The admission of the South Sudan into the EAC was fast-tracked, the regional bloc’s Secretary General has said.
Addressing the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA), Amb Dr Richard Sezibera said South Sudan requested to join the EAC on a fast-track basis and that the capacity of the country went beyond just verification. “We worked together to strengthen their capacity in terms of revenue collection and customs administration among other areas”, the Secretary General said.
“The verification report is also detailed in what the country must do. There are key recommendations with timelines and the issues raised on the floor of the House have been addressed,” he added.
The admission of South Sudan to the EAC as the sixth member was received with enthusiasm from the EALA members, most of who said the country would contribute to the development of the region.
The Motion for the Resolution congratulating South Sudan upon admission into the EAC was moved by Hon Peter Mathuki and seconded by Hon Dora Byamukama.
The EALA members also urged South Sudan to expeditiously sign the Treaty of Accession and to deposit the said instrument with the Office of the Secretary General of the EAC.
At the last sitting of the Summit held in Arusha last week, the Summit of EAC Heads of State received the report of the Council of Ministers and admitted the country into the regional bloc.
Hon Mathuki said that in joining the Community, the bloc shall be expanded to provide potential growth for the region inclusive of over 160 Million citizens. It also is expected to promote business and general economic development as well as in stepping up towards the coveted African Unity.
South Sudan gained its independence on July 9, 2011 following a referendum that passed with 98.83% of the vote.