he 21st Extra-Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State Summit held in Bujumbura, Burundi adopted the Report of the Verification of the Application of the Federal Republic of Somalia to join EAC.
The Summit further directed the Council of Ministers and EAC Secretariat to commence the negotiations with the Federal Republic of Somalia with immediate effect and report to the next Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State.
The Federal Republic of Somalia made its first application to join the East African Community in 2012. However, the verification mission was not conducted immediately due to various reasons.
“The 22nd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State directed the Council to expeditiously fast-track the verification exercise in accordance with the EAC Procedures for admission of New Members into the EAC and report to the 23rd Ordinary Meeting of the Summit,” East African Community secretariat said in a statement last week.
On 25th January 2023, the EAC launched the verification mission to assess the Federal Republic of Somalia’s readiness to join the Community. The objective of the verification team comprising experts from the EAC Partner States was to establish the country’s level of conformity with the criteria for admitting foreign countries as provided in the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.
“Somalia shares borders with one EAC Partner State, namely Kenya, and has strong historical, linguistic, economic, and socio-cultural links with all the EAC Partner States. Somalia has the longest national coastline of over 3,000 km in Africa, linking Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, which the region will tap into to increase intra-regional trade,” the statement read further.
Somalia will be the 8th Member of the EAC Partner States after the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the United Republic of Tanzania if accepted to join EAC by the EAC Heads of State Summit.
Meanwhile, the 21st Extra-Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State appointed Ms. Annete Mutaawe Ssemuwemba from the Republic of Uganda as Deputy Secretary General in charge of Customs, Trade, and Monetary Affairs. The Summit also appointed Mr. Andrea Aguer Ariik Malueth from the Republic of South Sudan as Deputy Secretary General, in charge of Infrastructure, Productive, Social, and Political Sectors with effect from 31st May 2023.
The two deputies will be serving under the new structure as directed by the EAC Summit to have only two Deputy Secretaries General to assist the Secretary-General, who serves as the Head of the Secretariat.
The Summit also designated Lady Justice Anita Mugeni from Rwanda as Vice President of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ). Justice Mugeni will be replacing Lady Justice Sauda Mjasiri from the United Republic of Tanzania, Judge of Appellate Division and Vice President of the Court whose tenure ends on 19th June 2023.
The Summit appointed Justice Omar Othman Makungu from the United Republic of Tanzania as a Judge of the EACJ Appellate Division with effect from 20th June 2023. The Summit also appointed Justice Kayembe Kasanga from the Democratic Republic of Congo as a Judge in the First Instance Division of the court with effect from May 31st, 2023.
This article was published by an editorial consultant and can be reached via email@example.com