JUST IN: Comesa urges members to honor their contributions as remittances decline
Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Journalist
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) called on member states to meet their budgetary contributions to the bloc’s annual budget as only 21.6 percent of remittances were received against the required threshold by 50 percent.
In a statement following its 42nd meeting of the Comesa committee on administrative and budgetary matters held on Wednesday, the bloc called on member states to pay their budgetary contributions to the annual budget of the secretariat and its institutions.
This follows slow funding of the annual budget, with four of the 21 Member States having fully paid their contributions for that year.
“As of June 21, 2021, the secretariat had received a 21.6 percent contribution to the 2021 budget against a 50 percent threshold required under the Comesa Treaty. The 50 percent is expected within one month of the start of the fiscal year to which they relate, and the remainder within six months of the start of that fiscal year, ”said Comesa.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting, the Secretary General of Comesa, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, noted that the slow disbursement to the budget has resulted in the use of reserves to finance planned activities.
“Over the years, the approved sanctions have not been rigorously applied to Member States that have not paid their contributions to the annual budget and that must change.
“This has been a major contributing factor to the financial situation we find ourselves in now, where a few Member States are funding the organization,” she said.
Article 171 of the Comesa Treaty provides for sanctions for Member States which have arrears of more than two years. [email protected]