During the 43rd Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers held in Bujumbura from the 19th to 23rd February, the MPs called on member states of the East African Community to make sure they pay their remittances on time or face sanctions as per article 143 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community which talks about sanctions.
MP Francine Rutazana from Rwanda said that that there are only four partner States that are timely paying remittances to the Community. “It is not because they don’t have other priorities, but it is because they have committed, and that is an obligation”.
Ayason Mukulia Kennedy from South Sudan said that EAC partner States have over the years continued to reduce their annual contributions towards the Community budget, which hampers the effectiveness of the integration agenda. “For example, in 2006, the annual contribution per Partner State stood at $8 million, but in 2019/2020, the annual contribution had reduced to $6 million” Mukulia said, underscoring the establishment of a sustainable EAC funding mechanism.
EAC Chairperson Urges Cooperation and Alternatives to Sanctions for Late Remittance Payments
“We are one people, and we have one destiny. There is no need to wait for sanctions, while there are other strategies we can use to help Partner States continue to contribute and make every effort for the smooth running of our Community,” said the Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers, the Burundian Ezéchiel Nibigira.
In recent years, some EALA members and other East African empoyees have gone without pay for several months due to irregularities in remittance payments from member governments. Each member country is obligated to contribute $8 million annually to the EAC.