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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

EAC, SADC, COMESA states to share $1.2b

A tripartite committee composed of officials from the regional economic communities of the East African Community (EAC), South African Development Corporation (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) recently started scrutinizing applications that would qualify for allocation of funds for project support from the tripartite member states, an official has said. "At the Lusaka summit and with support from the development partners we raised over $1.2b of funding to meet the costs of a comprehensive Aid for Trade and infrastructure programme to upgrade road, rail, port and energy infrastructure of which countries applied and the committee to scrutinize the applications starts this week in Dar es Salaam," said the chairperson of the tripartite committee and EAC Secretary General Amb Juma Mwapachu. "This will be followed by appointment of professionals who will assist the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) who are our financial advisers to assess the applications," he said during a function at which the Ambassadors of Belgium Paul Jansen and the Canadian High Commissioner to Tanzania Robert Orr presented their credentials for accreditation to the EAC secretariat at his office at the EAC Secretariat in Arusha. He said the origin of the establishment of the fund was due to the fact that member states have been applying for loans and grants from banks and development partners who however ask for counter-funding before they release the funds. "If they to go organizations like for example Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United States Agency for International Development or development banks, they ask for counter-funding as a commitment fee for you to get the grant or loans, so we shall be using this money to help member countries to process faster the funds in order to implement projects according to their planned period," he explained. The applications followed a resolution by the three economic communities to implement an extensive Aid for Trade programme encompassing transport, power and trade facilitation projects along the North-South Corridor traversing eight countries in East and Southern Africa.

Source: East African Business Week