East African bloc meets in Kenya on Somalia’s integration

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Delegates from the East African Community (EAC) on Monday began a week-long meeting in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to develop a comprehensive roadmap for Somalia’s integration into the East African bloc.

EAC Secretary General Veronica Mueni Nduva, who officially opened the meeting, highlighted the historical context and importance of the roadmap for Somalia’s integration into the bloc. Nduva said Somalia became a full member of the EAC in March after officially depositing its instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession with the EAC secretary general in Arusha, Tanzania.

“Today’s meeting signifies a critical milestone in this journey, aligning Somalia’s national processes with regional frameworks to ensure comprehensive integration,” she said, according to a statement issued by the EAC Secretariat.

Somalia’s entry into the EAC will enable the country to benefit from the EAC’s regional infrastructure projects, such as roads, railways and energy networks. Nduva said the roadmap will incorporate activities to be jointly undertaken by Somalia and the EAC organs and institutions.

She added that the roadmap, once concluded, will serve as a strategic tool to synchronize programs and mobilize resources effectively across the regional bloc.

“These projects aim to improve connectivity, enhance transportation links, and boost regional trade, ultimately supporting Somalia’s economic development and integration,” Nduva said.

Abdusalam H. Omer, Somalia’s presidential special envoy, expressed optimism about the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in shaping a roadmap that will ensure the effective integration of Somalia into the bloc.

“Somalia remains steadfast in its commitment to realizing the goals of the East African Community, fostering unity, prosperity and peace across the region,” he said.

Somalia is poised to elect nine lawmakers to the East African Legislative Assembly and appoint a judge to the First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice, further solidifying its commitment to the regional integration process.