EAST AFRICA | Somalia to Become 8th Member of East African Community (EAC) Bloc

Somalia submitted an application to become a member of the East African Community (EAC) in 2012 but a verification mission was only initiated 11 years later by the EAC on January 25, 2023, to evaluate Somalia's preparedness for membership.

Somalia is almost ready to become the 8th member of the East African Community (EAC) with negotiations set to admit the country set to kick off, the bloc’s Secretary General, Dr. Peter Mathuki, has said.


“The EAC conducted a verification mission to assess the readiness of Somalia to join the bloc and the report was deliberated on and shared with all partner states. Negotiations for admitting it will begin on the 22nd of this month [ August 2023] to the 5th of September [2023],” said Dr Mathuki.


Somalia submitted an application to become a member of the East African Community (EAC) in 2012 but a verification mission was only initiated 11 years later by the EAC on January 25, 2023, to evaluate Somalia’s preparedness for membership.

Nonetheless, the verification team’s findings were endorsed by the Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC) in Bujumbura on June 6 2023. This paved the way for the Council of Ministers and the EAC Secretariat to initiate negotiations with Mogadishu regarding Somalia’s membership.

Dr. Abdusalam Omer, the former Foreign Affairs Minister of Somalia and the current Presidential Special Envoy to the East African Community, said that the negotiations will encompass all the pillars of integration within the EAC framework. This will involve comparing and contrasting these elements with Somalia’s rules and laws.


“This will also include setting the time frame for Somalia to implement and harmonise the laws with that of the region,” said Dr Abdusalam.

“The way forward for Africa and East Africa is the regional integration and opening up markets as this will help lower the cost of products. Integration is the nemesis of the new type of terrorism, and with regional integration and cooperation, terrorism will be defeated.

There is a lot Somalia hopes to gain but also the region has a lot to gain from Somalia because of its connectivity to Middle East as well as the diaspora in Europe, America and everywhere.”


The community has been expanding recently with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the latest member to join the East African Community, when it officially joined in March 2022 growing the community of countries to the East of Africa to seven.


Here is the list of the current EAC member nations:



  • Kenya
  • Uganda
  • Tanzania
  • Rwanda
  • Burundi
  • South Sudan
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)




The negotiation report prepared by the EAC Secretariat will be presented to the Council of Ministers for review. Subsequently, the Council of Ministers will present the report to the Heads of State Summit, which is expected to take place later in 2023.

The Summit is anticipated to endorse the report and issue a political declaration that will signify the inclusion of Somalia as the 8th member state of the East African Community.

In January 2023, the EAC agreed to set up a regional bank, part of a roadmap to having a single currency in the next 4 years. The feasibility of a regional CBDC is also being explored.



About the EAC


The EAC comprises 7 Partner States:

All Partner States prescribe to the principles and values outlined in the Treaty for Establishment of the East African Community.

Leaders of the Partner States – typically Heads of State or Government – give general directions and impetus to the development and achievement of community objectives through an apex EAC organ known as The Summit.

Every year, The Summit, which is a meeting of Heads of State or Government of EAC Partner States, is held to set key priorities at the highest, regional political level and discuss business submitted to it by the Council of Ministers.

Admission to the Community is guided by criteria spelt out in Article 3 of the EAC Treaty.




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