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East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 5 November, 2014:  The 21st Partnership Fund Steering Committee Meeting was held yesterday at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The meeting was attended by Developemnt Partners contributing to the EAC Partnership Fund. The EAC Partnership Fund is a basket fund mechanism with annual contributions from Development Partners (DPs) aimed at supporting the EAC projects and programmes that are geared towards regional integration. Norway is the current Chair of the Partnersghip Fund. In this context, the meeting was chaired by Ms. Elisabeth Schwabe-Hansen the Counsellor-Political Affairs at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Addressing the Development Partners, the Secretary General of the East African Community Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera disclosed that in June this year, the East African Legislative Assembly approved the EAC budget for financial year 2014/15 of USD 124,069,625. This budget consists of USD 73,180,446 from the Development Partners and USD 50,889,179 from the Partner States.

 He said the funds from the Development Partners will be used to implement the EAC priorities for FY 2014/15, which include; Operationalization of the Single Customs Territory; Implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol; Implementation of the roadmap towards the establishment of EAMU; Development of Infrastructure, Tripartite, EAC Industrialization Policy and Strategy; EAC Food Security Action Plan and Climate Change Master Plan; Sensitization of East Africans; Peace and Security; Political Federation and Revitalization of LVFO.

 The Secretary General noted that the Community was making good progress on the integration agenda which is greatly supported by the Partnership Fund and applauded the Development Partners for the continued contributions.

 "Since its inception the Fund has now contributed over USD 41 Million to this great agenda. However, much still needs to be done as we move into an era of Single Customs Territory, Implementation of the EAMU Protocol and Institutional Strengthening of EAC to deliver on its agenda" asserted the EAC official, adding that "I still count on the valuable support of the Development Partners and specifically the Partnership Fund which is a very special vehicle for EAC in terms of coordination of Development Partner support".

 The 21st Partnership Fund Steering Committee Meeting considered, among others, the proposed priorities and disbursements for FY 2015/16, and the Partnership Fund Internal and External Audit and Annual Reports for FY 2013/14.

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