The East African Community (EAC) has officially launched a verification mission to assess the Federal Republic of Somalia’s readiness to become a new member.
The verification team unveiled January 25, 2023, comprises of experts from the EAC Partner States who will camp in Somalia from 25th January to 3rd February, 2023.
Somalia made its application to join the EAC in 2012. Since its application, the matter has been pending due to various reasons.
“The verification team is set to make findings relating to the institutional frameworks in place; legal frameworks; policies, strategies, projects and programmes; areas of Cooperation with other EAC Partner States and expectations from membership,” said EAC Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki.
Mathuki said that the team will assess Somalia’s development strategies and plans in key areas of collaboration including infrastructure, energy, education and science, peace and security, and international cooperation.
“Somalia has the longest national coastline of over 3,000 kms in Africa, linking Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, which the region will tap into to increase intra-regional trade,” he said.
The EAC verification mission will be led by Tiri Marie Rose from the Republic of Burundi.
The team will also review the status of Somalia in international law and establish the country’s readiness to join the EAC Customs Union, Common Market Protocol, Monetary Union and ongoing political confederation constitutional framework.
Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abshir Omar expressed enthusiasm for the team set to assess Somalia’s readiness to join the bloc, saying that Somalia will benefit greatly because of the free movement of people from Somalia and other countries without a visa, if they are fully in the EAC.
“Somalis are already present in the East African region. The Somalis started integrating with their brothers and sisters of the region way before the request of formalizing the decision of joining the EAC,” he said.
The report from this committee will be presentedto the EAC Council of Ministers who will table it for consideration by the 23rd Summit of EAC Heads of State scheduled for the end of February 2023.