The Federal Republic of Somalia has been formally admitted to the East African Community (EAC). It joins Kenya, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania in the bloc.
This follows the Friday decision by the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held in Arusha, Tanzania.
President of Somalia Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said that the Somali people are honoured to be part of the EAC bloc. “This is a beacon of hope for us. Hope for a future of opportunities and prosperity for Somalia, through regional integration,” he underscored.
The meeting that succeeded the EAC High-Level Forum on Climate Change and Food Security also saw President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, elevated to the Chairperson of the Summit of EAC Heads of State. He takes over from his Burundi counterpart Évariste Ndayishimiye whose tenure has come to a close.
Somalia’s entry into the East African Community is a product of lengthy negotiations as directed by the 22nd Extraordinary Summit. It presents an opportunity to the region to further integrate, expanding opportunities to the people.
The move to welcome Somalia is expected to boost connectivity, enhance trade and accelerate the country’s transformation plan.
The Somalia coastline — among the longest in Africa — presents massive blue economy resources and investment opportunities to the EAC region.
Besides the admission of Somalia into the bloc, the summit deliberated on the progress of the EAC-led Nairobi Process on Restoration of Peace and Stability in Eastern DRC.
The summit also requested Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expedite the conclusion of the EAC Political Confederation public consultation by mid 2024.