Bujumbura (Caasimada Online) – The East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers’ 43rd ordinary meeting is currently taking place in Burundi, and it is set to review a report on the verification mission for Somalia’s admission into the regional bloc.
This report was compiled after a visit to Somalia from January 25th to February 3rd, 2023.
With Somalia’s admission, the EAC will have eight member states, including Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Uganda.
On January 13th, 2023, EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki hailed Somalia’s long Indian Ocean Red Sea route, which links Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, as a vibrant economic zone that will benefit the EAC immensely.
The EAC is a regional intergovernmental organization that promotes cooperation and integration among its member states. It was established in 1967 and was revived in 2000 with the signing of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
The EAC Council of Ministers’ five-day meeting, which started on February 19th and will run through to February 23rd, will review reports on various issues, including political matters, customs and trade, finance and administration, as well as reports of other EAC organs, such as the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice.
The EAC Council of Ministers is the policy-making body of the regional bloc, comprising ministers responsible for EAC affairs and/or regional cooperation of each member state. Its functions include promoting, monitoring, and reviewing the implementation of the EAC’s programs and ensuring the proper functioning of the regional bloc.
The admission of Somalia into the EAC will bring about many opportunities and benefits for the country and the region as a whole. Somalia has significant untapped natural resources, including oil, gas, and minerals, that could contribute to the growth of the EAC’s economy.
Furthermore, Somalia’s strategic location provides a gateway for the EAC to access the Middle East and Asian markets, opening up more opportunities for trade and investment.