he Federal Republic of Somalia has urged the East African Community to fast-track its admission to the bloc as its eighth Member. H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said that for Somalia, joining the Community has been a delayed dream for its people. He asked the Secretary-General, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki, to expedite the process of admission. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) joined the Community this year.
The President made this request during a maiden visit done by Dr. Mathuki to Mogadishu. Dr. Mathuki has already formally delivered the 22nd EAC Ordinary Summit’s directive to the Council to expeditiously fast-track the verification exercise for Somalia as per the EAC procedures of admission of new countries into the Community, EAC Secretariat said in a new release.
“Somalia belongs to the EAC. There is no country among the EAC Partners States that is not linked by business with Somalia and existing historical linkages including language and culture,” said President Mohamud. He noted that his country was working tirelessly to remove all the security challenges with the support of some of the EAC member states.
“We are counting on you to send the verification team here in Mogadishu to start the process,” he told the president.
The president reiterated the strategic position of Somalia saying that the Community will benefit significantly through the increased movement of goods, services, and people across the bloc in addition to expanding intra-regional trade.
President Mohamud said that Somalia’s long Indian Ocean Red Sea route that links Africa to the Arabian Peninsula was a vibrant economic zone, adding that the exploitation of Somalia’s blue economy resources such as fish and the expansive coastline would boost the regional economy.
On his part, Dr. Mathuki commended the desire of the Federal Republic of Somalia to join the EAC and assured the president that the EAC Secretariat would do its part to make sure that Somalia’s admission process is expeditiously fast-tracked in accordance with the EAC Procedure for Admission of New Members into the EAC.
The Secretary-General informed Mohamud that the EAC Secretariat will write to Partner States to request for nominations for members to constitute the EAC Verification Team. The Team will comprise 3 experts from each Partner State and officials from the Secretariat, the release said, adding that upon the receipt of the names from the Partner States, the Secretariat will submit them to the Council for approval to conduct the exercise.
Dr. Mathuki assured the President of his total commitment to leading the process of admission of Somalia into the Community as directed by the Summit.
The Federal Republic of Somalia made its application to join the East African Community in 2012. The Secretariat wrote to the Federal Republic of Somalia on 12th November 2018 proposing a working visit on 20th November 2018 by a team from the Secretariat to Somalia.
The purpose of the working visit was for the Secretariat to meet the relevant authorities from Somalia and agree on, among other things, the way forward toward holding a verification exercise.
The 22nd Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State observed that the Verification Exercise for the Admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the Community had not been undertaken and 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.
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