The Democratic Republic of Congo is officially the East African Community’s seventh member. And this after Congolese President Félix Tshisekedi formally signed the treaty to join the community during his visit to Kenya.
For this occasion, both President Uhuru Kenyatta, the current chair of the bloc and the Congolese leader adressed messages of unity.
“By joining the community, the Congolese people do not only want to be satisfied with the benefits of intra-community trade, but they aspire first and foremost to maintain relations based on peace and security for all.”, said Felix Tshisekedi, DR Congo President. While, Uhuru Kenyatta , President of Kenya and current Chair of the EAC stressed this addition would _”_strengthen (our) economic muscle and competitiveness, in the continent and as well as globally”.
Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and now the DRC are part of the EAC. Kinshasa applied for membership in 2019 and counts on this integration to give him access to better trade deals in the region and free movement of people within the community.
Kenya’s President said the DRC’s admission means the bloc counts for about 300 million people and a GDP of around 250 billion dollars. DR Congo has vast mineral wealth, including diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt as well as other resources but is undergoing a conflict in the eastern part of its country.
The newcomer also opens a corridor from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.