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Timely disburse statutory contributions, bloc asked

Timely disburse statutory contributions, bloc asked

THE East African Community (EAC) partner states have been asked to disburse their statutory contributions in a timely manner, to enable the bloc implement its various activities as per the approved budget and calendar of activities.

EAC Secretary General, Dr Peter Mathuki expressed this concerns that, while responsibilities of the Secretariat were becoming many day in day out, the amount of funds paid by the six partner states was going down. He was speaking on the status of partner states’ financial contributions to the general budget of EAC, while at a consultative meeting between the EAC Secretariat and the Republic of Uganda.

“While the mandate of the Community has been expanding, the total budget as well as the amount that every Partner State contributes to EAC has been reducing,” said Dr Mathuki, who however, commended the partner states for complying with the provisions of the EAC Financial Rules and Regulations by supporting the Community’s budget.

Dr Mathuki, who was accompanied by the Deputy Secretaries General, Director General of Customs and Trade and other Senior Officials of the EAC Secretariat held a review conference with Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for EAC Affairs, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, touching on the current status of the EAC integration process.

The meeting was part of the innovative approaches by the EAC Secretariat to brief partner states on a quarterly basis on the status of integration projects and programs.

It was meant to report on the achievements and challenges of activities undertaken in various sectors and share available opportunities as well as come up with strategies to strengthen regional integration. Highlighting some of the achievements during the period of Covid-19, Dr Mathuki noted that the Secretariat had successfully coordinated regional Covid-19 responses through effective partnerships with international and local organizations.

“Some of the interventions made by the Secretariat include the establishment of the Regional Electronic Cargo and Driver Tracking System (RECDTS), which facilitates free movement of people, goods and services in the region, as well as distribution of essential supplies in the region,” said Dr Mathuki.

He further disclosed that the Secretariat managed to conduct a regional rapid assessment of the capacity to respond to Covid -19 and disease outbreaks at 27 cross border points in the region. Speaking on statutory contributions by the partner states, Ms Kadaga urged the Secretary General to use the shuttle diplomacy to make sure that every partner state makes its contribution on time.

She commended the initiative of the Secretariat on the quarterly consultative meetings with individual partner states and said the meetings would help the partner states to closely follow the implementation of various programs and projects and minimize the workload of discussion during Council meetings.

“I praise you Secretariat for this innovative way of keeping the Partner States informed on the implementation of various EAC Projects and Programs,” said Ms Kadaga.

On the regional Covid-19 response, she commended the Secretariat on several initiatives on coordination of the regional pandemic response through effective partnerships with international and local organizations but challenged the Secretariat to do more in making sure that partner states are working jointly to contain the pandemic.

"A regional approach is the only way that can save our people in containing the pandemic because of the opportunity it provides for sharing resources, information, training and testing,” said the minister.

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Author: DEUS NGOWI

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