In a significant development, Somalia has been officially admitted to the East African Community (EAC), joining the ranks of Kenya, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania within the regional bloc.
The decision was reached during the 23rd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State held in Arusha on Friday.
This crucial step follows negotiations mandated by the 22nd Extraordinary Summit, underscoring the commitment to strengthening regional ties and fostering unity.
As directed by the 22nd Extraordinary Summit, Somalia's entry into the Community is a result of diplomatic negotiations.
Apart from its diplomatic significance, Somalia's extensive coastline, among the longest in Africa, unlocks substantial blue economy resources, particularly in the fisheries sector.
The admission of Somalia into the bloc is anticipated to boost connectivity, facilitate trade, and expedite Somalia's transformation plan.
The Somalia coastline — among the longest in Africa — presents massive blue economy resources such as fish to EAC.
This move is expected to enhance economic growth and promote the sharing of knowledge and resources among member states, according to statements made at the summit.
In tandem with Somalia's admission, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been appointed as the EAC's rapporteur, further emphasizing the collaborative spirit among member countries.
The summit also addressed the progress of the EAC-Led Nairobi Process on Restoration of Peace and Stability in Eastern DRC.
In a bid to strengthen political ties, the Summit urged Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to expedite the conclusion of the EAC Political Confederation public consultation by mid-next year.
This highlights ongoing efforts to deepen political integration and streamline decision-making processes within the East African Community.
As Somalia formally integrates into the EAC, the region anticipates a new phase of collaboration, leveraging collective strengths for the shared progress of all member states.