Tanzania’s earnings from agencies cause disquiet among EAC partners
The East African Community needs to address the disproportionate gains that Tanzania gets from hosting most of the trading bloc’s agencies, particularly Dar es Salaam’s 73 per cent earnings from the $31.5 million annual average budget of the organs.
All EAC partner states contribute equally to the bloc’s budget through annual subscriptions.
A new report by the EAC secretariat has revealed that Tanzania earns $23 million from hosting five of the eight EAC organs, much more than Kenya, which earns $4 million, Uganda $3 million, Rwanda $1 million, and Burundi which receives $500,000.
The report, however, notes that Kenya gains the most from trade within the EAC, earning $38 million annually, followed by Uganda ($22 million) and Tanzania ($15 million).
Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan make net losses from trading with the region, according to the draft report titled Equitable Sharing of Benefits and Costs of EAC Integration Process.
“Given the current reality and lessons from the former EAC community, which collapsed mainly as a result of unequal share of benefits, there is a need to share the costs and benefits in a fair and equitable manner for sustainability of the EAC Community which generates far more benefits than the costs,” states the draft report.
It further states that provisions in the EAC Treaty such as equal contribution to the EAC budget “may no longer be sustainable given the huge differences in population size and GDP of partner states”.
The draft report, which is yet to be approved and adopted, proposes a review of the formulae for equitable sharing of costs and benefits.
Tanzania’s benefits from the five organs that it hosts come from local employment, rent income and supplies. The five are the secretariat, the East African Court of Justice, the East African Legislative Assembly, the East African Kiswahili Commission, and the Competition Authority.
Uganda hosts the East African Development Bank, the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation, the Inter University Council of East Africa, and the Safety Oversight Agency.
Kenya hosts the Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Rwanda the East African Science and Technology Commission and Burundi hosts the EAC Health Research Commission.
The study was commissioned after the EAC Council of Ministers at its 18th meeting held in Arusha on September 4, 2009, observed that to actualise the fundamental and operational principles of the EAC required equitable distribution of benefits accruing to or to be derived from operation of the Community.
The EAC secretariat, in an interview on Friday, insisted that the draft report is yet to be finalised and could not therefore publicly discuss its findings.
“This [the earnings by Tanzania] is the percentage of gains from hosting EAC organs and institutions only. It does not include gains from trade where Kenya benefits most,” said Aime Uwase, the EAC principal planning and research officer in a response.
Further studies are ongoing to quantify other benefits from hosting and implementing various protocol provisions under the Customs Union and the Common Market, according to Wilberforce Mariki of the EAC secretariat.
The EAC, initially made up of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda, broke up in 1977 after the then-socialist Tanzania complained that capitalist Kenya was benefiting more than the other two partners.
Other issues that caused the collapse included Kenya’s demand for more seats than Uganda and Tanzania in decision-making organs, and disagreements with Ugandan dictator Idi Amin who demanded that Tanzania as a member state of the EAC should not harbour forces fighting to topple his government.
The disparate economic systems of socialism in Tanzania and capitalism in Kenya also contributed to the fall.
Kenya had a more developed manufacturing sector than Tanzania and Uganda, resulting in large income transfers from Dar es Salaam and Kampala.
The report observes that regional integration, by its very nature, creates imbalances in gains if partner states do not take effective measures to maximise the prospective and potential benefits and minimise costs.
The overall objective of the study was to assess whether there is equitable sharing of costs and benefits of the EAC integration so far, and provide a remedial mechanism where possible.
The study suggested that EAC institutions and organs allocate jobs equitably and sustainably as per the Treaty provisions as integration deepens.
The study also suggested that job distribution should be proportional to partner states’ contribution to the EAC budget.
High profile and technical jobs should be competitively awarded, and others should be rotational and allocated on a quota basis.
The study suggests a review of the current system of equal contribution to the EAC budget by partner states, given that they are structurally different in terms of GDP, imports, exports to the region and population.
It suggests that partner states can contribute based on their capacity to pay as represented by GDP. This mode of financing has been successfully used by the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, the Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and the Organization of American States.
Partner states with bigger economies and population are seen to benefit more, or the impact of integration could be higher in bigger economies than smaller ones. But sharing costs based on GDP remains a parameter that relatively satisfies the principle of solidarity, equity, balance and mutual benefit.
The partner states’ contribution to the 2018/19 total budget was $56,245,162 (56 per cent of the total budget) through the respective ministries of EAC Affairs ($50,227,920), the ministries responsible for education ($4,466,210) and ministries responsible for fisheries ($1,551,032).
Development partners will contribute $42,925,613 to the budget, and member universities will give $333,970. The miscellaneous revenue is pegged at $265,971.
The percentage contribution to the budget by EAC partner states has been increasing over time. It increased from 10 per cent in 2011/12 to 56 per cent in 2018/19.
The analysis of contribution per capita shows a big gap, from $0.94 (Burundi) to $0.19 (Tanzania).
As a result of reforms, trade within the EAC has increased. Intra-EAC trade was $1.7 billion in 2005, rising to $3.5 billion in 2013 and falling to $2.4 billion in 2017.
The report says the shrinking of trade among partner states since 2015 may be as a result of national production patterns becoming more similar, and movement of capital investments where products are manufactured locally.
The EAC intra-trade share is below 20 per cent, compared with the EU where it is 61.7 per cent. Among the members of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the share is 50.3 per cent and 24.3 per cent within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The elimination of tariffs on intra-EAC trade led to an average annual loss of Customs duty of $1,689.07 million between 2013 and 2017.
Blows exchanged as man finds wife in bed with businessman ▷ Kenya News
A businessman from Ukambani identified as Kimeu escaped death by a whisker after he was cornered while ‘drinking water from his neighbour’s cistern’.
The husband of the woman he was munching, landed on him in unprecedented, furry filled assault-style.
He said he had for long been hunting for the man that he claimed ‘has made his bae lose interest in him’.
The suspect would arrive at the woman’s house after 10pm while her hubby was away. He works with an NGO within Ukambani.
Throughout this time, there were whispers that the two were having a good time though they tried to keep it secret.
After unsuccessfully trying to ambush the duo, the aggrieved husband sought the services of native doctor Mwikali Kilonzo to help burst them.
Days later, while in the city, he received several calls from neighbours informing him that his wife and the stranger were stuck while doing the unthinkable on their matrimonial bed.
He swiftly set off to his home and it took him four hours to arrive.
“I thought this was just hearsay, I shouldn’t have trusted you in the first place, even after giving you everything you wanted…you have the courage to bring another man in my house?” The NGO man fumed as he descended on them.
He rained kicks and blows on the young man in rapid succession as the ‘thief’ pleaded for sympathy.
The fight was quelled after the security personnel from the nearby police camp intervened.
The show was in no way different from the several other instances of cheating spouses ending up glued together during adulterous missions.
The two were later separated from agony and the man has since summoned his in-laws to discuss the matter.
Apart from netting cheating partners and bring peace in troubled homes, herbalist Mwikali Kilonzo has unique means to influence promotion at work and can spin court cases.
Additionally, she has powerful medicine that can cushion homes from spiritual and physical attacks. She is able to paralyse thieves and recover stolen items.
Contact her on 0722901790 and find a solution for your problem.
She is available in Mbitini Kitui county, Bungoma Town, Kitale and Kenyatta Market in Nairobi.
Why Kenyan men are travelling long distance to meet this woman | Tuko TV.
I want African nations to have more say in standards body : The Standard
On January 1, 2019, Eddy Njoroge will take over the presidency of the International Organisation of Standardisation (ISO).
He will be the first African to lead the global standards body, the entity that sets the bar for products and services across different industries. While he could have opted for an office in Geneva where ISO is headquartered, he has opted to have the ISO president’s office in Nairobi.
And even before he sets foot in the office, he is clear what success will look like at the end of his tenure – bringing Africa and other developing countries to the table where standards are made. He expects to reverse a scenario where these countries have been what he terms just ‘standard takers’ but also become ‘standard makers’.
For two years, Njoroge will chair the ISO Council, which works like the board of a company, made of 20 countries represented by their respective standards’ bodies. Membership to the council is rotating and any of the 164 countries that are members of ISO can be council members. There are, however, countries which have permanent representation including the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France and China.
The council oversees the governance of the Geneva-based organisation.
“Success will be two-fold for me – if there is more involvement of developing countries in making of ISO standards and getting more people on the street to know about standards. If I achieve these two, a lot will fall in place,” said Njoroge, who has in 2019 been serving as president-elect after he was elected unopposed last year.
Currently, only a handful of countries from the developing world are involved in the making of standards, and even then, they are barely audible. This has put them at a disadvantage, as in many matters, they are required to implement standards that they did not play a part in developing. This sees many countries unable to meet these standards and hence locked out of many opportunities including global trade.
“When you look at standards today there is realisation that there are not many developing countries involved in standards, especially making of standards,” he said.
“I felt there is need to get developing countries participate more in the making of standards. One of the ways of doing this is to get involved at the governance level of ISO especially at the top and that is how I offered myself for the presidency.”
Njoroge has a challenge in his backyard, where Kebs, where he is a board member, appears to always be putting out fires every other day, all of them seemingly due to poor enforcement of standards as well as governance challenges at the entity. The scenario is no different from the standards bodies across many African countries.
The former KenGen boss was elected unopposed during last year’s ISO General Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. He had, however, missed the presidency two years earlier, when in 2016, Njoroge had vied but lost to the current president John Walter.
Njoroge had been nominated as a candidate by Kebs. This is usually the case for the ISO presidential candidates – they have to be fronted by their home country’s standards body. The 164 ISO members – which are countries represented by their standards bodies – then vote for their preferred candidate. In 2018, Njoroge was unopposed.
“I had offered myself for the presidency in 2016. Then I was completely green but I sold the story of what I wanted to do and there was quite a lot of support. I lost by one vote and many people thought I should come back. In 2018, I went back and was elected unopposed to the president-elect this year and takeover next year for a two year period,” he said.
Past ISO presidents have all been from the developed countries, except in three instances where there was one from Brazil and two from India.
“We have not had anybody from what you can truly call developing countries,” noted Njoroge.
“That is why I want to be the voice of the developing countries and get them more involved. We have over 300 technical committees within ISO, which are the developers of standards but we have very few developing countries in these committees.”
“We must sit at the table to safeguard our interests. What mostly happens is that standards are developed and while we, as developing countries have not participated, have to take them when they are adopted as global standards. I would want more countries to participate.”
While participation in the committees is critical, there are usually cost implications which limit them. It involves a lot of travel, as in many instances the committee members have had to meet physically, which comes with a lot of commuting.
“One of the things that we are trying to do is where committees have to meet physically, we will try and fundraise to help developing countries. Within ISO, we are going to look into how we can have a bigger budget to support developing countries in their participation in technical committees. I am also trying to engage donor agencies who would be keen to get more people to participate in the technical committees,” Njoroge said.
“The other way is encouraging the use of technology among committees. People do not have to meet physically and this makes it easier to participate. But we need them to come out and offer themselves.”
Bringing the developing world to standards’ development table is one of the four agenda items that Njoroge has for his presidency. His other goals will be to deepen understanding of standards to the common person, use standards to catalyse industrial growth in an era of technology and employ standards in redressing trade imbalances. The latter, being critical for countries in the developing world.
“I intend to champion, promote and lobby for the use of international standards whenever possible as a basis for technical regulations. This will not only ease the regulatory burden to countries but will also ensure a mutual acceptance of both domestic and imported goods,” he said.
ISO has a four year strategy (2016 – 2020) whose rallying call was ‘standards used everywhere’. And while this will be coming to an end as his presidency begins, Njoroge said he has adopted this as one of his key agenda as the leader of the global standards body.
“I feel that ‘standards used everywhere’ is something that we should still aspire to,” he said.
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