19th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State To Be Held Tomorrow-Officials 

19th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State To Be Held Tomorrow-Officials 

By Spy Uganda

EAC Heads of State are set to convene for the 19th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State, set to take place virtually, on Tuesday, 29th March 2022 from 11:00am EAC Time.

The Summit is expected to consider the report of the Council Of Ministers on the negotiations between the East African Community (EAC) and the Democratic Republic Of the Congo (DRC) on admission Of DRC into the EAC.

The Summit is preceded by the 48th Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the EAC Council of Ministers, which took place on Friday, 25th March 2022 to consider the provisional agenda and programme of the 19th Extra-Ordinary Summit of the EAC Heads of State on Admission of the DRC into the EAC.

Already, Kinshasa has bilateral and multilateral cooperation arrangements with EAC partner states in various areas, including Customs, infrastructure and productive and social sectors.

So far DRC has completed all the major steps to joining the regional bloc. And the Council meeting on Friday went through the checklist to ensure all ground had been covered and agreed upon by all parties.

The procedures have covered political, legal and institutional, infrastructural, productive and social Sectors. Economic affairs and trade are at the centre of the deal.

An EAC verification team has been in consultation with the DRC President Felix Tshisekedi’s office and developed a work programme that identified ministries, institutions, private and civil society organisations for engagement during the process, which was largely concluded in February. The DRC’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Christophe Lutundula Apala Pen’Apala, who led the negotiations in Nairobi in February 2022 highlighted Kinshasa’s enthusiasm to be part of the EAC.

“We are looking forward to increased trade and investment, and strengthened relations. Our relations with EAC partner states have largely been at a bilateral level. But now we want to go even farther,” said Pen’Apala.

In the coming weeks, the EAC is expected to hold an ordinary Council of Ministers meeting that will pave the way for the Ordinary Heads of State meeting in April, when Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta will hand over the chairmanship to another leader, presumably Burundi’s Evariste Ndayishimiye.

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