Plans underway to approve DR Congo’s admission to EAC

EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki presents the East African Community flag to president Felix Tshikedi to mark the unveiling of the mission of DR Congo to join EAC [Image: courtesy]
DR Congo—The East African Community is an intergovernmental organization composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes region in Eastern Africa. Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The Democratic Republic of Congo though being geographically more located in East Africa, the country has not been part of the bloc.

However, sources reveal there are high chances that the leaders of the East African Community (EAC) will approve the application by DR Congo to join the regional bloc during the Heads of State Summit scheduled to convene before this year ends.

According to the sources Kinshasa presented a strong case for admission into the bloc.

The 21st ordinary meeting g of the summit of the EAC Heads of State, held virtually on February 27 considered the application by DR Congo to join the community and directed the council of ministers to expeditiously undertake a verification mission in accordance with the EAC procedure for admission of new members into the block and report to the next summit.

By September a report by regional verification mission on DR Congo’s eligibility to join the bloc was ready to be looked at by the council of ministers and Manasseh Nshuti, Rwanda’s Minister of State for EAC Affairs, at the time indicated that it was positive.

The East African Business Council (EABC) also urged EAC Heads of state to direct relevant organs to fast track the admission of DR Congo into the block.

It has been gathered that on Tuesday 9th November, regional ministers in charge of EAC Affairs are set to meet from November 26 to 27 in preparation for the summit and that ‘Council will confirm the date after agreeing on substantive issues to be presented to Heads of State.”

Besides the exact dates of the summit, an avenue will also be confirmed in due course.

On June 8th, 2019, Congolese President Felix Thisekedi wrote to the then EAC chairman, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, expressing his country’s interest to join the EAC bloc.