The East African Community leadership is rotational, and president Salva Kiir is expected to serve for a one-year tenure.
South Sudan’s leadership role is assumed seven years after world’s youngest country’s accession to the bloc in September 2016.
“The Republic of South Sudan has assumed Chairmanship of the East African Community. H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan is the new Chairperson of the East African Community,” the EAC said in a statement.
President Kiir’s leadership arrives at a critical juncture for the EAC, confronting challenges like climate change, food insecurity, and economic disparities.
He has committed to prioritizing these issues, emphasizing the imperative of collective action and regional integration to address these pressing concerns.
Somalia, which had applied for membership, was admitted becoming the bloc’s eighth member state.
Somalia’s accession is anticipated to bolster regional trade, investments, and fortify the bloc’s economic and political influence.
“The EAC Summit of Heads of State admits the Federal Republic of Somalia as the 8th Member of the EAC in accordance with Article 3 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC,” announced the bloc in a separate statement.
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia.
Its primary objectives revolve around promoting economic cooperation, integration, political stability, and social prosperity among member states.
Established in 1999 with the signing of the East African Cooperation Treaty, the EAC has made significant strides, establishing a Customs Union in 2005, a Common Market in 2010, and is working toward a Monetary Union and a Political Federation.
The history of the East African Community spans several iterations. The initial establishment in 1967 comprised Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda but dissolved in 1977 due to political and economic differences.
In 1993, the East African Cooperation was formed with similar member states, making strides in economic cooperation.
The regional body was re-established in 1999 as East African Community, welcoming Rwanda in 2006, Burundi in 2011, South Sudan in 2016, the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2022, and now Somalia as its eighth member.