East African Community (EAC) has been struggling with serious financial challenges due to late disbursements by member states, EAC Secretary General has said.
In his new-year address, Amb Liberat Mfumukeko noted that by December last year, only 40% had been disbursed.
“The reality of the matter is that partner states are slow in disbursing their commitments, as at end of December only 40% had been disbursed, this calls for serious prioritizing of the available resources and ensure critical activities are implemented. We also need to avoid wastage at all costs.” The secretary general said.
The secretariat has now resulted to cost cutting measures in a bid to make do with the little finance that they have for this financial year.
“I want to refer you back to the circular of May 2016, where it was directed that all meetings should start on Tuesdays and meetings should not last for more than four days. Colleagues, tough times call for tough measures. I am sure we can still achieve a lot, with the resources available.” The Secretary General said.
According to Amb Mfumukeko, the EAC heads of state summit scheduled for 23rd February, this year will be addressing the issue of alternative financing mechanisms.
“I can assure you that a lasting solution will be found. We should not be discouraged by our challenges, as one great man T. HARV EKER said “if you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you”. Said Mr Mfumukeko.
There are about 13 pieces of legislation, which shall need to be completed and enacted. The region shall be looking at EALA to deliver especially on legislation that will anchor and fortify the pillars of integration. I further congratulate the 3rd Assembly for their laudable contribution and note that over the five-year period, the Assembly passed 30 pieces of legislation, over 80 reports and over 100 resolutions.
EAS Staff also went out of their way to ensure that the bloc’s affairs run smoothly despite the financial challenges.
“I want to thank all of you for bearing and coping with these challenges, I was touched that staff could use their own resources to travel and support EAC activities for reimbursement when funds become available. This is a show of not only commitment and passion but also maturity and desire to contribute to the integration process. Because of this most activities were still implemented uninterrupted and as scheduled. We shall work together to ensure there are enough resources to run the affairs of the community.” The Ambassador said urging his staff to avoid wastage of resources at all costs.