DR Congo becomes the 7th member to join the EAC.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo was approved by the Council of Ministers to become the seventh member state to join the East African Community (EAC).
The EAC Council of Ministers, chaired by the EAC Cabinet on Regional Affairs and Development in Kenya, Adan Mohamed, gave the go-ahead during an extraordinary meeting on Monday November 22nd in Arusha, Tanzania.
“The Summit of Heads of State of the EAC at its 21st Ordinary Meeting on February 27, 2021 instructed the Council of Ministers of the EAC to quickly conduct a review according to the EAC admission criteria for foreign states,” said the Council.
A CAO team visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo from June 26th to July 5th to check the country’s compliance with the CAO founding treaty.
“The Democratic Republic of the Congo borders five of the EAC partner states; in particular Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan, ”reads the report submitted by the Council of Ministers.
“There is a sense of belonging and connection to the EAC in social, economic, historical, cultural and geographical terms.”
The report discussed, among other things, the institutional and legal framework, policies, projects and programs, areas of cooperation with the other CAO partner countries, and the expectations of the Democratic Republic of the Congo for membership in the Community.
The CAO heads of state and government will now make the final decision at a later summit. With the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), the development of infrastructure in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will facilitate the connection of the east with the Atlantic coast and southern Africa with North and West Africa.
There are also plans to connect Burundi’s rail network to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a decision that will provide an opportunity to improve access to the markets of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the EAC. This could reduce the cost of intra-regional trade.
The meeting was attended by Uganda’s Minister for East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga, Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Liberata Mulamula and Burundi’s Foreign Minister Ezéchiel Nibigira.
The Kenyan Mohamed, the South Sudanese CAO Minister Deng Alor Kuol and Rwanda’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Manasseh Nshuti practically attended the meeting.
Again present was Dr. Alice Yalla, President of the Verification Mission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.