DRC’s admission to the community was approved at the 19th Extraordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State conducted virtually, and will add the country’s more than 90 million market population to the trading bloc.
Speaking from State House Nairobi in Kenya’s capital, President Uhuru Kenyatta, also the current chair of the bloc, said admission of the DRC to the East African Community marks a momentous occasion in the region’s integration.
This was emphasized by his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, who said Rwanda supports the admission of the DRC into the region and stands ready to play its part in supporting the integration of the DRC into the EAC.
DRC lawmakers are expected to ratify EAC laws and regulations in order to join Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Uganda in the regional trading bloc.
“Upon ascension to the treaty establishing the EAC and depositing of the instrument of acceptance with the Secretary General, DRC will join EAC’s cooperation in all sectors, programs and activities that promote the pillars of EAC integration,” EAC secretary general Peter Mathuki said.
Through a report released by the EAC secretariat on Sunday, Mathuki noted DRC joining the community will open the corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, as well as North to South, hence expanding the economic potential of the region.