Bloc now cuts budget by $10m
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.