East African leaders met for just the second time this year yesterday(Wednesday) and agreed to fast track the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) request for membership to their regional body EAC.
The 18th Extra-ordinary Summit of the East African Community heads of state received and considered the report of the Council of Ministers on the verification mission on the admission of the DRC to join the East African Community.
“The presidents directed the council to expeditiously commence and conclude negotiations with the DRC for admission and report to the next summit,” according to a communique released after the meeting.
Today’s meeting, again held virtually, was chaired by Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, and was the first since Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli passed on in March, 2021.
It was therefore Samia Suluhu Hassan’s first meeting as President of Tanzania. Others who attended were Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame. Presidents Évariste Ndayishimiye of Burundi and Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan were represented by Vice President Prosper Bazombaza and EAC Minister Deng Alor respectively.
President Kenyatta, who is the current Chairperson of the Summit, underscored the importance of the EAC integration process saying the community provides a strong platform for regional socioeconomic transformation
While expressing satisfaction at the progress made towards greater regional solidarity and shared prosperity, Kenyatta urged all member states to continue prioritizing the EAC agenda.
“Indeed, it is notable that work is progressing well in the implementation of the four pillars of EAC integration; namely the customs union, the common market, the monetary union and ultimately the political federation,” Kenyatta noted.
He said the interest by DRC to join the EAC is a testament of not only the success of the regional economic bloc but also the opportunities that remain untapped.
“This is also an affirmation of our efforts to deepen integration and widen cooperation as aptly captioned by the theme of this summit,” Kenyatta said.
- THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY HEADS OF STATE, THEIR EXCELLENCIES PRESIDENT UHURU MUIGAI KENYATTA OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA; PRESIDENT YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA; PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA; PRESIDENT SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA; E. PROSPER BAZOMBANZA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI REPRESENTING PRESIDENT ÉVARISTE NDAYISHIMIYE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI; AND HON. DENG ALOR KUOL, MINISTER FOR EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN, REPRESENTING PRESIDENT SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN HELD THE 18TH EXTRA-ORDINARY SUMMIT OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY HEADS OF STATE VIRTUALLY ON 22ND DECEMBER, 2021. THE HEADS OF STATE MET IN A WARM AND CORDIAL ENVIRONMENT.
- THE SUMMIT OBSERVED A MINUTE OF SILENCE IN HONOUR OF THE LATE H.E DR. JOHN POMBE JOSEPH MAGUFULI, THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA, WHO PASSED ON THE 17TH MARCH, 2021 IN DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA. THE SUMMIT PAID GLOWING TRIBUTE TO THE LATE PRESIDENT FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY(EAC) INTEGRATION PROCESS, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT AND STEERING ECONOMIC GROWTH.
- THE SUMMIT CONGRATULATED H.E. PRESIDENT SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN WHO WAS ATTENDING THE SUMMIT FOR THE FIRST TIME AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA.
- THE SUMMIT RECALLED THAT AT ITS 21ST ORDINARY MEETING HELD ON 27TH FEBRUARY, 2021, IT CONSIDERED THE APPLICATION BY THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) TO JOIN THE EAC AND DIRECTED THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS TO EXPEDITIOUSLY UNDERTAKE A VERIFICATION MISSION TO THE DRC IN ACCORDANCE WITH EAC PROCEDURES FOR ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS INTO THE EAC AND REPORT TO THE 22ND SUMMIT.
- THE SUMMIT RECEIVED AND CONSIDERED THE REPORT OF THE COUNCIL ON THE VERIFICATION MISSION ON THE ADMISSION OF THE DRC TO JOIN THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY 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.
- THE SUMMIT CONSIDERED THE PROPOSAL TO AMEND RULE 11 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR THE SUMMIT OF THE HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERNMENT AND DIRECTED THE SECRETARIAT TO CONVENE AN EXTRA-ORDINARY MEETING OF THE SECTORAL COUNCIL ON LEGAL AND JUDICIAL AFFAIRS TO DELIBERATE AND ADVISE ON THIS PROPOSAL FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE NEXT SUMMIT WHICH SHALL CONSIDER AND CONCLUDE ON THIS MATTER.
- THEIR EXCELLENCIES PRESIDENT YOWERI KAGUTA MUSEVENI OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA; PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF RWANDA; PRESIDENT SAMIA SULUHU HASSAN OF THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA; H.E. PROSPER BAZOMBANZA, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI REPRESENTING H.E PRESIDENT ÉVARISTE NDAYISHIMIYE OF THE REPUBLIC OF BURUNDI; AND HON. DENG ALOR KUOL, MINISTER FOR EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY AFFAIRS, REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN, REPRESENTING H.E PRESIDENT SALVA KIIR MAYARDIT OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN, THANKED THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE SUMMIT, PRESIDENT UHURU MUIGAI KENYATTA OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA FOR CONVENING THE 18TH EXTRA-ORDINARY SUMMIT OF THE EAC HEADS OF STATE.