The Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the United Republic of Tanzania, Juma-Alfani Mpango, on Tuesday presented his credentials to the EAC Secretary General,. Juma Mwapachu.
The ceremony took place at the EAC headquarters in Arusha.
The letter of accreditation stated that the Congolese government had designated the Ambassador to the EAC “to promote the links between the Community and Democratic Republic of Congo”.
In an interview with The New Times, Beatrice Kiraso the EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Political Federation, said that accrediting the DRC envoy does not mean the latter has joined the five-nation economic grouping.
“There are other countries that have their envoys accredited to the bloc, for instance Mpango becomes the fourth envoy after USA, Denmark and Turkey,” she said.
After presenting his credentials to the EAC Secretary General, Mango said that his country was very keen to become EAC member state
He added that, his presence at the bloc was proof that the Congolese Government is committed to promoting the traditional links that exist between the EAC and the DRC, as well as an expression of faith in regional integration.
The envoy noted that his country would be keen to work with the EAC to exploit its vast potential in resources such as energy, minerals and water, while the regional grouping offers transport facilities through the North, South and Central corridors as well as the ports of Dar es Salaam and Mombasa.
Speaking at the event, Mwapachu said that, as the first African country to have an envoy accredited to the EAC, DRC had made a significant statement about how seriously it views the bloc. He extended an invitation to the country to join the EAC.
“The DRC has a very close traditional, cultural and economic relationship with our region,” he stressed.
“We believe that this historic event today will mark a turning point and trigger a new level of relationship leading to the Democratic Republic of Congo joining the EAC”.
DRC is already a member state of both COMESA and SADC regional economic blocs.
The two blocs in conjunction with EAC are currently working towards actualizing a Free Trade Area (FTA).