Somalia Joins East African Community to Boost Economy After Years of War

In a significant move to revive its economy after decades of conflict, Somalia has become the newest member of the East African Community (EAC).

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud expressed optimism, calling this step a “beacon of hope” for Somalia and an opportunity for a future of prosperity.

The decision to admit Somalia into the regional trade bloc was reached during a meeting of member state leaders in Arusha, Tanzania.

Despite facing hesitations from some member states due to concerns about security, Somalia’s integration into the EAC marks a crucial milestone for the nation in the Horn of Africa.

The road to joining the EAC was not without challenges. Months of lobbying were met with skepticism, partly due to Somalia’s ranking as the most corrupt country by Transparency International.

However, President Hassan reassured the EAC of his country’s commitment to addressing these issues, emphasizing Somalia’s strategic geographic position with a 3,000km coastline connecting the region to the Arabian Peninsula.

The move has sparked mixed reactions, with some applauding the long-overdue admission, anticipating significant regional benefits. Others caution that more time should have been taken, expressing concerns that the EAC might inherit some of Somalia’s challenges.

The EAC, which already includes Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, aims to expand its market further by integrating all countries in the Horn of Africa. Earlier indications suggest that Djibouti and Ethiopia may also join the bloc in the future.(Source : BBC)

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