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EAC Council of Ministers gives green light to the DRC to join the Community

The EAC Council of Ministers, during their 44th Extra-Ordinary Meeting held on November 22, 2021 in Arusha, Tanzania, formally decided to admit the Democratic Republic of Congo to the East Africa Community.

The decision comes after the Summit of EAC Heads of State, at the 21st Ordinary Meeting held on 27th February 2021, directed the EAC Council of Ministers to expeditiously undertake a verification exercise in accordance with the EAC Criteria for Admission of Foreign States to the Community.

According to article 3.2 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC, in order to become a member of the EAC, an assessment of the potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within the East African region and on the compatibility of the social and economic policies with those of the Community is required. A verification exercise of such conditions was undertaken by an EAC verification team from June 26 to July 5, 2021, which concluded that DRC meets all the criteria for EAC accession, as it shares with the Community strong social, economic, historical, cultural and geographical links.

As indicated in a recent article published on the Horn International Institute for Strategic Studies, once admitted, the DRC, being a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will act as a bridge for increased coordination between the two regional organizations at a time when integration between RECs in Africa is much needed, considering the recently operationalized African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and its objective to create a single market for goods and services in Africa.



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