Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rwanda, Burundi bag 18m Euros from COMESA

Written by Cedric Lumiti, Bosco Hitimana
Saturday, 03 October 2009

NAIROBI, Kigali - The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has injected a total of Euros 18.2 million in compensation for Rwanda and Burundi's perceived tax revenue loss as a result of implementation of the East African Community Common External Tariff (EAC CET) in force since July.

Rwanda received Euros10.3 million for her perceived loss of over Euros13.8 million while Burundi received Euros 4.4 million which is 65% of their perceived loss.
"Burundi has already received Euros 4.4 million which is 60% of their total losses as compensation. Later on after reviewing the implementation, we shall give them the balance. I was in Rwanda last week I was able to give them Euros 10.3million again to compensate them," the COMESA Secretary General, Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, said in Nairobi last week.

The funds were extended to the two countries under COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism, funded through the European Commission.

The Fund which has two windows; one of which is the adjustment facility and that of infrastructure, was established in 2002 to enable members to implement their regional integration commitments.

The Fund was initially limited to compensation for revenue losses but countries such as Kenya are likely to suffer from the 'social and economic' costs of adjustment.

Money received from the Fund would be used to train workers in such industries to learn new skills that would make them fit in other sectors of the economy. The EU this year contributed Euros 1billion while the COMESA states have contributed the same amount.