The President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, has extended an invitation to other African countries to join the East African Community (EAC) in order to make the bloc stronger and more economically vibrant.
Addressing the third session of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) that sat in Nairobi, Kibaki said; “I am aware that some countries have already expressed their interest in joining the EAC. We welcome them and assure them of our support because our vision is to make the East African Community the most successful and integrated bloc in Africa.”
Kibaki noted that the EAC was one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching integration arrangements in the world that envisions the eventual full unification of the Partner States as a single political entity, a target envisioned by the Community’s founding fathers.
He noted that Rwanda and Burundi had immensely benefited from the EAC and made the regional bloc stronger and more economically vibrant.
There were reports that the bloc’s neighbours; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Sudan, had shown interest in joining the five-nation grouping.
Speaking to The New Times, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of political federation, Beatrice Kiraso, welcomed President Kibaki remarks as a step towards full integration.
“I would like to add that President Kibaki’s wish is a positive one. It is positive because, then, our regional bloc will be bigger. It is something positive, but until countries apply, we cannot start the process,”
Kiraso revealed that no country has applied but acknowledged that South Sudan had shown interest.
However, she highlighted that EAC treaty only accommodates sovereign states and South Sudan is not one.