31st Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Council Concluded in Bujumbura.

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   The 31st Extra-ordinary meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers concluded today in Bujumbura, Burundi with the Council of Ministers adopting the EAC Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2015/16 and appointing new staff of the Community.The meeting was conducted through the Session of Senior Officials from 9 to 11 March, followed by the session of the Co-Ordination Committee from 11 to 12 March and concluded with the Ministerial Session on Friday 13 March 2015.The 31st Extra-ordinary meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers, chaired by Hon. Dr. Harrison Mwakyembe, Tanzania’s Minister of East African Cooperation, considered and adopted the Budget Estimates amounting to US$ 110,660,098 to enable the Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly, East African Court of Justice, Lake Victoria Basin Commission, East African Science and Technology Commission, the East African Kiswahili Commission, the East African Health Research Commission, the East African Competition Authority, the Inter-University Council for East Africa, and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization to discharge their mandate for the Financial Year 2015/2016.The Council referred the adopted Budget Estimates to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) for debate and approval. It also directed each Partner State to contribute US$ 8,378,107.60 towards the main EAC Budget for FY'2015/2016; and each Partner State to contribute US$ 824,445.60 towards the IUCEA Budget for FY'2015/2016; and the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Uganda and The United Republic of Tanzania to contribute US$ 518,069 each, towards the LVFO budget for FY2015/2016.The Council directed the Secretariat to fund the budget increase amounting to US$ 3,919,530 from the EAC General Reserve Fund.The 31st Extra-ordinary meeting of the Council approved the budget estimates amounting to US$ 2,224,653 to be funded by the Partner States’ Civil Aviation Authorities and Development Partners to enable Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (CASSOA) discharge its mandate for the Financial Year 2015/2016 as follows; the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Uganda and The United Republic Tanzania to contribute US$ 379,916 each; the Republic of Burundi and the Republic of Rwanda to contribute US$ 302,023 each; US$ 373,925 from the Development Partners; and US$ 106,934 from other income.The Council also appointed 21 successful candidates in various posts at the Community, which had been vacant for quiet sometime. These include three Directors (Finance, Trade and Productive sectors), eight Principal Officers (Customs, Labour and Employment, Internal Audit etc), six Senior Officers (Public Relations, Conference, Sergeant At Arms etc) and four Officers (Hansard Reporter, Research Officer etc).The Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera informed the Council of Ministers that the Community will focus on nine global key priorities namely; implementation of the East African Monetary Union Protocol; consolidation of the Single Customs Territory; 
 enhanced Implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol; constitution making process for the EAC Political Federation; development of cross-border Infrastructure; and implementation of the EAC Industrialization Policy.Other priority areas include; implementation of the EAC Food Security Action Plan and Climate Change Strategy; transformation of the EAC into a common higher education area and establishment of an East African examination body; and implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area encompassing EAC-COMESA-SADC, that will result in the establishment of an integrated market of the 26 countries, with a combined population of almost 600 million people and total Gross Domestic Product of about US$1 trillion.