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Audit Queries Impact of EU Funding On EAC

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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Audit Queries Impact of EU Funding On EAC

The European Court of Auditors, in its report: "Effectiveness of EDF (European Development Fund) Support for Regional Economic Integration in East Africa and West Africa," pointed out that the existence of multiple regional organisations with overlapping mandates and membership as well as weak capacity has undermined regional economic integration."The overlapping membership poses considerable problems, as some member countries belong to two different trade areas (Comesa and EAC). In addition, there are overlaps and incompatibilities in membership with the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc)," the report asserts. East Africa has four regional integration bodies which include the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). The audit pointed out that Comesa and EAC are primarily aiming for regional economic integration, with the EAC already having put in place a customs union and a common market while COMESA eyes to transform its current free trade area (FTA) into a fully functional customs union.IGAD, on the other hand, covers regional economic integration in its mandate, but focuses more on conflict resolution and food security issues while the IOC has a mandate for economic and trade cooperation and focuses mainly on regional cooperation in natural resources management, particularly fisheries. Nevertheless, IOC participates in the programming and implementation of the 9th and 10th EDF regional indicative programmes for the East Africa region. The audit disclosed lack of coordination in the way it managed programmes under the fund.

Source: The New Vision