The Democratic Republic of Congo Begins Negotiations to Join EAC

In the East Africa region, Uganda ranked number one followed by Kenya with a score of 47, Tanzania came third with a score of 45, followed by Rwanda with 43 and Ethiopia 25 in the Africa Financial Markets Index 2021.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is positive that the ongoing negotiations will ultimately make it be the seventh member admitted to the East African Community.

DRC Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs Christophe Apala on Tuesday said DRC was looking forward to increased trade and investment, and strengthened relations with EAC, adding that her relations with the EAC Partner States had largely been at a bilateral level.

He also informed the EAC that DRC’s membership in The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) would not pose any challenges as its membership in other economic bodies in Africa were working in harmony to ensure that Africa becomes a real common market by the year 2063.

The Chairperson of the EAC Council of Ministers who is also Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for EAC and Regional Development, Adan Mohamed, said that the EAC and DRC negotiation teams were expected to conclude their negotiations within 10 days.

EAC Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki said substantial progress had been made since the Verification Mission visited DRC in the months of June and July 2020.

“As you are aware the 18th Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State, the summit received and considered the report of the Council on the Verification Mission on the Admission of the DRC to join the EAC and directed the Council to expeditiously commence and conclude negotiations with the DRC for admission to the East African Community and report to the next Summit,” said Dr Mathuki.

“Once this phase is successfully concluded, it shall pave the way for the accession phase which literally concludes the admission process and upon pronouncement of Summit on the matter, DRC will be admitted as the seventh member of the EAC.”

“DRC’s intention to join the Community is not by default. DRC shares borders with five (5) EAC Partner States, namely Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan,” added the Secretary-General.

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