Somalia reaffirms bid to join East African Community bloc


Arusha (Somalilandsun)- Somalia President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud landed in Arusha on Thursday for a high-level visit to the East African Community’s 22nd ordinary summit.

The president will join the Heads of States of the Eastern African Community Countries for the High-level Retreat on Common Market to reaffirm Somalia’s membership bid to the EAC bloc.

A statement released by Villa Somalia said Sheikh Mohamud would be seeking support to join the regional bloc.

“President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is leaving tomorrow (Thursday) for Arusha in Tanzania to seek support for Somalia to join the East African Community (EAC), which if possible will benefit the Somali people,” says Villa Somalia spokesperson.

The EAC, originally established as a 3-Member bloc of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in November 1999, has since expanded its membership to seven countries the latest addition being the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda and Burundi joined the bloc in 2007 while South Sudan became a member in 2016.

Somalia’s accession to the EAC could take up to two years with a Summit of the bloc’s Heads of State set to consider admission upon satisfying all the conditions under Articles 3 and 4 of the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.

Requirements for joining the bloc include a potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within the East African region; geographical proximity to and inter-dependence between it and the Partner States; establishment and maintenance of a market-driven economy; and social and economic policies being compatible with those of the Community.

President Mohamud’s bid to join the EAC comes just a week after the newly-elected leader made an official visit to Kenya.