Regional authorities authorised the East African Community Secretariat and the Council of Ministers to begin negotiations with Somalia regarding the latter’s desire to join the seven-member bloc “with immediate effect” on Wednesday, May 31.
During the 21st Extraordinary EAC Heads of State Summit on Wednesday, May 31, in Bujumbura, Burundi, the Heads of State deliberated on and endorsed the report on the verification of Somalia’s application to join the EAC, which had previously been circulated to the partner states.
The Secretariat, the Community’s executive organ, and the Council of Ministers, the EAC’s central decision-making and governing Organ, will later report to the next ordinary summit of EAC Heads of State.
On Thursday, June 1, Somalia’s Presidential Special Envoy to the EAC, Abdusalam Omer, told The New Times, “Yes, this is a big day for Somalia.”
“This is a major milestone for Somalia’s accession to the EAC and the acceptance of its application,” Omer remarked.
“It demonstrates that Somalia has met the requirements for membership in the EAC.” “I am confident that the negotiations will be successful.”
After Somalia’s President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, reactivated his country’s bid to join the bloc on July 21, 2022, the Secretariat commenced its verification mission to assess Somalia’s readiness to join the regional economic community on January 25, 2023.
During a meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, in July 2022, Somalia’s President told his EAC colleagues that his country is part of a very resource-rich part of East Africa, with 15 to 20 million people, close to 10 million hectares of arable land, vast marine resources, livestock, and, above all, “a human resource which is very entrepreneurial and very much active.”
In February 2012, the Horn of Africa country submitted their application.
“Somalia will be a great addition to our EAC brothers and sisters,” Omer stated.