Ministers in charge of East African Community (EAC) affairs have recommended for consideration by the EAC heads of state a report of the verification team on the application by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to join the regional bloc, the EAC said in a statement Tuesday.
On Feb. 27, 2021, the EAC heads of state summit directed the EAC Council of Ministers to expeditiously undertake verification on the DRC in accordance with the EAC criteria for admission of new members.
The statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha said the ministers further recommended that the EAC heads of state direct the commencement of negotiations with the DRC in accordance with the findings of the verification team.
The ministers made the decision during their 44th extraordinary meeting held Monday, said the statement.
According to the statement, the ministers considered the findings of the verification report as appropriate to consider the DRC to join the EAC which currently has six member states of Burundi, Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The report observed that DRC qualified to join the bloc as its institutional frameworks, legal frameworks, policies, projects and programs were in place, said the statement.
Peter Mathuki, the EAC secretary-general, said DRC’s population of about 90 million has the potential for contributing to expanding market and investment opportunities in the EAC regional bloc. Enditem