Session of Hon. Ministers/Attorney General –Friday, 13th March, 2015 where Kenya was represented by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Prof. Judy Wakhungu. In attendance was the Principal Secretary for East Africa Affairs, Mr. John Konchellah and Principal Secretary, Devolution and Planning, Eng. Peter Mangiti.

The 31st Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the council of Ministers took place during 9th -13th March in Bujumbura, Burundi. The meetings were conducted through the following sessions:

  1. Session of Hon. Ministers/Attorney General –Friday, 13th March, 2015 where Kenya was represented by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Prof. Judy Wakhungu. In attendance was the Principal Secretary for East Africa Affairs, Mr. John Konchellah and Principal Secretary, Devolution and Planning, Eng. Peter Mangiti.
  2. Session of Co-ordination Committee( Permanent/Principal Secretaries), Wednesday, 11th March, 2015-Thursday, 10th March, 2015 where Kenya was represented by the Principal Secretary for East Africa Affairs, Mr. John Konchellah.
  3. Session of Senior Officials, Monday, 9th March, 2015-Tuesday, 10th March, 2015. In the session, Kenya had representatives from the Ministry of East Africa Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, The National Treasury, Ministry of Foreign affairs and International Trade and Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
  4. The meeting was mainly constituted to consider the Report of the Finance and Administration Committee and the Human resource matters. From the report of the Finance and Administration Committee, the following issues were of importance:
Issue Kenya position Recommendations
  1. Status of Partner States’ Contributions
Kenya was the only country among the partner states that had remitted all its obligations to the EAC Organs and Institutions for the EAC Budget Financial 2014/2015 Other Partner States were directed  to remit their outstanding  contributions by 31st March, 2015
  1. Management of Bank Accounts.
  • The Secretariat had done an analysis that clearly indicated KCB as most responsive bank and sought permission from the Council to be allowed to open an account with KCB-Tanzania Ltd.
Kenya supported the EAC Secretariat proposal for the current EAC institutions bank accounts to be transferred to KCB-Tanzania Ltd. Council approved the opening of the EAC Secretariat main accounts with KCB Tanzania Ltd while other EAC institutions bank accounts to be considered in the next council meeting.
  1. Absorption of Staff under the Peace and Security Unit into EAC Partner States’ Budget
  • The Peace and Security Unit has been in operation since 2008 and funded predominantly by the AU under the EAC/AU Capacity Building Program and later the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) Support Program.
  • The EAC Secretariat thus sought to get approval from the council for the inclusion of the APSA Support budget into the 2015/2016 to ensure sustainability.
From the list of 8 staff under the Peace and Security Unit being absorbed into EAC Partner States’ Budget, Kenya managed to secure two positions as follows:

ü  Peace and Security Expert, P3

ü  Program Officer at the AU, P2

Council approved the Absorption of Staff under the Peace and Security Unit into EAC Partner States’ Budget for Financial year 2014/2015
  1. Capacity building project to enhance Research and Policy  analysis at the EAC Secretariat
  • The Executive Board of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) had approved a grant of US$ 1,000,000 to the East African Community to contribute towards the financing of the Capacity Building Project to enhance Research and Policy Analysis Function at the EAC Secretariat over a period of four years.
  • EAC is expected to contribute US$ 1,552,513 (of which US$ 913,600 will be in kind) over the first four years of implementation.

Kenya supported the project and to ensure sustainability beyond the project life, it proposed the inclusion of the function within the EAC structure under the Planning Unit.

Note: This will however increase the country’s annual contribution to EAC by US$ 79,800 annually.

Council approved EAC counterpart funds of US$ 638,913 for ACBF project for a period of 4years amounting to US$79,800 per annum for each partner state.

In regard to Human Resource matters, the Council deliberated on the candidates shortlisted for 21 positions out of 24 positions advertised within the EAC Secretariat and based on the quota system, the country was equitably allocated four positions as below in order of seniority:

  • Senior Public Relations Officer, P3
  • Sergeant at Arms,P2
  • Research Officer, P1
  • Hansard Reporter, P1

The remaining 3 positions of Principal Aviation Officer, Court Recorder and Senior Trade Officer will be re-advertised as no suitable candidates were identified. Finally, the Council also approved the appointment of an Acting Council to the Community (CTC) pending the recruitment of the substantive CTC by end of April, 2015.

The meeting was thus a success in that, most of the operational decisions were made and policy direction provided to enable the EAC Secretariat and Institutional organs operate optimally.