East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) committee on general purpose has noted the continued dependence of the East African Community (EAC) on donors saying that this may divert the EAC from its priorities instead of focusing on the four pillars of integration.
The Chairperson of the Committee Nduwimana Martin from Burundi said that there is a possibility that planning and budgeting for activities that do not directly fulfill the mission of the EAC may be a result of having too many priorities and unrealistic targets which even call for donations.
The general purpose committee was reacting on the EAC budget of financial year 2013/2014.
The committee therefore in its report to the Assembly recommended that focus should be put on few achievable priorities and that partner states increase funding of the Community to ensure a degree of self-sufficiency in critical sectors.
Nduwimana further noted that even costly consultancies attached to the EAC projects could easily divert the community from its integration agenda.
In EAC budget presented by the chairperson of the council of ministers Shem Bageine, development partners emerged the biggest funder of the budget with 85.6 US dollars followed by partner states with 37.2 US dollars.
Mike Kennedy Sebalu a member of EALA from Uganda, said that in order for the East African Community to be in charge of the integration agenda and to predict and sustain it, there is need for Partner States to raise the bulk of the funding to the EAC budget.
He proposed that partner states raise three quarters of the funding and receive a quarter funding from the development partners.
He said that when the bigger funding comes from East Africans then the community would be guaranteed and sure of the integration agenda and all the intensions of the East Africa Community
Sebalu further noted when the budget is largely funded by development partners it would be easy to exploit the region.
The chairperson of the EAC council of ministers Shem Bageine noted that the council will in further look at stream lining issues in the budget so that the community owns it rather than the development partners.