The Democratic Republic of Congo Officially Joins East African Bloc

The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State meeting has on Tuesday March 29, officially admitted the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into the bloc.

Virtual EAC Heads of State Summit. PHOTO | EAC Twitter account

The Democratic Republic of Congo was officially admitted to the East African Community on Tuesday, during the 19th Extraordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State.

Other members of the East African Community the East Africa Community (EAC) include Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

“This historical and landmark milestone has transformed the EAC bloc into the most attractive trade investment destination in Africa, offering a market-driven economy of 266 million people and a Gross Domestic Product of USD 243 billion,” Mr. John Bosco Kalisa Executive Director, East African Business Council (EABC) said in a statement.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the chairperson of the Summit, said the admission of the DRC to the EAC will enable the community to achieve much-needed development based on the economies of large scale.   

“Today, the 29th, is a historic day in the history of the EAC as we admit the DRC into the EAC. We have already considered and agreed, in our closed session, and the Summit has taken the decision to admit the DRC into the EAC,” said President Kenyatta. “The admission of the DRC into EAC is historic, not only for our countries but our continent at large.” 

“For people who are looking for prosperity, this is a very important issue. We welcome the DRC into the EAC,” said President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda. “We now need to work on peace in eastern Congo, because that  region has been having problems for some time.”

“I congratulate our brothers and sisters from the DRC and welcome them into the EAC. I urge all the institutions of the EAC to accelerate the admission o processes in accordance with the Treaty and our rules of admission,” said President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

“It is our expectation that the DRC will ratify the admission on time to allow the Community to benefit from integration,” said Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

EFG Hermes Managing Director, Head of Frontier Research Kato Arnold Mukuru said EAC will benefit from resources from DRC and in turn, DRC will also benefit from the expertise of the EAC members (investment opportunities).

EAC Secretary General, Peter Mathuki in a report said DRC joining, the community will open the corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as North to South, hence expanding the economic potential of the region.

The summit designated President Kenyatta to sign the treaty of accession of the DRC into the EAC by 14th April 2022. thereafter the DRC shall be required to deposit the instruments of ratification with the secretary-general before 29th September 2022.

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