The 43rd ordinary meeting of the East African Community (EAC) Council of Ministers currently underway in Burundi will review a report of the verification mission on the admission of Somalia into the regional bloc.
A statement issued on Monday by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha said the verification mission compiled its report after it visited Somalia from Jan. 25 to Feb. 3.
The admission of Somalia into the EAC will bring the total number of the bloc’s member states to eight. The EAC now groups Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda.
On Jan. 13, EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki described Somalia’s long Indian Ocean Red Sea route that links Africa to the Arabian Peninsula as a vibrant economic zone, adding that it will bring immense benefits to the EAC.
The statement said the five-day meeting that started on Feb. 19 through Feb. 23 will also review reports on various issues, including political matters, customs and trade, finance and administration matters, as well as reports of other EAC organs, including the East African Legislative Assembly and the East African Court of Justice.
The EAC Council of Ministers is the policy-making organ of the regional bloc, consisting of ministers responsible for EAC affairs and/or regional cooperation of each member state, said the statement.
Among its functions, the council promotes, monitors and keeps under constant review the implementation of the programs of the EAC and ensures the proper functioning of the regional bloc, according to the statement.