Home News In English Somalia set to join EAC this year, says Sec-Gen Mathuki

Somalia set to join EAC this year, says Sec-Gen Mathuki

by Laacib

East African Community (EAC) Secretary-General Peter Mathuki says Somalia has made a critical step towards becoming the eighth member of the bloc.

Addressing a press conference in Arusha, Tanzania on Wednesday, the EAC boss said Mogadishu had made it to the negotiations stage and expressed confidence that Somalia would be accepted into the bloc this year.

A series of meetings will be held in Nairobi and the Somalia accession is one of the top agendas.

“The EAC conducted a verification mission to assess the readiness of Somalia to join the bloc and the report was deliberated on and shared with all partner states. Negotiations for admitting it will begin on the 22nd of this month to the 5th of September,” Dr Mathuki said.

Somalia applied to join the Community back in 2012 and a verification mission was launched by EAC on January 25, 2023 to assess its readiness.

The verification team’s report was adopted by the EAC Heads of State in Bujumbura in June 6, 2023, giving way to the Council of ministers and the EAC Secretariat to commence the negotiations with Mogadishu.

EAC pillars

Dr Abdusalam Omer, Somalia’s former Foreign Affairs minister and currently Presidential Special Envoy to East African Community told the EastAfrican that the negotiations will be addressing all the EAC pillars of integration, comparing and contrasting with the Somalia rules and laws.

“This will also include setting the time frame for Somalia to implement and harmonise the laws with that of the region,” Dr Abdusalam said.

“The way forward for Africa and East Africa is the regional integration and opening up markets, as this will help lower the cost of products.

Integration is the nemesis of the new type of terrorism, and,with regional integration and cooperation, terrorism will be defeated.”

Somalia shares a border with Kenya, having the longest national coastline in Africa of over 3,000km, linking Africa to the Arabian Peninsula.

“There are a lot of Somalia hopes to gain but also the region has a lot to gain from Somalia because of its connectivity to Middle East as well as the diaspora in Europe, America and everywhere,” he said.

Abdullah Ibrahim, a Somalia government consultant based in Nairobi, was part of the delegation that supported the EAC verification team in Somalia early this year.

The negotiation report from the EAC Secretariat will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for consideration, and the Council of Ministers will submit the report to the Heads of State Summit late this year.

The Summit is expected to adopt the report and make a political declaration which is to admit Somalia as the eighth member state of the East African Community. The admission will precede with the signing of the treaty of the accession by Somalia, Mogadishu will then need to deposit the instruments of the ratification to the EAC Secretariat.


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