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DRC officially joins EAC after clearing paperwork

Other EAC members are Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan

In Summary

•DRC’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’ Apala, said that the entry of his country into the EAC was an economic, cultural, geographical, and historical obligation.

•EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki hailed the government and people of the DRC for speedily concluding the internal and constitutional processes to ratify the Treaty of Accession and depositing the Instrument of Ratification well ahead of schedule.

A security official raises DRC's flag at at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania
A security official raises DRC's flag at at the EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania
Image: HANDOUT

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is formally the 7th member of the East African Community after depositing the instrument of ratification with the EAC secretariat.

DRC’s Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’ Apala, said that the entry of his country into the EAC was an economic, cultural, geographical, and historical obligation.

He said the admission is a fulfillment of the vision of the founding fathers of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah, and Patrice Lumumba who wanted a strong, united and prosperous continent with free trade and movement. 

He said that the region faces similar challenges in terms of infrastructure development, insecurity, poverty, underdevelopment, diseases, and ignorance that can best be addressed collectively.

The Vice Prime Minister described the EAC as the most integrated bloc in Africa adding that the Summit of Heads of State also had the political will to achieve the objectives outlined in the treaty.

Apala said that the entry of his country into the EAC had strengthened the bloc’s economic, political, socio-cultural, financial and military muscle.

EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki hailed DRC for speedily concluding the internal and constitutional processes to ratify the Treaty of Accession and depositing the Instrument of Ratification well ahead of the schedule.

“The Summit had envisaged that this would be done by  September, 29,” said Mathuki.

He said that DRC now joins the community and the cooperation by all the Partner States in all the sectors, programs and activities that promote a Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union, and Political Federation.