EAC Summit admits Somalia as the bloc’s 8th member, Kiir to oversee accession » Capital News

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 24 — The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit has endorsed the admission of Somalia into the bloc paving the way for its inclusion as the eighth Member State.

The Summit made the announcement on Friday following high-level deliberations at the 23rd Ordinary Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania.

Outgoing Summit Chairperson Evariste Ndayishimiye said South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, who assumed as the new Chairperson, will oversee the accession process.

“We have decided to admit the Federal Republic of Somalia,” Ndayishimiye announced.

Somalia’s journey towards EAC membership commenced in July 2022 when Mogadishu expressed interest to join the bloc.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made a high-level visit to EAC headquarters at the time to formally launch the bid as he sought to mobilize support from Member States.

Mohamud’s visit coincided with a High-Level Retreat by EAC Heads of State to review the region’s common market protocol.

The launching of the bid came months after EAC admitted its seventh Member; the Democratic Republic of Congo.

EAC enlisted DRC in April 2022 becoming the bloc’s newest Member State after South Sudan which was admitted in 2016.

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Originally founded as a three-member bloc by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in 1967, the three States revamped the bloc in 1999 after its collapse in 1977 with Rwanda and Burundi joining in 2007.

Admission requirements

In considering a bid by an aspiring Member State, the Summit considers satisfaction of all the conditions under Articles 3 and 4 of the EAC Treaty.

Article 3 which spells up the membership of the community sets the admission criteria to include an applicant’s acceptance of the Community as set out in the Treaty and “adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice.”

Other requirements include potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within the East African region; geographical proximity to and inter-dependence between it and the Partner States; establishment and maintenance of a market-driven economy; and social and economic policies being compatible with those of the Community.

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