In Summary
  • President Tshisekedi formally applies to join the six-member regional bloc.
  • The President has been visiting EAC countries since he assumed office in January this year as he seeks to secure and boost ties.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has formally applied for admission to the six-member East African Community (EAC).

The vast natural resource-rich central African country is seeking to join the regional bloc after various behind-the-scenes rapprochements.

Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi this week wrote to his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame, who is the current chairman of the EAC, seeking to join the Community whose member countries are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

“This request follows the ever-increasing trade between the economic players of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and those of the states of the Community,” he wrote on June 8.

The desire of his government, President Tshisekedi observed, is to join the Community of regional leaders “so that we can work together for the development of our respective countries and stabilise this part of Africa.”

OPEN BORDERS

The President has been on a charm offensive in EAC since he assumed office in January this year as he seeks to secure and boost ties.

In the first three months of his presidency, he has visited Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. He is currently in Tanzania on a two-day State visit which began on Thursday.

Last month, Kenya’s former prime minister Raila Odinga as the African Union Special Envoy for Infrastructure and Development met with President Tshisekedi when Mr Odinga visited DRC. It was their fourth meeting this year.

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