The 23rd Ordinary Summit of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State, held on November 24, 2023, in Arusha, Tanzania, concluded with the decision to admit the Federal Republic of Somalia as a full member.
This step in regional integration was the focus of discussions among heads of state from Burundi, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Kenya, and representatives from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The summit marked a crucial moment as leaders deliberated on various regional matters. The Council of Ministers presented a progress report covering the period from 1st July 2022 to 24th November 2023.
Commending the Council for its efforts in implementing community programs and projects, the summit directed the Council to address outstanding issues and report progress at the next ordinary summit.
The summit approved the admission of the Federal Republic of Somalia into the EAC as a full member.
The chairperson was designated to negotiate and sign the Treaty of Accession within six months.
The Council received instructions to develop a roadmap for Somalia’s integration into the community, with progress to be reported at the next summit.
Among other considerations, the summit assessed the progress report on the EAC political confederation.
Experts were commended for their professionalism, and Uganda and Kenya received acknowledgment for providing extra-budgetary support.
The summit urged specific states to conclude the consultation process by May 30, 2024, and directed partner states to submit the names of constitutional experts by December 31, 2023.
Addressing peace and security in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the summit noted that the mandate of the EAC Regional Force would not extend beyond December 8, 2023.
The Chief of Defense Forces (CDFS) of the EAC and Southern African Development Community (SADC) were directed to meet and submit recommendations on the way forward before the specified date.
Concluding the summit, leaders discussed the sustainable financing of the EAC. An agreement was reached on a 65% equal contribution and 35% assessed contributions financing formula.
The summit directed the Council of Ministers to pursue spending rationalization measures, institutional strengthening, and strict sanctions for defaulting partner states, with a report expected at the 24th ordinary meeting of the summit.