Austerity measures save EAC Sh59m in travel costs
The cost-cutting strategy, adopted in May, focuses on cutting wastage, containing and reducing frequency of travels, and holding meetings via video conferencing
The East Africa Community secretariat aims to save more than US$6 million (Sh608.28 million) in the current financial year through a cost-cutting strategy it adopted earlier this year.
EAC secretary general Liberat Mfumukeko says the bloc has saved $588,760 (Sh59.68 million) in travel expenditure alone since the measures were adopted in May – around the same time he took over from Richard SezIbera on April 25.
“Since we instituted several re- forms in the EAC organs and institutions aimed at reducing costs in the EAC projects and programmes, the implementation of these reforms is going on very well, and already some positive results are being received,” Mfumukeko said.
He told a press conference at the EAC headquarters in Arusha on Monday that “it is no longer business as usual”.
The reforms focus on cutting wastage, containing and reducing frequency of travels where EAC officials should spend half of their working days in Arusha. Twenty-five per cent of the meetings are held via video conference.
“We have also reduced the number of days for our meetings to a maximum of four,” the secretary general said, highlighting the achievements in the last five years and priority areas for the next five years.
Mfumukeko said the EAC operations passed the European Union Fiduciary Risk Assessment.
“The assessment on the secretariat’s operations in five pillars namely: internal control system, accounting systems, independent external audit, procurement and sub-delegation met the internationally acceptable standards as required by the European Union,” the EAC boss said.
Mfumukeko said the EAC now serves more than 160 million people, with the entry of South Sudan. “This means that South Sudan will now be integrated into the activities, programmes and projects of the EAC and will commence contributing to the EAC budget,” he said.
Among other achievements, Mfumukeko mentioned EAC’s ISO certification. He also said out of 15 borders earmarked to operate as One Stop Border Posts, 11 have been completed, and 10 are operational. The OSBP will reduce the amount of time spent at the border points in the five EAC partner states.
Mfumukeko said since the introduction of a single customs territory, there has been a drastic reduction of the period taken to clear and transport goods.
EAC secretary general Amb Liberat Mfumukeko in Arusha, Tanzania, addresses the media on Monday