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EAST AFRICA | Somalia formally joins the ever-growing East African Community Bloc as its eighth member

Somalia was formally welcomed on November 24, 2023, making it the eighth member of the East African Community (EAC).

Following nearly a year of fruitful negotiations, Somalia’s entry to the bloc was formally agreed by the East African Community leaders during the 23rd ordinary summit of heads of state held in Arusha, Tanzania.

After more than five hours of meetings behind closed doors, Somalia’s admission was declared by President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye, according to local reports.

Somalia applied to join the East African Community (EAC) in 2012, but it wasn’t until January 25, 2023, 11 years later that the EAC launched a verification mission to assess Somalia’s readiness for membership.

On June 6, 2023, in Bujumbura, the Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC) approved the verification team’s conclusions. This made it possible for the EAC Secretariat and the Council of Ministers to start talks with Mogadishu over Somalia’s membership.

With the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the seventh member, entering the East African Community in March 2022, the community has been growing rapidly.

The current member states of the EAC now include:

South Sudan
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

The eight countries are currently seeking to expand their membership in the Horn of Africa, with the door reportedly open for the possible admittance of its neighbors, Djibouti and Eritrea.

This action is in line with the EAC’s expansion strategy, which seeks to incorporate Ethiopia and maybe Sudan as well as the entire Horn of Africa. The EAC decided to establish a regional bank in January 2023 as part of a plan to adopt a single currency within the next four years.

Additionally, the viability of a regional CBDC is being investigated.

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