November 27, 2021

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Ministers discuss admission of Congo into EAC

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The 41st Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers is currently underway via hybrid in Arusha Tanzania.

The Council of Ministers is considering the Report of the Verification Mission on the application of the DRC to join EAC.

It is also considering the Report of the Select Committee on Recruitment et al.

“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,” said HE Rebecca Kadaga, Uganda’s 1st deputy prime minister and minister for East African Community Affairs.

There are high chances that the leaders of the East African Community (EAC) will approve the application by DR Congo to join the regional bloc during the Heads of State Summit scheduled to convene before this year ends, reported The New Times.

According to the report, Kinshasa presented a strong case for admission into the bloc.

The 21st ordinary meeting of the Summit of the EAC Heads of State, held virtually on February 27 considered the application by DR Congo to join the Community and directed the Council of Ministers to expeditiously undertake a verification mission in accordance with the EAC procedure for admission of new members into the bloc and report to the next Summit.

By September, a report by a regional verification mission on the DR Congo’s eligibility to join the bloc was ready to be looked at by the Council of Ministers and Manasseh Nshuti, Rwanda’s Minister of State for EAC Affairs, at the time indicated that it was positive.

The East African Business Council (EABC) also urged EAC Heads of State to direct relevant organs to fast-track the admission of the DR Congo into the bloc.

Nshuti told The New Times that regional ministers in Charge of EAC Affairs are set to meet from November 26 to 27 in preparation for the Summit and that the “Council will confirm the date after agreeing on substantive issues to be presented to Heads of State.”

Asked specifically about DR Congo’s admission chances, he said: “As regards the entry of DR Congo, I am almost sure it [Summit] will approve admission.”

Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi on June 8, 2019, wrote to the then EAC Chairman, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, expressing his country’s wish to be a member of the regional bloc now comprising Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania.

Ordinarily, the EAC Summit is held on November 30, which is EAC Day.

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