By Kaweere Hanington
The regional ministers for the different Members States from East African Community (EAC) have passed a resolution to have the Democratic Republic of Congo join the Community.
The ministers made the resolution during a meeting of the council of ministers at the EAC secretariat in Arusha on Monday.
According to Uganda’s Minister of East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga, the ministers unanimously agreed to recommend DRC to the East African Community.
“Have just been part of the historical decision to recommend to the Summit of the Heads of State, the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the East African Community,” Kadaga tweeted.
The meeting of the council of Ministers is a precursor of the EAC Heads of State summit that happens every 30th of November which is also dubbed the EAC Day.
In a virtual meeting of the EAC Heads of State held early this year, the heads directed ministers to expedite the process to admit DRC into EAC.
DRC made an application to join the regional block in June 2019, seven (7) years after an application by Somalia.
However, Heads of State endorsed an application by DRC and ordered for the verification exercise to commence. On the other hand, Somalia’s verification is still pending as per the EAC Treaty.
Under the Treaty, new countries must adhere to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, and the rule of law.
This is besides the fact that the countries must be in reasonable proximity and have an inter-dependency on other states within the block.
The development now means that the different Heads of State will sit to endorse DRC’s membership at a summit that is yet to be determined.
According to a source in State House Uganda, the EAC Hybrid Summit is set for Monday 30th December, but it is not yet clear whether it will be virtual.