South Sudan has submitted instruments for ratification on accession to the East African Community Treaty, in Arusha, Tanzania.
The development, which comes days before the upcoming 17th extra-ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit, scheduled for Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, on Thursday, means the country now has full and equal rights, obligations and privileges in the Community as it is ready to comply with the latter’s laws and other regulations.
Aggrey Tisa Sabuni, South Sudan’s presidential advisor on economic affairs, represented his government in the ceremony presided over by Dr Augustine Mahiga, Tanzania’s minister for foreign affairs and East African cooperation, and EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko.
“Registration complete. South Sudan now fully in @jumuiya with full, equal rights, obligations and privileges,” Amb. Mfumukeko tweeted after the event.
In April, the Government of South Sudan signed the EAC Treaty, formalising the country’s membership to the regional bloc, during a signing ceremony held in Dar-es-Salaam.
Presidents Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan and John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania signed the Treaty of accession of South Sudan to the Community.
Magufuli is the current chairperson of the EAC.
The decision to admit South Sudan as the sixth member of the EAC was agreed during EAC Heads of State Summit in Arusha in March.
EAC leaders, in April, noted that the entry of South Sudan into the Community was for the benefit of the entire region.
Earlier, South Sudan was allowed a transition period of three years before implementing the Customs Union and the Common Market protocols, among other provisions, as the bloc acknowledged that the world’s youngest nation still needed support to be able to gradually implement all the requisite membership instruments.
Admission of South Sudan, which applied to join the EAC in 2011, means that the bloc’s market size is now 162 million people, up from 145.5 million.