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East African heads of state to meet


East African heads of state to meet

East african heads of state
Photo: AFP

The 18th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State of the East African Community (EAC) will take place today.

The EAC is a transnational organization that aims to provide a common economic ground and promote free trade amongst its member states—Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The primary agenda item of today’s summit is the possible admittance of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the organization.

Despite the threat caused by ongoing rebel insurgency in the DRC, the attendees will likely approve the DRC’s membership due to the potential economic benefits that would follow accession. The DRC’s high population— which is over 90 million—could significantly enhance investment opportunities.

In addition to economic benefits, Kinshasa’s membership has a geo-strategic significance, as it will enable the EAC to stretch from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, further strengthening the organization in the medium-term. The EAC will directly access a port in the South Atlantic, which will in turn increase trade volume. The EAC will continue to make developments during the medium- to long-term that will increase the economic ties amongst the member-states. Some of the EAC’s progress could include the creation of a common monetary union.

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