Somalia close to formalise EAC membership

Monday February 12 2024

Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (L) shakes hands with his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir, who chairs the East African Community, during the 23rd ordinary summit the heads of state held in Arusha, Tanzania on Novermber 24, 2023. PHOTO | COURTESY


Somalia has moved a step closer to ratifying its admission to the East African Community (EAC), paving the way for local legislative authorities to formalise laws that will make it enjoy the benefits of membership.

The Lower House of the bicameral parliament, officially known as Golaha Shacabka (Peoples’ Hall), endorsed the treaty of the EAC in a session held on Saturday.

The second chair of the chamber, Abdullahi Omar Abshirow, announced that out of 150 members of Parliament present, 148 voted in favour, one objected while one abstained.

The Upper House is now expected to rubberstamp the endorsement, which will then be published in the official government gazette.

Somalia was admitted to the regional bloc in December, making it the eighth member state. The others are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Read: Somalia signs formal entry into EAC


Abdullahi Bidhan, a member of the parliamentary sub-committee for foreign relations said “This endorsement of Somalia joining the EAC is historic, benefitting our people and the rest of the community in many ways.”

“It will stimulate economic growth,” he added.

Somalia has until June to deposit the ratified instruments of the Treaty of accession at the EAC headquarters to become an official full-fledged member.