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Somalia joins East African Community as 8th Partner State

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Somalia has finally joined the East African Community as the bloc’s 8th Partner State after officially depositing her instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession with the EAC Secretary General at a ceremony held at the EAC Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

Somalia’s Minister of Commerce and Industry, Jibril Abdirashid Haji Abdi, presented the Horn of Africa nation’s instrument of ratification to the EAC Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki, completing the admission process in line with EAC Procedure for Admission of new members.

In line with the EAC Admission Procedure for new members, Dr. Mathuki subsequently pronounced the Federal Republic of Somalia (FRS) as a new member of the Community after receiving the instrument of ratification from Abdi.

Dr. Mathuki further said Somalia now has the green light to contribute in the development of a roadmap for her integration into the EAC.

“The roadmap will detail how the Federal Republic of Somalia will implement various EAC Commitments such as the Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and Political Federation,” said Dr. Mathuki.

Dr. Mathuki said that joining the Community would enable Somalia to 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 the Secretary General.

“Somalia boasts the longest national coastline of over 3,000kms in Africa, linking Africa to the Arab Peninsula, which the region can tap into to exploit Somalia’s blue economic resources and increase intra-regional trade and improve the lives of East Africans,” added Dr. Mathuki.

Speaking at the event, Somalia’s head of delegation, Haji Abdi, said that his country was eager to contribute to the EAC integration by leveraging on her strategic location and abundant national resources for the benefit of the entire region.

“We recognise the importance of adding value to the Community, enhancing collaboration with our neighbours and promoting regional economic and social development through increased trade, bilateral agreements and joint programmes and projects,” Abdi said.

The Minister disclosed that Somalia aims to play an active role in the growth and prosperity of the East African region, adding that Somalia was committed to participating in initiatives that promote sustainable development, job creation and improved living standards for EAC Citizens.

 “Somalia is ready to play its role as a contributing member of the Community, working hand in hand with each of you so that we have a brighter and more prosperous future for all EAC member states and their citizens,” Abdi said.

The Secretary General will subsequently inform Somalia in writing that she has deposited the Instrument of Ratification of the Treaty of Accession and is now a full member of the Community (Article 153(1) of the EAC Treaty).

The Secretary General will also deposit the Treaty of Accession with the African Union and the United Nations expressing the new members commitment to be bound by the Treaty [Article 153(2) of the Treaty].  

Outlining the next steps, the Counsel to the Community, Dr. Anthony Kafumbe, said that Somalia has 12 months since the signing of the Treaty of Accession on December 15, 2023 to domesticate the Treaty of Accession to the EAC to give the Treaty the force of law in the country.

Dr. Kafumbe further said that Somalia was now free to participate in all activities and programmes of the EAC now that the country is a full member of the bloc.

The CTC further said that Somalia is required to designate a Ministry to coordinate EAC matters as required by the Treaty.

Somalia is also expected to elect nine (9) Members of Parliament to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and appoint a Judge to sit in the First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).

Also present at the ceremony were: Somalia’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Daud Aweis Jama; Dr. Abdusalam Hadliyer Omar, the President’s Envoy to EAC; and H.E. Zahra Ali Hassan, Somalia’s Ambassador to the United Republic of Tanzania.

Also present were: Justice Charles Oyo Nyawelo, the Deputy Principal Judge and Judge of the First Instance Division of the EACJ, representing the EACJ Judge President; Ms. Annette Ssemuwemba, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Customs, Trade and Monetary Affairs; Ms. Lilian Mukoronia, the Registrar of the EAC Competition Authority; Ms. Christine Wekesa-Mutimura, Deputy Registrar-EACJ; and Mr. Charles Kadonya, Principal Clerk Assistant at EALA who represented the EALA Speaker.  

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