MOGADISHU (SOMALI MAGAZINE) A delegation led by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will travel to Arusha in Tanzania on Thursday to seek support for Somalia to get membership into the East African Community (EAC).
The 22nd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State is scheduled for 21st and 22nd July 2022 at the Arusha International Conference Centre in Arusha.
President Mohamud is expected to meet with his other African leaders attending the summit to ask for support for Somalia’s bid to join the inter-governmental block.
If Somalia joined the East African Community (EAC), its citizens would get more access to the EAC market and be able to sell goods to member countries tax-free. Somalia would also have visa-free entry into EAC countries and be eligible for the East African passport.
The EAC was first established in 1967 but was dissolved a decade later. It was re-established in 2000 and now includes seven African Great Lake countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The combined annual economy of the EAC is estimated at more than 300 billion US dollars, with the total number of people living in these countries estimated at 312 million who share and travel one passport.
The government of Somalia submitted the request to join this EAC in 2016, but the EAC said it would send a delegation to Somalia to evaluate Somalia’s degree of readiness. However, the EAC has not yet travelled to Mogadishu for its assessment.