An extraordinary meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Partnership Fund Steering Committee held on here Wednesday has approved a total of US$D7.3m to support four key priority areas in the integration agenda in the 2012/2013 financial year.
The four priority areas are implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol, finalisation and implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol, promoting citizen involvement in the EAC integration and in EAC institutional strengthening.
Addressing development partners’ representatives from Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, DFID-UK, European Union, World Bank and Norway among others, deputy secretary general in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, disclosed that the fund is now fully integrated in the main planning and budgeting cycle of the EAC. He added that the extraordinary meeting was convened to ensure the development partners are involved in the planning process before the budget is finalised.
Nsengiyumva, who represented the Secretary General, noted that the fund has become a very important budgetary support mechanism to the main EAC budget and that it has enabled the Community to implement several activities in the integration process.
He commended the partners for their continued support and cooperation and reiterated the Secretariat’s firm commitment to ensuring the success of the fund.
The current Chair of the Partnership Fund Steering Committee and Head of Division for Development Cooperation at the Germany Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Gisela Habel noted that there was a general appreciation for the progress being made in the integration agenda and the continued efforts to focus on the result based outputs.
She further noted that the approved Fourth EAC Development Strategy would provide a good foundation for a more strategic and focused multi-year approach to the fund’s activities.