The East African Community (EAC) on Wednesday officially launched the verification mission to assess the Federal Republic of Somalia’s readiness to join the regional bloc.
The verification team of experts from the EAC Partner States will be in Somalia from January 25 to February 3, 2023.
The team will, among other roles, establish the country’s level of conformity with the criteria for admitting foreign countries as provided in the Treaty for the establishment of the EAC.
Speaking during the official launch, EAC Secretary-General Peter Mathuki disclosed that the technical team in Mogadishu will engage Somalia to ensure that the verification is finalised and a report completed in time in readiness for presentation to the EAC Council of Ministers who will table it for consideration by 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,” he said.
Assess development strategies
The team will assess Somalia’s development strategies and plans in key areas of collaboration including infrastructure, energy, education and science, peace and security, and international cooperation.
“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,” said Dr Mathuki.
The team will also review the status of Somalia in international law and establish the country’s readiness to join the EAC Customs Union, Common Market Protocol, Monetary Union and ongoing political confederation constitutional framework.
The verification mission will be chaired by Ms Tiri Marie Rose and will work with Somalia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abshir Omar and the Special Envoy of the President of Somalia to EAC Abdulsalam Omer.