Too much, too fast? Somalia joins the East African Community Featured

Despite the benefits, Somalia’s membership raises critical questions about the bloc’s ability to ensure regional stability.Somalia is poised to become the East African Community’s (EAC) eighth member state at the economic bloc’s December summit. This follows negotiations in August between the EAC and Somalia, hosted by the Kenyan government.

With the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) joining in March last year, both memberships represent the EAC’s expansion across East Africa and the Great Lakes Region.

The EAC also envisages Ethiopia and Djibouti becoming members. This potential growth could increase the bloc’s population to over 800 million – an immense boost to the EAC’s internal market.

Expansion would also increase the EAC’s competitiveness regarding foreign direct investments by offering an attractive trade area. Once Somalia’s security and governance challenges are addressed, the country’s inclusion could add immense economic benefits to the region.

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