Kenya’s president and EAC chair, Uhuru Kenyatta, said it was a “historic” day, while President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, described DRC’s admission as a “great event of significance.”
DRC shares borders with all EAC member states except Kenya, and the country’s admission process was fast-tracked because of the huge potential for trade. For example, DRC precious metal exports may enhance trade for the bloc, if it is formalised.
According to the US Treasury, approximately 90% of DRC’s gold is smuggled into Uganda and Rwanda. Meanwhile, Somalia’s application to join the EAC has been pending for over five years.
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