- The flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo was raised at the Headquarters of the East African Community.
- Admitting DRC into EAC has been described as historic for EAC and the African continent at large
- DRC was admitted after concluding concluded the regional processes
Democratic Republic of Congo was formally admitted into the East African Community at the 19th Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State , held Virtually on Tuesday 29th March 2022.
At 12:50 pm EAT(11.50 am CAT) H.E Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo , President of the Democratic Republic of Congo made his inaugural address to the Summit of The East African Heads of State
And at 1:10 pm EAT ,the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo was raised at the Headquarters of the East African Community in Arusha signifying its admission.
The Chairperson of the Summit, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also Kenya’s President, informed the meeting that DRC had met all the set criteria for admission as provided for in the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.
“We have concluded the regional processes for admitting new members as provided for in ourrules of procedure,” said President Kenyatta Chairperson of the Summit.
President Kenyatta said that he was looking forward to the DRC signing the Treaty of Accession before 14th April, 2022
“Admitting DRC into EAC is historic for our Community and the African continent at large. It demonstrates the agility of the Community to expand beyond its socio-cultural boundaries to new people and trade-centered partnerships and collaboration, thus increasing trade and investment opportunities for the citizens,” added the Chair.
In his maiden remark as president of the new member state of the the EAC, DRC President Felix Tshishekedi termed it a historical day for DRC, stating that it paves the way for the harmonization of the country’s policies with those of the EAC.
President Tshishekedi said that DRC was looking forward to increased Intra-EAC trade and reduction of tension amongst the EAC Partner States.
“It is the desire of DRC to see the creation of a new organ in the EAC that is solely focused on mining, natural resources and energy that will be based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo,” he said.
President, Yoweri Museveni said that DRC joining the Community was an event of great significance, adding that he had personally been waiting for the last 60 years for DRC to reconnect with EAC.
“DRC has strong historical, social and cultural links with EAC Partner States. It is the onus of the EAC to now work on restoring peace and stability in Eastern DRC, a fete we can achieve by working together,” he added.
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda hailed the EAC Council of Ministers and the Summit for fast-tracking the entry of DRC into the EAC.
“I call upon EAC Organs and Institutions to accelerate the integration of DRC into the Community. Rwanda is committed to support the process,” he stated.
Tanzania’s President H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan expressed hope that DRC would ratify the Treaty of Accession to ensure full integration of her people into the bloc and reaffirmed Tanzania’s commitment to the integration process in East Africa.