The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has finally joined East African Community (EAC) after the signing of the treaty of accession to the community.
Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta who is the current chair of the summit of the EAC head of state signed the accession of the DRC in Nairobi on 8th April, 2022.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the signing of the Treaty of accession marks the formal entry of DRC into the community after satisfying all the conditions under Articles 3 and 4 of the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.
“We welcome DRC to the Customs Union and Common Market which are the signature pillars of our Community and foundation upon which our social, stand.”
DRC now has up 29th September 2022 to undertake internal and constitution process to ratify the Treaty and deposit the instruments of ratification with the Secretary General.
Speaking at the event, the DRC President Felix Tshisekedi said that the signing of the Treaty had concretized the commitments made by DRC during her admission into the community by the Summit of EAC Heads of State during their 19th Extra-Ordinary meeting held on 29th March, 2022, adding that the move would lead to the consolidation of economic benefits to the peoples of DRC and EAC.
President Tshisekedi reiterated his earlier call to the Summit for the establishment of new EAC institution that would ensure the sustainable exploitation of the region’s vast natural resources in adding to mitigating the effects of climate change.
“DRC’S membership to the community would facilitate the optimizing of agro-economic benefits of bloc, and the region’s demographic and geostrategic positions offer several comparative advantages,” said the DRC president.
He reaffirmed his country’s readiness to play its role in the Community to make it stronger and more prosperous.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the immediate removal of non-tariff barriers on the movement of capital, goods, services and people, which will lead to an increase in intra-EAC trade in time would be followed by the signing of the Treaty of Accession even as he emphasized the role of the private sector in regional integration.
Kenya’s president disclosed that Ministers of EAC Affairs and technical experts would move with speed to integrate DRC into Organs of the community such as the East African Court of Justice, East African Legislative Assembly and Sectoral Committees on essential matters including trade, industry, finance, agriculture, infrastructure, science and technology, defense, security, education and international cooperative, among other areas.
“Towards this end, all Partner states will welcome and establish immediate linkages between our business associations and those of the DRC so as to further develop our trade relations.”
President Kenyatta urged the DRC to honor attendant commitments and conclude the processes as per its constitution and deposit the instruments of ratification within the stipulated period of six months.
“Our ability to be a giant not only in East African but the globe, rests in our hands,” said President Kenyatta adding that the region also has the advantage of common languages and cultures with Kiswahili as its lingua franca.