The East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers has recommended the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the East African Community.
The decision follows DRC’s request to join the block that was followed by the EAC technical expert’s successful verification of the readiness of DRC to join the member states of the East African Community.
The community is composed of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.
According to the EAC Treaty, the criteria for admission of new members into the community include acceptance of the Community, observance of human rights and social justice, potential contribution to the strengthening of integration within East Africa, democracy and the rule of law, and adherence to universally acceptable principles of good governance, among others.
The Council of Ministers of the EAC has recommended to the Heads of States to admit the DRC to EAC.
According to the 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga, the 44th Extra-ordinary meeting of the EAC Council decided to admit DRC into the community.
“I have just been part of the historical decision to recommend to the Summit of the Heads of State, the admission of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the East African Community,” Kadaga posted on her social media.
According to reports, if the summit of the Heads of States supports the recommendation of the council of Ministers, DRC could join the block in early 2022.
According to DRC President Felix Tshisekedi, for DRC to join EAC would ease trade since DRC shares borders with four of the six member states.
Although the DRC has an abundance of natural wealth including Minerals like gold, diamond, cobalt, the country has been characterized by the civil war which has left hundreds of civilians killed.
The member states of the East African Community including Uganda have hosted thousands of refugees from the DRC who are fleeing the war.