars followed by the Partner States’ contributions totaling through EAC ministries to 37.2 million dollars. Other funders are the Partner States through other Agencies contributing 7.2 million dollars and income from other sources being over 200,000 dollars.
This financial year’s budget is presented with the theme of Consolidating the EAC Common Market and moving towards the Monetary Union.
Bageine said that the main priorities this financial year are to establish a single customs territory as a milestone for free circulation of goods, minimization of customs borders, controls and smoother trade in the region.
In his presentation Bageine noted that the community is one of the fastest reforming in terms of doing business in the world.
He elaborated that the EAC implemented a combined ten regulatory reforms across nine areas measured to improve the business environment for local businesses and encourage entrepreneurship in the region.
He further noted that this financial year will be important for the Community since it will be entering a higher phase in its integration process in view of the expected completion of the negotiation of the protocol on the establishment of the East African Monetary Union