The East African Community Secretary General Peter Mathuki marked 100 days since he took over the office as the 5th Secretary General from Burundi’s Liberat Mfumukeko.
The EAC Secretary General was sworn in during the EAC Heads of State Summit that took place on February 27th, 2021 virtually.
While addressing heads of institutions/organs and other key stakeholders through a virtual forum, Mr. Mathuki said that resource mobilization and inter-organ relationship was among the priority areas when he sat in the office.
“In the last 100 days, I have held consultative meetings with various development partners to explore areas of supporting the bloc. They have affirmed their commitment in working with us to strengthen the EAC,” said the EAC Secretary General.
For the second consecutive year the East African Community budget shrunk by seven million dollars for the financial year 2021-22, with covid-19 impacting the region’s economy some member states are yet meet their annual contribution to the community for the financial year ended 2020-21.
Low rate of absorption by Organs and Institution in respect of activities funded by the Partner States was attributed to movement due to the Covid-19 pandemic, delayed remittance and non-recruitment of staff. The overall absorption rate stood at 27% of the FY 2020/2021.
“In the last 100 days I have been able to unlock staff recruitment –process in full gear, heightened resource mobilisation and renewing relations with development partners,” said Peter Mathuki the EAC Secretary General.
In 2019 one year before the incumbent SG took over the office, an Audit Report was released with nearly $1 million that was unaccounted for in the payroll, another $537 thousand was lost as a result of illegal contracts.
The report indicated that officials awarded contracts to companies without any competition, and relocating funds of about $1.3 million from personnel emoluments account contrary to the regulations.
The move is said to have impacted the commitment of donors and some member states in regards to inject funds in some of the EAC projects.
“In the last 100 days I have been able to heighten resource mobilisation and renewing relations with Development partners,” said the EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki.
In the last 100 days, the EAC SG said that he focused on laying the groundwork of his vision for the Community while providing leadership at the Secretariat and other EAC Organs and Institutions.
Bringing closer the community to the Secretariat was among the achievements the Mr. Mathuki accomplished as he met five EAC Heads of State of Tanzania, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda with the aim among which was to brief them on his agenda for the Community and seek their support in executing it.
The EAC secretariat indicated that some of the key areas the SG was committed to included prioritizing the admission process of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), pushing for a conducive business environment by reducing Non-Tariff Barriers, supporting EAC organs and institutions to work in harmony and in coordination to realize the benefits enshrined in the EAC Treaty and revitalizing relations with development partners as well as resource mobilization.
On Burundi priority remained on Regional unity & enhanced regional connectivity through infrastructure development, ease in communication and movement of persons and free flow of goods.