The verification team comprising of experts from the East African Community (EAC) partner states has disclosed that Somalia will be part of the community by late February 2023.
Tiri Marie Rose, the head of EAC verification mission to Somalia and other experts made this revelation after a successful verification exercise which intended to assess Somalia’s readiness to join the regional bloc.
“Our heads of states will discuss this matter in the forthcoming summit which is slated for 25th February 2023.We hope something will come out to make Somalia a bold member of the East African Community,” Marie Rose said.
Somalis officials believe the country’s joining of the bloc is a gateway to end the instabilities in the country as members of the bloc will focus on peacekeeping and other things in the region.
“Membership of the EAC will result into extensive collaboration in many areas including counter terrorism, intelligence sharing, countering organised crime and this foster growing peace and stability in the region,” Dr. Abdusalam Omar special presidential envoy on EAC said yesterday.
According to EAC secretary general Dr. Peter Mathuki, the verification team interrogated a lot issues which include institutional framework in place, legal frameworks, policies, strategies, projects and programmes, areas of cooperation with other EAC partner states and expectations from the membership.
Others include Somalia’s development strategies and plans in key areas of collaboration including infrastructure, energy, education and science, peace and security, and international cooperation.
The Criteria for the admission of new countries into the Community includes; acceptance of the Community as set out in the Treaty, adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, democracy, the rule of law, observance of human rights and social justice, potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within the East African region, and geographical proximity to and inter-dependence between it (the foreign country) and the EAC Partner States.
Somalia applied to join the bloc in 2012 but the process was slowed until recently when the heads of states tasked the council of ministers to verify the country’s readiness to join the East African Community.