East African Community (EAC) countries expect overall national government spending to rise in the upcoming financial year (July 1 to June 30).
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda are to present their 2023/2024 budgets before their respective parliaments on Thursday.
According to the EAC Treaty, finance ministers of the partner states read their budgets simultaneously, under a common theme.
The exemptions are Burundi, South Sudan and latest entrant the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Burundi’s Minister of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Audace Niyonzima, tabled his country’s budget estimate on Tuesday, with spending projected to rise 65 percent to BF3.95 trillion ($1.41 billion) in the 2023/2024 financial year. The previous budget was BF2.39 trillion.
South Sudan cabinet passed a SSP1.8 trillion ($1.38 billion) budget for the next fiscal year in May, up 12.5 percent from SSP1.4 trillion ($1.07 billion) for the 2022/2023 period. The budget is yet to tabled in parliament for approval.
DRC is yet to adjust its budget reading in harmony with the EAC. In December, the country increased its 2023 budget by 46 percent to $16 billion.
Kinshasa formally joined the regional bloc in July last year after depositing instruments of ratification on the accession of the EAC Treaty.
Kenya’s National Treasury and Planning Cabinet Secretary, Njuguna Ndung’u, a former central bank governor, will present his maiden Ksh3.6 trillion ($25.75 billion) budget for 2023/24, a 6.5 percent increase from the Ksh3.38 trillion ($24.18 billion) the previous year.
In Tanzania, the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba, will read his third budget of $19.23 billion (Tsh44.38 trillion), up seven percent from Tsh41.48 trillion ($18 billion).
Uganda’s $13.9 billion (Ush52.74 trillion) budget is being presented by Finance minister Matia Kasaija who has held the post since March 2015. The government has increased its spending plan by Ush4.606 trillion ($1.2 billion) from Ush48.13 trillion ($13 billion) in 2022/2023.
Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, appointed in 2018, is presenting a Rwf5.03 trillion ($4.4 billion) budget. Kigali has increased its spending plan by 5.6 percent from Rwf4.67 trillion ($4.1 billion) the previous fiscal year.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/U5beY/2/
Highlights of the budgets
The economy is expected to grow by 5.5 percent in 2023 supported by private sector growth, including strong performance of the services sector, recoveries in agriculture and ongoing public sector investments.
Kenya expects to finance 79.3 percent of the budget through internal revenues, 15.9 percent domestic financing, 1.1 percent external grants, and foreign loans 3.6 percent.
Agreements reached under EAC common Customs Union:
- Kenya to import rice at EAC tariff of 35 percent instead of 75 percent, and wheat at 10 percent instead of 35 percent to bridge local production deficit.
- Kenya allowed to continue imports of inputs for manufacture of baby diapers duty free for one more year, and impose duty of 35 percent on imported diapers for a year.
- Duty free window for import of inputs for manufacture of animal feeds extended for one year. “Locally manufactured animal feed is expensive and is contributing to food inflation.”
- Kenya allowed to extend for one year the imposition of 25 percent duty on imported mobile phones. Duty free window for importing inputs for local assembly of mobile phones extended for a year.
Uganda’s economy is projected to grow at six percent in financial year 2023/2024, according to Mr Kasaija.
Tanzania projects to finance 70.7 percent of the budget with domestic revenues, 12.3 percent from development partners in form of grants and concessional loans, 12.3 percent from domestic borrowing and 4.7 percent from from external non-concessional sources.
The economy is expected to expand at 5.2 percent in 2023.
Rwanda will finance 63 percent of the budget through domestic revenues, while external loans will constitute 24 percent and external grants 13 percent.