Bloc now cuts bud­get by $10m

The East African - - NEWS - By CHRISTABEL LIGAMI Spe­cial Correspondent

THE COM­MON Mar­ket for East­ern and South­ern Africa (Comesa) has cut its 2018 bud­get by $10 mil­lion to $32 mil­lion.

The an­nounce­ment was made re­cently at the 37th meet­ing of the Com­mit­tee on Ad­min­is­tra­tion in Lusaka. The 19-mem­ber states are ex­pected to con­trib­ute a to­tal of $16.7 mil­lion while part­ners are ex­pected to pro­vide $15.6 mil­lion.

Comesa sec­re­tary gen­eral Sindiso Ng­wenya said the fund­ing from part­ners may in­crease for 2018 if the pro­gram­ming pro­cesses of the 11th European De­vel­op­ment Fund funds are com­pleted early and grant agree­ments signed. The EU funds about 61 per cent of Comesa’s bud­get as sev­eral mem­ber coun­tries ei­ther fail to pay up or re­mit the pay­ment past the dead­line. Other part­ners in­clude USAID, Trade­mark South­ern Africa, Rock­e­feller Foundation, Nor­way and the African De­vel­op­ment Bank.

Among the Comesa agen­cies that will be af­fected are the Re­gional In­vest­ment Agency, the Fed­er­a­tion of Women in Business and the Comesa Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion. The fund­ing from de­vel­op­ment part­ners is di­rected to­wards pro­grammes such as cli­mate change, hu­man se­cu­rity sup­port pro­gramme and re­gional in­te­gra­tion sup­port mech­a­nism.

“At some point, our part­ners will ex­pect us to as­sume a greater share of fund­ing of Comesa’s pro­gramme,” said Mr Sindiso, adding that mem­ber states should find ways to in­crease their con­tri­bu­tions.

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