Somali Magazine October 24, 2023 – As a potential member of the East African Community, Somalia has much to gain. Apart from increased economic opportunities, membership also provides access to investment opportunities, enhanced regional political cooperation and improved infrastructure.
Economic Advantages of Integration
Increase in Trade
Access to EAC’s large market of over 180 million people means that Somalia can increase trade and investments by enhancing cooperation with other members.
Membership in EAC will also allow Somalia to participate in the Customs Union, which will alleviate the barriers that hinder trade between many African countries.
Regional Resource Sharing
Integration of economies and sharing of resources through EAC could lead to reduced production costs, leading to greater competitiveness of Somali products.
Access to Development and Investment Opportunities
“Somalia’s membership in the EAC will open doors to wider development and investment opportunities from local and foreign entities,”
The EAC is home to several international investors and partnering with EAC would open doors for the Somali business community to tap into these opportunities. The increased investment would mean growth, job creation and an improvement of living standards for Somalia’s population.
Potential for Increased Foreign Direct Investment
Current Situation: FDI to Somalia is low due to the country’s security challenges.
The Solution: Join the EAC and take advantage of the regional integration and cooperation to create a more secure and stable environment to attract FDI to the country.
Increased Market Opportunities for Somali Goods and Services
Somalia’s membership in the EAC will provide wider export markets since the goods can easily access the regional market with very minimal barriers to trade.
Service Sector Growth
Integration with EAC will open up service sectors such as banking, health, education, and finance, which could have a positive impact on Somali’s economy and growth.
The EAC membership will enable Somalia to access diverse markets, address the concentration risk of selling to one market and stabilize its economy.
Improved Regional Infrastructure and Connectivity
Through EAC membership, Somalia will have improved access to infrastructure projects, including the construction and reconstruction of vital infrastructure, including roads, bridges, power grids, and telecommunication networks. This will promote connectivity and ease of movement, consequently improving both social and economic growth.
Strengthened Regional Political Cooperation
Democracy and Governance
The EAC promotes democracy and good governance practices, and emphasizes transparency and accountability, which would help stabilize the region and improve relationships between members.
Peace and Security
Somalia can benefit from the EAC’s security cooperation mechanisms and peacekeeping missions, enhancing Somalia’s fight against terrorism and promoting regional peace and security.
Enhanced Collaboration in Security Matters
- Joint efforts in counter-terrorism activities,
- Joint efforts aimed at containing the spread of infectious diseases and pests
- Joint military training and participation in peacekeeping missions
Through EAC membership, Somalia will benefit from improved cooperation in tackling key security threats.