The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has formally been admitted into The East African Community (EAC) regional bloc becoming the seventh and newest member of the community after South Sudan.
DRC’s admission was approved at the 19th Extraordinary Summit of EAC Heads of State conducted virtually.
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six (6) Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
The regional bloc EAC guides the free movement of goods, people, labour, services and capital from one Partner State to another as well as the rights of establishment and residence without restrictions.
East Africans are not required to have a visa to travel within the region but can do so using valid national passports or use the East African Passport, which was introduced as a travel document to ease border crossing for East Africans.
Kenyan and Tanzania has the strongest passports in East Africa.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is the current chair of the bloc which also comprises Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
EAC Secretary General Mutuku Muthuku said DRC will begin to enjoy the benefits of all existing protocols once it deposits instruments of ascension
“Upon ascension to The Treaty establishing the EAC and depositing of the instrument of acceptance with the Secretary-General, DRC will join EAC’s cooperation in all the sectors, programmes and activities that promote the pillars of EAC integration,” he said.