The East African Community continues to push for unification as it considers adding new member states to the bloc. Specifically, the EAC has begun the verification process for Somalia, one of the East African nations yet to become a member.
The EAC officially launched the verification mission to evaluate Somalia’s readiness to join the regional bloc on Wednesday.
As a result, the verification team, composed of experts from the EAC Partner States, touched down in Somalia yesterday, 25th of January 2023.
Ms Tiri Marie Rose would serve in the capacity of chairperson for the verification mission. She will work with the Somali Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abshir Omar and the Special Envoy of the President of Somalia to EAC Abdulsalam Omer.
The team’s major duty during the visit is to evaluate Somalia’s willingness to be in accordance with the criteria for admitting foreign countries as stated in the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.
According to the Secretary General of the EAC, Peter Mathuki, the technical team in Mogadishu is slated to work closely with Somali authorities. This is in order to ensure a swift verification process.
To this effect, a report is to be completed in time for presentation to the EAC Council of Ministers. The council will further appraise Somalia’s readiness to be a part of the EAC come the 23rd Summit of EAC Heads of State scheduled for the end of February.
“The verification team is set to make findings relating to the institutional frameworks in place, legal frameworks, policies, strategies, projects and programmes, areas of cooperation with other EAC partner states and expectations from membership,” Mathuki said.
“Somalia has the longest national coastline of over 3,000kms in Africa, linking Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, which the region will tap into to increase intra-regional trade,” he added.
Part of the verification team’s duty is to assess Somalia’s development strategies and plans.
This is in key areas of collaboration including infrastructure, energy, education and science, peace and security, and international cooperation.
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