The Democratic Republic of Congo has officially joined the East African Community (EAC) as its seventh member in a bid to boost its trade, social cohesion and security.
EAC heads of state approved the admission of DR Congo into the bloc at a summit meeting held virtually on Tuesday.
Bordering five member states of the organization – Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan – the DRC was assessed from June 25 to July 5, 2021 on its level of compliance with the organization.
Similarly, the DRC and Tanzania control almost equally almost all of Lake Tanganyika.
As early as early June 2019, Kinshasa had expressed its willingness to join the organization in a letter to Paul Kagame, then-current chair of the EAC Heads of State Summit.
Among the advantages for the DRC are the integration of the east of the country into the common telecommunications space, which will reduce costs with neighboring countries; several administrative facilities and a reduction in charges for the commercial and economic activities of Congolese citizens, as well as facilitating their mobility in the eastern countries.
Several EAC countries are among the DRC’s main African trading partners.
The DRC is also expected to benefit from reduced tariffs for goods received at the ports of Mombassa (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
In addition, in February, the EAC Heads of State Summit approved the addition of French as an official language of the community, alongside English and Swahili.
Kinshasa could also benefit from the application of the EAC’s Collective Security Pact, with the assistance of countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, in the fight against several rebels in the central African country.