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Somalia reaffirms commitment to EAC integration

Somalia became a full member of the EAC in March 2024, after officially depositing her instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession with the EAC Secretary General in Arusha, Tanzania.

NAIROBI, June 18, 2024 Somalia has reaffirmed its commitment to integrating into the East African Community [EAC], demonstrating strong participation in a pivotal regional meeting currently underway in Nairobi, Kenya.

The one-week meeting, attended by EAC Partner State delegates, aims to develop a comprehensive roadmap for Somalia’s integration into the EAC, marking a significant step towards bolstering regional cooperation and economic integration.

Speaking during the opening ceremony, the EAC Secretary General, Veronica Mueni Nduva, highlighted the historical context and importance of the roadmap for Somalia’s integration into the bloc.

Somalia became a full member of the EAC in March 2024, after officially depositing her instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession with the EAC Secretary General in Arusha, Tanzania.

Nduva said that the roadmap will incorporate activities that should be jointly undertaken by Somalia and the EAC Organs and Institutions.

“The roadmap outlines essential activities categorised into national and community-oriented initiatives. These include aligning Somalia’s legal framework with established regional standards and ensuring robust participation in EAC programmes and activities,” she added.

The Secretary General said that the roadmap, once concluded, will serve as a strategic tool to synchronise programmes and mobilise resources effectively across the Community.

Somalia’s entry into the Community will see the country benefit from the EAC’s regional infrastructure projects such as roads, railways, and energy networks.

“These projects aim to improve connectivity, enhance transportation links, and boost regional trade, ultimately supporting Somalia’s economic development and integration,” said Nduva.

Somalia has the longest national coastline of over 3,000 kilometres, in Africa, linking Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, which the region can tap into to increase intra-regional trade and improve the lives of East Africans.

On his part, Dr. Abdusalam H. Omer, Somalia’s Presidential Special Envoy to the EAC, expressed optimism about the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in shaping a roadmap that will ensure the effective integration of Somalia into the bloc.

“The Federal Republic of Somalia remains steadfast in its commitment to realising the goals of the East African Community, fostering unity, prosperity, and peace across the region,” he said.

Omer reaffirmed Somalia’s readiness to play an active role as a contributing member of the Community.

“We are dedicated to working closely with all stakeholders towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all EAC Member States and their citizens,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Beny Gideon Mabor, the Under Secretary in the Ministry of East African Affairs, South Sudan commended Somalia’s enthusiasm to integrate into the Community.

“Somalia has assured us that it aims to play an active role in the growth and prosperity of the East African region and is committed to participating in initiatives that promote sustainable development, job creation and improved living standards for EAC Citizens,” he said.

Somalia is poised to elect nine  Members of Parliament to the East African Legislative Assembly [EALA] and appoint a Judge to the First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice [EACJ], further solidifying its commitment to the regional integration process.

Also present at the meeting were: the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Infrastructure, Productive, Social and Political Sectors,  Andrea Aguer Ariik Malueth; the Counsel to the Community, Dr. Anthony Kafumbe; the Deputy Registrar of the EACJ, Christine Mutimura Wekesa; and delegates from EAC Partner States.

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