East Africa: EAC Summit - DR Congo, Somalia Bid to Join Bloc Part of the Agenda

27 February 2021

The 21st ordinary meeting of the Summit of the East African Community Heads of State is set to take place virtually on Saturday, February 27, with consideration of the request by the DR Congo to join the six-member bloc high on agenda.

The latest Heads of State Summit was preceded by a meeting of the Council of Ministers, which took place from February 22 to 25.

An EAC communique states that among the items on the agenda of the 21st Summit are: consideration of the request by the DR Congo to join the EAC; and progress report on the verification exercise for admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the EAC. The Horn of Africa nation submitted its application in February 2012.

The East African Business Council (EABC) this week urged EAC Heads of States to "direct relevant Government bodies to fast track the admission" of the DR Congo into the bloc.

On June 8, 2019, Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi wrote a letter to the EAC Chairman, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda expressing his country's interest in joining the bloc.

Other agenda items for the Summit are progress report on the adoption of a Political Confederation as a transitional model of the East African Political Federation; consideration of a Summit directive to include French as an official language of the EAC, and; a report on the roadmap for the accelerated integration of South Sudan into the EAC.

Other items on the Summit agenda include appointment of the new Secretary-General; progress report of the Council of Ministers for the period February 2019 to February 2021, and; appointment of Judges to the East African Court of Justice.

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