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Presentation of the budget of the East African Community for the financial year 2008/2009 to the East African Legislative Assembly

Posted by African Press International on May 20, 2008

Budget speech by the Rt. Hon Eriya Kategaya, Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the East African Community and 1st Deputy Prime Minister/Minister for East African Affairs, Republic of Uganda.

Old Chamber, Parliament Buildings, Nairobi, 15 May 2008

Theme: Towards Common Market

INTRODUCTION

1. Hon Speaker, I beg to move that this esteemed Legislative Assembly resolve into a House Committee to debate and approve the proposals of the Council of Ministers of the East African Community for the Budget of the East African Community for the Financial Year 2008/2009.

2. The Budget estimates for the Financial Year 2008/2009 are being presented when significant developments are taking place in the EAC. The ongoing process towards the establishment of the Common Market and the enlargement of the Community, with the admission of the Republics of Rwanda and Burundi last July 2007 to EAC clearly demonstrate the determination to deepen and widen regional integration. Today, the EAC embraces a strong and large market of a combined population of 120 million people, land area of 1.8 million sq. kilometers with a combined GDP of $ 41 billion. This bears great strategic and geopolitical significance as well as prospects for socio economic transformation of our region.

3. This Budget presentation, however, also comes in the wake of recent disturbing developments in our region, the aftermath of the disputed elections that were held in Kenya in December 2007. It can be noted that the developments in Kenya had destabilizing and disruptive effects way beyond Kenyas borders into Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and other parts of the Great Lakes Region. The violence witnessed in Kenya caused great suffering, loss of many innocent lives, displacement of people in Kenya, and, on the whole, impacted negatively on the performance and capacity of the East African Community to realize its integration objectives. It is gratifying that the Kenya situation has settled down but, more importantly is that these developments served as a wake up call to our region and the reality that our region must face in ordering measures that we have to take to ensure the security of our region at all times.

REVIEW OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMUNITY, 2007/2008

4. Hon Speaker: In reviewing the performance of the Budget and programme of the EAC for the outgoing Financial Year, I am pleased to note that there was great adherence to the work programme of all the Organs and Institutions of the Community. It is becoming quite evident that the co-ordination of the business of the Community is being ever streamlined. The Community continued to realize good progress and there are positive indications of growing interest in the Community and effective demand for regional strategies and programmes on the broad range of the areas of integration.

5. The focus of the activities of the EAC during the outgoing Financial Year was on the continued implementation of the Customs Union, the integration of the Republics of Rwanda and Burundi, negotiation of the Common Market Protocol and, in the broader view, the implementation of the 3rd EAC Development Strategy which was launched in November 2006. In implementing the 3rd EAC Development Strategy 2006-2010, EAC has adopted a methodical and systematic approach. A regular monitoring and evaluation mechanism has been instituted and is intended to ensure delivery of the concrete objectives of the Development Strategy.

Trade, Finance and Investments

6. Hon Speaker: The success of the EAC will be determined by what the organization sets out to achieve and what it delivers within the stated or implied time frames. Looking back to the ground we have covered since 1999, the question to ask ourselves is: has the EAC been successful? Today, I can say without any fear of contradiction that yes; the EAC has delivered well on its performance and promise. The Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community set out that the Customs Union would be achieved within five years of the signing of the Treaty; and this was achieved in January 2005 and all indications are that the Customs Union is performing exceedingly well. Under the Treaty we also undertook to establish a Common Market as the next stage after the Customs Union. Today, I am glad to report that the negotiations for the establishment of the East African Common Market are proceeding well. Following the first meeting of the High Level Negotiating Task Force which met in Kigali between 14-22 April 2008 we are encouraged by the progress made in the consensus on the broad areas of the Articles of the Preamble, Objectives, Principles, and Free movement of Goods, Persons and Labour of the proposed Common Market Protocol. As it resumes its meeting in Nairobi later this month , we believe the High Level Task Force will make further progress. There are strong expressions all round that the time frames agreed by the Partner States for conclusion of the negotiations by December 2008 and launching of the Common Market by January 2010 would be met.

7. Hon Speaker: With these achievements, the EAC has laid a solid foundation of mutual confidence among the Partner States. The EAC is set on a change mode and readiness of accelerating and deepening regional integration through the subsequent stages to the establishment of the EAC Monetary Union and a single currency operations. During the outgoing Financial Year the experts of our region made great strides in the compilation of the studies on the EAC Monetary Union whose proposals will be considered by the Governors of the Central Banks before the end of November 2008. The Council is confident that these studies would further reinforce the ongoing achievements in the regions macroeconomic convergence and quest for a fully liberalized Capital Markets and financial markets integration in East Africa. The achievement of a Monetary Union just as with the prospects of the operations of the EAC Common Market is therefore today a very imminent reality.

Transport, Communications and Meteorology

8. Hon Speaker: In the development of the Community, emphasis continued to be placed on the infrastructure sub-sector. This is the centerpiece of the integration process. The East African Road Network Project, in particular the Arusha-Namanga- Athi River road project has been in the pipeline for a long time. As Honourable Members are aware, the design phase for the project was completed in December 2006 and procurement for construction works proceeded immediately thereafter. Whereas it had been expected that construction would commence during the first quarter of FY 2007/08, delays were encountered. These were attributable to lengthy contracting and procurement procedures necessitating moving back the commencement of the constructions works to the 3rd quarter of 2008 which had earlier been scheduled for commencement in September 2007. The construction of the Athi River Namanga section commenced in Jan 2008 and the Arusha- Namanga section construction is expected to commence in August 2008.

9. In view of these developments, the Council and the Summit have reinforced the emphasis on the development of regional infrastructure. During the strategic retreats held in Mwanza and Kampala, respectively for Permanent Secretaries and EAC Ministers in March and April 2008, plans of action were adopted which will be tabled before the Summit Retreat in Kigali in June 2008 to lead to expedited delivery of regional infrastructure projects in the period ahead. The Council intends to put in place measures addressing the bottlenecks in the sub-sector related to financing and procurement procedures which will be applied in speeding up the East African Trade and Transport Facilitation Project as well as the Arusha-Namanga- Athi river road, Arusha Holili Voi Road and Malindi Mombasa Lunga Lunga and Tanga – Bagamoyo Roads and other projects which have long been in the pipeline. Steps have also been taken to extend the infrastructure projects to Burundi and Rwanda. ADB support and commitments have been secured in the context of the prioritization and imperative to fast track the infrastructure programme. ADB has expressed an interest to finance the Bujumbura-Kigoma-Nyakanazi Kigali loop totaling 700km.

10. In the Civil Aviation sub -sector, the operationalization of CASSOA followed immediately after the establishment of the agency in June 2007. CASSOA continues to be hosted at its temporary headquarters at the EAC Secretariat while arrangements are made for the agencys relocation to its permanent Headquarters in Uganda. Meanwhile, process towards the establishment of the Unified Upper Flight Information Region (UFIR); implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision and the Air Transport Liberalization Programme are progressing well. The Council at its 11th Meeting approved the development of a framework for the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on the liberalization of the air transport in the region and these programmes are being co-ordinated and linked with the SADC and COMESA under the joint strategies for co-ordination and harmonization of infrastructure projects in the three regional economic communities.

11. EAC was also focused on the comprehensive programme of upgrading the regional airports to competitive international standards. The implementation continued on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) which addresses capacity gaps of the regions airports to support the growing aircraft activity. During the outgoing Financial Year, the EAC embarked on the implementation of the recommendations of GNSS Pilot Study Report which is looking into the GNSS procedures at three selected airports in each Partner State to address capacity enhancement and upgrading of facilities at the selected aerodromes. Efforts were similarly joined in the East African Aviation Training Organizations Rehabilitation Project which aims at marshalling the capacities of aviation schools in the region. The facilities include the East African School of Aviation (Kenya), Civil Aviation Training Centre (Tanzania) and East African Civil Aviation Academy, Soroti (Uganda) whereby the aim is to establish regional self sufficiency and self reliance in the provision of its aviation training demands.

12. Hon Speaker: In the railways sub sector, the concessioning processes of the EAC Railways was completed in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Work is now focused on the completion of the East African Railways Master Plan Study which envisages development and modernization of integrated railways system serving the entire EAC region. The stakeholder review of the Draft Master Plan is scheduled for July 2008 to discuss the recommendations of the consultant.

13. In the quest for a safe and secure maritime operations, the achievements include the agreement on priority thematic areas upon which the priority regional maritime projects will be developed, and the finalization of the Draft Lake Victoria Transport Bill. On expanded and upgraded meteorological services in the region, achievements include the finalization of the draft MOU on Meteorological cooperation, and consideration of the inception report of the Study on enhancing capacities of meteorological services in support of sustainable development in the region.

14. Hon Speaker: On Information and Communications Technology, work continued in the achievements include the coordination of the implementation of the Regional Information Communications Technology Support Project to mainstream ICT into the wide range of regional development initiatives. The evaluation and award for incubator projects and the recruitment of the Web designer for the ICT project was accomplished as well as the finalization of the draft MOU on Cooperation in Communications in the region.

Agriculture and Food Security

15. Under Agriculture and food security, the overall development objective is to promote value addition, productivity and competitive agriculture supplies to realize cross border trade for sustainable food security. Achievements in this sector include the development of a study for establishment of East African Early Warning System to Monitor Food Security (already allocated 200,000 USD for a period 2 months from the Partnership Fund, development of a draft Protocol, and the preparation of an implementation and coordination mechanism for the Agricultural and Rural Development Strategy . A Project Steering Committee on the Control and Prevention of Human and Animal Trans boundary Project has been constituted. Funding proposal for TADs has been prepared and submitted to Partnership Fund, EU and GTZ.

Energy

16. Hon. Speaker – The Strategy for Scaling Up Access to Modern Energy Services, which was approved by the Council in November 2006, aims at achieving the Millennium Development Goals and poverty eradication. I am pleased to report that UNDP and GTZ have supported the energy sector to prepare national and regional level activities for the first two years of the Strategy. With the support of the European Union Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility a Donor Mapping Exercise for the Strategy which is expected to match donors to various aspects of the Strategy that they are most likely to fund is nearly completed. The plan is to bring the various development Partners together to dialogue and obtain firm commitments.

17. The Sector also took part in the Nile Basin Initiative Regional Power Market Study that was completed in January 2008 with the aim of using the outcome of the study to establish an East African Community Power Pool (EACPP). The sector has had very promising discussions with SIDA on the possibility of supporting the establishment of the EACPP. The Sector further obtained assistance of USD 50,000 from the RISP project to support preparation of a Strategy for the Development of Regional Refineries. A Task Force comprising officers from the petroleum sub-sector in the Partner States was formed and mandated to undertake the assignment. The Strategy was considered and endorsed by the Sectoral Council on Energy in April 2008.

18. The East African Petroleum Conferences held every two years on a rotational basis have now become an important event in the calendar of petroleum stakeholders in the Region and indeed, internationally. Preparations for the fourth conference scheduled in March 2009 in Mombasa, Kenya, have commenced. The three previous conferences have contributed to increased interest in exploration and production activities in the region. The African Development Bank has agreed to consider supporting the Sector to carry out the following projects: Review and Update of the East African Power Master Plan; A feasibility study on Kampala-Kigali-Bujumbura oil products pipeline; Kenya-Uganda Power Transfer Enhancement Project; and a feasibility study on Dar es Salaam-Tanga-Mombasa natural gas pipeline. Efforts to seek funding for the implementation phase of these and other energy projects will continue.

19. The achievements in the Energy sector include development of terms of reference for renewable energy and fossil fuel master plan proposals. Also the implementation action plan for the East African Power Master Plan was updated and extended from year 2007 to 2014. Funding proposal was prepared and submitted to the African Development Bank. Consultancy work on identification of activities at national level before implementation of the Regional Strategy for Scale up Energy Services has commenced and is expected to be finalized by early next year.

Tourism and Wildlife Management

20. In the Tourism and Wildlife Sector, the sector finalized development of the criteria for the classification on hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities in the region. Certificates and plaques to be awarded to grade facilities have been concluded and used to grade Hotel in Kampala during the preparation of CHOGM. Preparation of the implementation plan to classify Hotels in the capital cities of Kenya, Rwanda Tanzania and Burundi is underway as well as capacity building for Partner states to using the Standard Criteria. Implementation of the East African Tourism Marketing Plan and Strategy through continued promotion of EAC as a single tourist destination is underway. Five thousand Brochures and DVDs as promotional material were made and distributed to stakeholders during the World major tourism fairs in London and Berlin. The sector has prepared to participate in the 8th Leon Sullivan Summit (Arusha June 2008) and TICAD IV May 2008, Japan). The completion of preparatory work on the establishment and operationalisation of the East African Tourism and Wildlife Co-ordination Agency (EATWCA) has been completed. Draft protocol and operational manual for the Agency has been prepared and will be considered by Sectoral Council in July.

Social Sectors

21. Hon Speaker Under Education, Culture and Sports, Science and Technology Sector- the following were achieved during the financial year 2007/08: the conclusion of EAC Students Essay Writing Competition for year 2007; best students were awarded with prizes and accorded a fully covered tour of East Africa; framework for establishment of the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) has been developed. In addition, the East African Kiswahili Commission has been established and preparations to operationalise the Commission are underway. A draft protocol for the EAC Culture and Sports Commission has been developed. Bills for the IUCEA, the EASTECO, and the Kiswahili Commission have been developed and await enactment into Acts. Tools to verify the applications of Partner States which want to host the newly established EAC Institutions have been developed and a programme and budget for verification has been made.

22. Issues in the Immigration, Labour /Employment and Refugee Management were effectively aired during the National Stakeholders validation workshops on the Labour studies which came up with recommendations on the harmonization of employment policies and labour legislation in East Africa . The sector also participated actively in the Common Market study process and in the validation of the study findings in the Partner States and at regional level. Preparatory activities to undertake a Regional Manpower Survey and the preparation of the survey budget were initiated in collaboration with the Partner States. The 3rd meting of the Ministers responsible for labour and employment held in October 2007 endorsed the labour studies recommendations and the Manpower Survey budget and agreed on a roadmap for the holding of an Extra Ordinary Summit on Poverty Alleviation and Employment Creation in East Africa.

23. The recruitment of the Gender and Community Development Officer was done in December 2007.The Officer who is expected to report by 1st June 2008, will be responsible for operationalizing the regional Gender and Community Development Framework as adopted by Council in November 2006 and to develop a framework and forum for Civil Society mobilisation and participation in the activities and programmes of the EAC.

24. Under the Health sub-sector the process of the establishment of the East African Health Research Commission was successfully undertaken. Preparations to operationalize the Commission are underway. The 2nd Ordinary Session of the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers of Health was held in September 2007 made recommendations which will be forwarded to the 15th EAC Council of Ministers for further action. The EAC Secretariat is currently in the process of developing funding proposals in collaboration with various international collaborating development partners in support of priority regional health projects and programmes in the areas of health research and policy, HIV and AIDS, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, e-Health, Management Information Systems, Integrated Disease surveillance and Response, health professional training and practice, medicines and food safety as well as pharmaceutical regulation and practice.

Interstate Defence and Security

25. Hon. Speaker: In the past year the Defence Liaison Office (DLO) liaised and coordinated a number of Defence activities covering the following areas; a study on the establishment of Peace and Security Directorate, this study enabled the policy organs to make decision on the development of an EAC Holistic Protocol on Peace and Security which is ongoing; a Roadmap on actualization of shared utilization of availed technical defence facilities and formulation of the Defence R & D Policy; completion of the Command Post Exercise cycle and holding the first EAC Field Training Exercise on peace support operations; counter terrorism and disaster management. Also the Unit coordinated meetings on performance evaluation of the MOU on Cooperation in Defence; Exchange of information between the Chiefs of Military Intelligence; Coding and checking secure communication of the Defence Chiefs; Performance review and evaluation of the 3rd Edition of Sports and Culture Week. The unit also carried out research on the way forward in strengthening EAC Cooperation in Defence as well as undertook exchange visits among the Armed Forces Headquarters.

26. Hon Speaker, in the past year, the interstate security sector continued with the implementation of the EAC Strategy for Regional Peace and Security. The strategy elaborates measures with a view to developing best practices to meet the challenges of combating crime in the EAC region. The effort was complemented by the establishment of the Sectoral Council on Interstate Security during the 15th Meeting of the Council. The Sectoral Council is charged with initiation and development of policies on cooperation within the sector. The Chiefs of Police, at their last meeting underscored the urgent need to harmonize issuance of computerized National Identity Cards in the EAC Partner States as one way of streamlining free movement of persons in the region; and, on the whole,enhance measures to protect East Africans as well as visitors as they go abouttheir lawful business within the vast EAC region.

27. Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons remains the single most serious challenge to security in the EAC Region. The sector embarked on the implementation of the Small Arms Program that has enhanced the pace of implementing the Nairobi Protocol among the Partner States. The programme focused initially on Development of an institutional, legal, Policy and Political framework for SALW control and identified aspects of National Action Plans (NAP) where they exist, undertaking of preliminary work associated with development of NAPs. Funding was also made available to Regional and National civil society umbrella organizations to strengthen networking and sharing of information. taking into account the need to have specific measures in place to support the key integration benchmarks. The programme strengthened the national SALW focal points to develop national action plans.

28. The sector continues the implementation of the AU Project of Capacity Building Regional Economic Communities. Upon endorsement by the Summit, the office of the EAC/AU Liaison Office has been established based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and the liaison Officer appointed by the 15th Meeting of the Council reported to Addis on 9th May 2008. The main objective of the office is to provide liaison between the AU and the EAC in implementing the continental architecture on peace and security under the AU Protocol establishing the Peace and Security Council of the AU.

Political Affairs

29. Hon Speaker: In line with the directive of the 6th Extra-Ordinary Summit, the launching of the national consultations on fast tracking the EAC Political Federation in the Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of Burundi was done in February and March 2008. The launching in Burundi was done by H.E President Pierre Nkurunziza on 28th February 2008 and in Rwanda by H.E. President Kagame on 3rd March 2008. The National Consultative Committees are scheduled to complete their work within a period of four months from the launching.

30. In line with Council decision establishing the working group on good governance, the Sector convened a meeting of the working group whose recommendations were presented to the Council. The Council directed the development of a comprehensive regional framework on good governance that should cover all the pillars of good governance including democracy and rule of law, anti-corruption, ethics and integrity, social justice and equal opportunities, human rights and gender equality. The Council adopted a draft protocol on anti corruption, ethics and integrity and directed convening of a meeting of the heads of anti corruption authorities for consideration. The Sector also convened the Meeting of Heads of National Electoral Commissions in May 2008. The Chairperson of the National Electoral Commissions recommended the establishment of an EAC electoral Commissions forum vide a policy framework to be determined by a Sub-Committee of experts tasked with the exercise.

31. The First Meeting of the Heads of National Human Rights Commission was held in Arusha on 12th -13th February 2008. The Meeting considered the national policies, strategies, programmes and challenges towards promotion and protection of human rights and developed an EAC Bill of Rights and the Plan of Action on promotion and protection of human rights in the region.

International Relations

32. Hon. Speaker, Pursuant to Article 123 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community, it is imperative that Partner States define and implement common foreign and security policies. This implies aggregating the intra-Community policies and developing strategic objectives and options for the Community vis--vis its relations with other entities of the world. The main focus of the EACs Department of International Relations is on developing modalities for strengthening relations with other regional and international organisations and enhancing the Communitys competitiveness on the global arena..

Corporate Communications and Public Affairs/ Re-Branding EAC Project

33. Hon Speaker: A major challenge for our region is to create popular awareness, appreciation and participation in the regional integration process. To this extent, the Council approved the EAC Re-Branding Project encompassing the development and implementation of a new EAC Marketing and Publicity Strategy and upgrading of the erstwhile EAC Information and Public Relations Office into a Directorate of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPAD). I am pleased to report that preparatory work has begun on the project and, already a number of activities have been undertaken in launching the project. In particular, the first and second EAC Media Summits held respectively in Nairobi in April 2007 and in Dar es Salaam in April this year, which I had the honour to officiate, have yielded tremendous response among the media fraternity. The annual Media summits have now been institutionalized. They bring together the top leadership of the Media of our region, owners of Media Houses, CEOs and leading Media practitioners and have elicited commitment at the highest levels to Media support of the EAC integration process.

34. In the period under review, the highlights of the activities and innovations of the EAC Re-Branding Project were the involvement of celebrities and leading artistes in the region in various promotions of the EAC; publication of advertisements about the EAC in leading international publications during major events such as the World Bank meetings in Washington and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala in November 2007; launching of the annual EAC Update publication and the fortnightly EAC e-Newsletter. New generation EAC brochures, including the EALA Brochure as well as general promotion materials were produced and distributed. Elaborate programme of EAC publications is ongoing, including publications of the Amended EAC Treaty, the EAC Development Strategy 2006-2010, the EAC Annual Report 2006/07 and The Community Magazine. Other ongoing activities and preparations include the launching of competition for the re-design of the Community Logo and Flag in view of the recent enlargement of the EAC by the admission of the Republics of Burundi and Rwanda and prospects of further enlargement.

35. Hon Speaker: Re-branding the EAC will require a well endowed, highly organized and reorganised corporate communications and public affairs function in the EAC taking into account detailed corporate communication and other challenges facing the region and developing strategic interventions and messages. It can be noted that the EAC Re- Branding project received ready support of our development partners. In 2006, the development partners made pledges of total USD 1.2 million under the EAC Partnership Fund to launch the project for a three year period of 2006-2008. However, due to delays in the disbursements of the partnership funds and the EACs own bureaucratic red tape relating to the operationalization of the project ; the project has not been able to roll out fully to date. Special attention will be paid in the period ahead to relaunch the project, including convening of a special meeting of the EAC Ministerial Sectoral Council to consider and give definitive way forward in the operationalization of the Directorate of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs.

Finance and Administration

36. Hon Speaker: In the Finance, Human Resources and Administration areas, professional staff undertook training in Result Oriented Management following the introduction of the new organization structure implemented in March 2007. The Human Resources Department continued providing overall capacity building and continuous training programme to raise the quality of EACs human resource base. A total of 26 professional posts were advertised, short listed, interviews conducted and letters of offer given to qualifying candidates, including 20 from Rwanda and Burundi. Other qualitative interventions introduced in the period under review were development of policies and procedures on HIV/Aids in the Workplace that await consideration and approval of the Council, development of operations plans and aligning the same to the overall EAC Development Strategy.

37. The construction of the EAC Headquarters is of a paramount strategic importance to the Community. The project was effectively kickstarted through a workshop that involved all relevant stakeholders on 21st and 22nd February 2007. The Project Consultants and EAC carried out necessary reviews and amendments on the Project brief to incorporate, among other things, relevant consideration to the accession of Rwanda and Burundi into the EAC by adjusting preliminary designs accordingly, as well as establishing the actual spatial and functional requirements, with expected project cost estimate. This exercise was done and concluded by end of June 2007, leading to an increase of the project size and the cost by about 46%. The German Government has expressed willingness to finance the additional costs. Award of the construction contracts is expected by end of July 2008, while construction is planned to take 30 months, including the six months Defects Liability period. The Project is therefore expected to start from September 2008 and be completed by October 2010.

38. The Finance Directorate implemented the upgrade of the Sun systems software from 4.2.6 to 5.3.3. Basic training of the new system was also undertaken during the year. Further the Finance Directorate facilitated the financial management of new and major projects under RISP, Partnership Fund, AU Capacity Building, African Capacity Building Foundation as well as miscellaneous donor funding like IDRC, Rockefeller Foundation, Swiss Tropical Institute, WHO, and e- government project. In this financial year, EAC is experiencing funding problems due to the fact that up to now, less than two months to the end of the financial year, only 65% of the total budget has been paid. Further delays in receipts of donor funding after the budget has been approved has also been experienced in the financial year 2007/08.These will have implications on the implementation of the planned activities of the Community for the financial year 2007/08.

39. Hon. Speaker: I would now like to turn to the activities of the various organs and institutions of the Community the East African Legislative Assembly, East African Court of Justice, and Lake Victoria Basin Commission and in so doing, to underscore the fact that all of them did discharge themselves exceedingly well in the period under review.

East African Legislative Assembly

40. The Second EALA which was inaugurated on 5th June 2007 has stepped very confidently in the shoes of its predecessor and accomplished a large legislative programme within a very short time of its inauguration, debating and passing the following bills in rapid order: The Lake Victoria Transport Bill 2007; The EAC Appropriation Bill 2007; The EAC (Supplementary) Appropriation Bill 2007, The EAC Customs Management (Amendment) Bill 2007, and The Summit (Delegation of Powers and Functions) Bill 2007. In the remaining course of the year, a number of other Bills including the EALA Elections Bill 2007 will be finalized. The following Bills are in the pipeline for passage by the EALA in the immediate period ahead: Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill, The Inter-University Council for East Africa Bill, The EAC Kiswahili Commission Bill, and the EAC Civil Aviation and Oversight Bill, The East African Health Research Commission Bill; The East African Science and Technology Bill will be tabled for debate in the Assembly; and the EAC Trade Negotiations Bill, 2007 has been tabled as a Private Members Bill. Committee work was also stepped up with all the six Committees carrying out visits to EAC projects and programmes and institutions in strengthening the EALAs oversight and outreach functions.

East African Court of Justice

41. As regards the East African Court of Justice, activities continued a steady rise with references coming before the Court, including Reference No. 1 of 2007, James Katabazi and 21 others Vs The Secretary General of EAC and The Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda; and Reference No. 3 of 2007, East African Law Society and 4 Others Vs The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya and 3 Others which have been handled. The Court Committees and Court Plenaries were equally engaged with ongoing administrative matters in Finance and Administration, Rules of Procedure, Court Publicity and Training. The Council has provided resources for human resource and equipment to meet the requirements of the amendments of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community reconstituting the Court into two divisions, the First Instance Division and the Appellate Division.

Other institutions of the Community

42. Hon. Speaker: As regards the Institutions of the Community, I am also pleased to observe that the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization maintained a high performance in the harmonization, co-ordination and implementation of the various measures in promoting sustainable use of the fisheries resources of Lake Victoria, involving the wide range of stakeholders; the Inter University Council for East Africa in implementing the 2006-2015 Strategy in promoting higher education research in East Africa. The East African Development Bank vigorously pursued its challenge to turn into a lead financing agency for regional development project and progress. And has established very clearly its readiness to play a pivotal role in the period ahead as we strive to deliver the tangible benefits of regional integration.

Lake Victoria Basin Commission

43. Activities of the Lake Victoria Basin Commission were focused on the launching of the Lake Victoria Environment Management Project Phase II (LVEMP II) and, on the whole, the operationalization of the Commission. The Lake Victoria Transport Bill, 2007 as well as the Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill, 2007 were subjected to public hearings in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and thereafter to detailed consideration by the appropriate Sub-Committee of EALA; The EALA considered and passed the Lake Victoria Transport Bill 2007 on 19th September 2007. The Lake Victoria Basin Commission Bill 2007 was deferred to the Sectoral Council, and is to be tabled to its forthcoming 5th Meeting;

44. Navigation Equipment and other accessories for the Vessel RV Jumuiya has been procured and installed. Hydrographic Surveys of the ports of Mwanza, Kisumu and Portbell has been completed; Preparation for the proposal of a new Policy to regulate water release from the Lake Victoria is at an advanced stage. The Water Balance Equation, as well as the Legal implications, as major inputs has been reviewed as basic input to the modeling of the require flow regime, The recruitment of a Consultant to carry out the actual modeling and propose the required policy was completed and submitted an Inception Report on 3rd April 2008. Monitoring and backstopping of activities under the Mount Elgon Regional Ecosystem Conservation Program is on going. The project is being subjected to a Mid-Term Review in April/May 2008. Study Tour around the Lake Victoria for Permanent Secretaries and Ambassadors was conducted from 16th 27 May 2007.

Supplementary Budget for Financial Year 2007/08

45. Hon Speaker: Unforeseen developments intervened in the course of Financial Year 2007/08 necessitating expenditure over and above the approved budget. This situation arose as a result of various challenges in the area of prevention and control of both human and animal Trans-boundary diseases, which continue to take a heavy toll on lives as well as impact negatively on the regional economy.

46. In recognition of the importance of these transboundary diseases the EAC Secretariat convened an extraordinary meeting of EAC Ministers responsible for Livestock, Wildlife, Tourism, Information and Health 2006 and 2007. The meetings directed a number of actions to be undertaken to contain this tragedy, among others the harmonization of the transboundary systems within the EAC be undertaken, mobilization of resources to fund laboratory capacity, research, surveillance and emergency preparedness plan in the EAC, establishment of an EAC Regional transboundary Human and Animal Diseases Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund and constitution of an Integrated regional Human and Animal Disease Steering Committee.

47. The plan and budget request for an Integrated Regional emergency preparedness and response to Trans Boundary human and animal diseases in East Africa was presented to the Extraordinary Meeting of Council of Ministers in April Council of Ministers 2007. The Council of Ministers approved USD 648,274 being counterpart funding for the project over five years. In the first year (FY 2007/ 08) the Secretariat was directed to draw the required USD129, 654 from the Float Fund and the remaining period of the project, funding is to be included in the annual budget of the Community. In view of the above, this supplementary budget is therefore being presented the Assembly for approval.

Future Outlook

48. Hon. Speaker: The Budget for the Financial Year 2008/09 has been developed taking into consideration the Third EAC Development Strategy (2006-2010) whose main theme is Deepening and accelerating Integration. The programmes that are being proposed for implementation in the FY 2008/09 are within the broad and specific objectives stipulated in the Development Strategy for implementation in the financial year 2008/09 and I would highlight them as follows: the consolidation of the EAC Customs Union, establishment of the Common Market , laying the foundation for the EAC Monetary Union and delivery of the concrete objectives with regards to infrastructure development, agricultural and food security; development of industries; and promotion of ICT, tourism, trade, investments, construction of the EAC Headquarters, promotion of popular awareness and participation in the EAC. These areas as well as Lake Victoria development, environmental management, role of the EALA in legislating and EACJ on solving court cases and implementation of the Treaty, will constitute the major areas of expenditure pressure in the coming financial year.

49. The Budget estimates for 2008/09 therefore target deepening and widening of regional integration. The need to strengthen the EAC Secretariat role of co-ordination of the regional programme has been strongly felt and expressed. To this extent, the Budget proposals provide for the reinforcement the Office of the Secretary General in providing the leadership in the vision setting and vision management for a vibrant and highly visible regional integration. The Council is also making provisions for the strengthening of the structures and operations of the Office of the DSG ( Political Federation), the Defence Liaison Unit, the Legal Affairs Department and the Directorate of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs in view of the need to deepen the integration process through the various activities in the important political aspects of the regional integration.

50. The Budget estimates also put emphasis on the central facilitative role of the Finance and Administration Directorate to provide enhanced institutional capacity in human resource , physical equipment , operational streamlining, financial management, and ICT up scaling for the organization to the highest level in accordance with international standards. Indeed, in keeping with latest demands, ICT development provides the biggest challenge for the organization. In this regard, special attention is paid to robust response to the ICT requirements. Provisions have been made in the Budget to acquire advanced computer hardware and software towards fulltime Internet connection in the region with improved utilization of dedicated bandwidth to include video conferencing system, heavy duty LCD multimedia projectors and computers and Electronic Data Transfer System between EAC Secretariat and Partner States. Similarly, the EAC Library and Documentation Centre will be ICT enhanced in its printing, publishing and overall up-dating, exchange and dissemination of information databases. These measures, taken as a whole, wil revolutionize communications as well as engender savings in the overall EAC operations. The Budget that I am presenting today also puts emphasis on the EAC Headquarters Construction whereby the focus will be on the sourcing of additional funding for the project, taking into account the expansion of EAC; additional accommodation and equipment requirements for the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice.

51. Hon. Speaker: The Projects and Programmes Division is at the heart of the integration process. The Division will be charged with heavy demand under the Third EAC Development strategy in delivering the concrete objectives of the Community. Among these prioritized areas are the development of a regional capital markets authority the conclusion of the negotiations for the Common Market Protocol; and launching of the EAC Statistical project that will itself be a crucial tool in regional development, providing the statistics to aid decision making anchored on reliable and comparable statistics. The Council is placing great emphasis to Statistics in terms of resource allocation. I am also pleased to note the support extended by the development partners, in particular the EU to the tune of US$ 0.8m; development of an implementation framework for the East African Census 2010 Project, (US$ 0.7m) by UNFPA. Given the concrete orientation of the EAC programme in the period ahead, information and statistics management will be worked mainly be in investments and private sector development projects infrastructure development and consolidation of the customs union, in particular the easing in of Rwanda and Burundi into the Customs Union; elimination of NTBs and capacity building for trade negotiations and EAC negotiations as a bloc in the multilateral fora.

52. Hon Speaker, Considering a broad view of the future outlook of the EAC, I would like to take this opportunity to restate the economic emphasis of EAC integration, and in doing so, also underline fundamental issue of political will and political co-operation in the Community. Over the past year, the EAC engaged a thoroughgoing consultative process on the movement towards the political Federation of East Africa. The pursuit of the Political Federation objective provides the spirit that drives the effort in building a single and strong regional economic bloc that we are intent upon. Without resolute political will and clearly articulated and embraced political will, we can only hold back the integration process. The critical issues before the EAC and indeed the Assembly today, including the strengthening of our regional bloc, hinge on the political will. A time has come when we must re-examine our positions on the question of political will in the integration process.

53. In stating this, I have in mind Co-operation in Foreign Policy Co-ordination and Co-operation in Defence, Regional Peace and Security Matters. It is these aspects of our co-operation that we must now place equal emphasis as we determine the moulding of an East African identity and solidarity that would render our regional integration meaningful and purposeful. It is these areas of cooperation that touch on regional peace, defence and security, that are a source of worry and uncertainty among our people. We cannot succeed in our resolve to build a secure, stable and peaceful environment that assures the free movement, interaction and transaction of lawful business by our people if we do not quickly roll out concrete protocols that bind us over these areas of cooperation.

54. It gives hope to note that some of these issues, in particular on Foreign Policy Co-ordination, Inter-State Defence Co-operation and Inter-State Security Co-operation, are high on the EAC Agenda today. I would urge you as the Assembly to take up these matters in earnest, both in your legislative, oversight and outreach functions, in steadying the course of our regional integration. The EAC should maintain constant orientation as a decisive organization with clear, results focused appreciation of the mission in practical, measurable and demonstrable interventions that leave no doubt as to our seriousness of purpose and commitment to protect our sovereignty and promote peaceful, friendly co-operation in the East African region.

55. Hon Speaker, I believe that I speak with the full support of this august Assembly that the EAC would not, has not and will never shy of its cardinal responsibility in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts that may at any time arise in our region. This position is notably in accordance with the provisions of the EAC Treaty but also the AU and UN conventions that assign frontline role of regional mechanisms in the prevention, management of conflicts. In this regard, I would like to draw the attention of the Assembly to the very important commitment which the EAC Partner States have entered under the 11-nation International Conference on the Great Lakes; in particular, the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region which was signed by our Heads of State here in Nairobi in December 2006 and which all the EAC Partner States have since ratified. We need to pay very close and faithful attention to this Pact as well as EAC own relevant Protocols in ensuring regional approach for sustainable peace and development; addressing the root causes of conflict; establishing good governance, just and equitable order of society; on the whole, maintaining a proactive posture in the prevention of conflicts and invoking robust joint mechanism for management and resolutions of conflicts whenever they arise in the region. Today, even as we follow closely the developments in our region, we are called upon, more than ever before, to pay closer attention to the aspects of Political co-operation in the regional programme with similar commitment and resolve as we do on the trade and economic co-operation aspects.

Assumptions in the Budget Estimates FY 2008/2009

56. Hon Speaker The Budget for FY 2008/09 has been prepared with specific assumptions in mind namely: continued and consolidated political support for the East African Community; Maintaining stability and enhancing convergence of macro-economic environment in Partner States including controlled inflation and stable and predictable exchange rates; availability of adequate and timely financial resources; access to earmarked financial and technical assistance support from EACs Development Partners; Improvement in human resource capacity including additional staff and timely recruitment as the activities of the Community expands.

57. The EAC during FY 2008/2009 will intensify the process of integration through diligent implementation of Summit and Council decisions and EAC-Development Strategy. Major activities that will to be undertaken during FY 2008/09, and which have significant budget implications, include negotiations on the East African Common Market and Free Movement of People; study on the EAC-Monetary Union, intensification of the programmes on infrastructure development; statistics, implementation of customs and trade, capacity building, EPA and Negotiation.

58. The activities planned in the FY 2008/09 and projections for 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 are geared towards consolidation of the achievements so far made and also take into account the constraints faced during the previous financial years. Owing to the fast growing and expanding mandate of the Community, as we progress through various stages of integration, the existing programmes and priorities have been reviewed within the framework of the EAC-Development Strategy 2006-2010. New priorities will continue to emerge for which additional financial resources will be required to enable implementation of the agreed priority programmes in the medium term.

Summary of the Budget FY 2008/2009

59. Hon Speaker, given this policy review and presentation of the Budget as already considered by the Council, the Council of Ministers recommends to the East African Legislative Assembly to debate and approve the Budget of the East African Community for the Financial Year 2008/09 of US Dollars 30,561,232. This figure represents 9% increase in the Partner States contributions. However, taking into consideration the contribution from the Development Partners, the Budget for the Financial Year 2008/09 reflects an overall increase of 7.9%. The Budget is allocated to the East African Community Secretariat, US Dollar 16,289,023; Defense Liaison Unit, US Dollars 696,276; Directorate of Customs and Trade, US Dollar 1,871,842; East African Legislative Assembly, USDollars 6,819,609; East African Court of Justice, USDollars 2,443,657; and Lake Victoria Basin Commission, US Dollars 2,440,825. This Budget is to be financed from Miscellaneous Income of US Dollars 150,526; Revenue Float of US Dollars 662,180; development partners contribution of US Dollars 6,329,590 ; and contribution from the Partner States of US Dollars 23,418,936.

60. Hon Speaker: I beg to move.

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<Posted to African Press International by Leo Odera Omolo (left photo)

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Publisher: Korir, Chief Editor, African Press International – api africanpress@getmail.no

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