The news that East African Community’s neighbours, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the Sudan have shown interest in joining the five-nation grouping will go a long way in increasing the development prospects of the sub-region.
The EAC agenda is critical for the process that ensures a stable and prosperous region.
The region’s economic development is still below what is needed to meet the set targets.
The expansion of the bloc will give the region a collective platform to address common development concerns like; reducing poverty, conflict resolution and the general welfare of the region’s inhabitants.
The formation of the Customs Union this year is a milestone, and should help to increase trade, stimulate economic growth, attract foreign direct investments and enable domestic producers to take advantage of the expanded market base.
The signing of the Common Market treaty, also serves to illustrate the commitment of the bloc towards economic transformation.
The five EAC states have shown commitment to improve in areas ranging from commerce and industry, agriculture, infrastructure, investment and the development of their natural and human resources.
DRC has discovered that it belongs more to the East, relying on both Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports for its Eastern part’s external trade, while most of the Sudan’s economic and social activities rely largely on Kenya and Uganda.
Sudan is the largest country in Africa and the DRC is the third largest, and joining the bloc would make EAC the largest regional community in the world.
This will give the region a wider market and a single strong bargaining power for better terms of trade.