Somalia poised to join East African Community later this year


Somalia, a country on the Horn of Africa, is set to become the newest member of the East African Community later this year.

The EAC is an intergovernmental organisation composed of seven countries in the Great Lakes region of East Africa: Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.

This move is seen as a significant step forward for Somalia, as it seeks to deepen its regional integration and reap the benefits that come with EAC membership.

Somalia poised to join East African Community later this year
Somalia poised to join East African Community later this year.

The news of Somalia’s impending membership was announced by the EAC’s secretary general, Peter Mathuki. He revealed that negotiations with Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital, are expected to conclude by the end of this month, paving the way for Somalia’s accession to the regional bloc.

This development follows Congo’s recent entry into the EAC earlier this year, solidifying the organisation’s growing influence in the region.

If Somalia is accepted to join the EAC by the EAC Heads of State Summit, it will become the eighth member of the EAC Partner States. The current members include the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Democratic Republic Congo, and United Republic of Tanzania.

The journey to Somalia’s EAC membership has not been without challenges. The EAC has a tumultuous history, having collapsed in 1977 before being revived in 2000. The collapse was attributed to various factors, including disputes over decision-making organs, disagreements with Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, and differences in economic systems between member states. The revival of the EAC marked a new era of regional cooperation and integration.

Somalia poised to join East African Community later this year
Somalia poised to join East African Community later this year.

Since its revival, the EAC has made significant progress towards its goal of creating a common market for goods, labour, and capital within the region. In 2010, the organisation launched its own common market, paving the way for increased trade and economic cooperation among member states.

The EAC’s long-term vision includes the establishment of a common currency and eventually a full political federation, signalling its commitment to deepening regional integration.

For Somalia, joining the EAC holds immense potential. The country has experienced decades of political instability and economic challenges, and joining a regional bloc like the EAC offers opportunities for economic growth and stability.

Somalia poised to join East African Community later this year
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud waves to supporters in Mogadishu on May 15. HASAN ALI ELMI/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Membership in the EAC would enable Somalia to tap into the region’s vast market, access regional infrastructure projects, and benefit from increased trade and investment.

Furthermore, becoming a member of the EAC would allow Somalia to participate in the organisation’s decision-making processes, giving the country a voice on regional issues and a platform to shape the future of East Africa. It would also enable Somalia to strengthen its diplomatic ties with neighbouring countries and enhance regional cooperation on issues such as security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism.

However, Somalia’s path to EAC membership is not without its challenges. The country still faces security threats from terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab and continues to grapple with internal political divisions. It will be crucial for Somalia to address these challenges and demonstrate its commitment to regional integration and stability.

As Somalia prepares to join the EAC, the country must also ensure that its domestic policies align with the values and principles of the regional bloc.

This includes promoting good governance, respecting human rights, and fostering an enabling business environment. By doing so, Somalia can position itself as a reliable and valuable member of the EAC, contributing to the overall growth and development of the region.

Ericson Mangoli
Ericson Mangoli is the founder and Managing Editor of Who Owns Africa, a platform for African journalism that focuses on politics, governance, and business. With a passion for truth and a dedication to highlighting pressing issues in Africa, Mangoli has become a significant voice in the field. He embarked on this journey after graduating with a degree in communications and realizing his true calling was in investigative reporting and shedding light on untold stories.  Who Owns Africa provides thought-provoking articles, in-depth analyses, and incisive commentary to help people understand the complexities of the region. Mangoli is committed to impartiality and ethical reporting, setting high standards for his team. His vision for the platform is to foster critical thinking and promote informed discussions that have a positive impact on African society. Mangoli is known for his eloquent and insightful writing which tackles pressing issues in Africa. His articles cover a range of topics including political corruption, economic development, fostering international partnerships, and African governance. He sheds light on the complexities of these subjects and empowers readers to engage in conversations for positive change. Mangoli's coverage of African politics analyzes the factors that drive change and hinder progress, while his reporting on governance advocates for stronger institutions and policies. Additionally, he explores the challenges and opportunities facing African businesses and inspires readers to contribute to Africa's economic growth.


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