Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-Somali government officials express high hopes that Somalia’s entry into the East African Community will officially be approved during the 23rd EAC leaders’ summit, which will be held on Friday in Arusha, Tanzania.

If approved, Somalia will officially become the 8th member of the EAC bloc. Somalia started the process of joining the EAC community in 2012, making it 11th years since the beginning of negotiations.

This will be the final step in determining Somalia’s fate in joining the bloc, following several negotiations and verification processes chaired by Mrs. Tiri Marie Rose from the Republic of Burundi. Dr. Abdisalam Omar, Special Envoy of Somalia, served as the Lead Negotiator for Somalia throughout these processes.

This entry is expected to play a vital role in Somalia’s state-building efforts, economic growth, trade partnerships, infrastructural development, regional peace, and security.

Mohamed Dubo, the Director of Somalia Investment Promotion Office (SomInvest), stated that Somalia’s entry into the East African Community will promote intergovernmental relations and maritime access.

“Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa are catalyzing continental growth. The EAC is a potential REC comprising seven countries in the Great Lakes region of East Africa,” Director Dubo said.

He added, “Somalia’s membership offers greater territoriality and maritime access of the block to global trade and resources.”

In August of this year, a nine-day negotiation between Somalia and experts from the seven EAC Partner States, the EAC Secretariat, East African Legislative Assembly, and East African Court of Justice was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

EAC Secretary General Hon (Dr.) Peter Mathuki said that joining the community would enable Somalia to benefit from the EAC’s regional infrastructure projects, such as roads, railways, and energy networks.

“These projects aim to improve connectivity, enhance transportation links, and boost regional trade, ultimately supporting Somalia’s economic development and integration,” said Dr. Mathuki.

He pointed out that Somalia’s coastline would enhance intra-regional trade and support Somalia’s economic growth.

“Somalia has the longest national coastline of over 3000km in Africa, linking Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, which the region can tap into to increase intra-regional trade and improve the lives of East Africans,” he added.

This entry will also give Somalia access to representation at the regional level in the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).

Despite challenges such as the threat posed by insecurity, Somalia is currently demonstrating a growing regional presence by actively engaging in regional affairs and pursuing membership in regional blocs.

In July, the Federal Government of Somalia officially joined the Great Green Wall Initiative with a launching event held in Mogadishu.

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