MPs approve Somalia’s quest to join EAC

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somalia's National Assembly has ratified the country's East Africa Community (EAC) membership, effectively making it the 8th nation to join the regional economic bloc, which is responsible for trade and regional integration.

On December 15th, 2023, the EAC members signed a treaty allowing Somalia to join the community after several attempts and rigorous vetting, which has been going on for the last decade. The process was started by Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during his first term.

Parliament’s ratification of this treaty signals the completion of Somalia’s membership process, beating the 6-month deadline that had been issued for Somalia to deposit its instruments of ratification with the Secretary General of the EAC, state media reports.

On November 24th, 2023, the EAC Summit in Arusha approved the request of the Federal Republic of Somalia to join the regional bloc. During the summit, the current Chairperson of the EAC and President of the Republic of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit hailed the move, terming it as a ‘‘major boost, particularly in regional and continental trade under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area – AfCFTA.’’

On his part, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed optimism for stronger regional cooperation, a realization of the collective aspirations of East African citizens, and a new era filled with possibilities, the report by state media reads.

During the summit, The Council of Ministers of the East African Community was tasked by the Heads of State to create a roadmap for the full integration of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the regional body and report its progress at the next summit.

Somalia now joins Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and DR Congo in the community. The East African countries have been major security stakeholders in Somalia, helping in the fight against Al-Shabaab militants who control large swathes of rural central and southern regions.

GAROWE ONLINE

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