DRC President to sign landmark EAC deal in Kenya

DRC is the latest country to join East African Community

Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is expected to arrive in Nairobi on Thursday, April 7

Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected to arrive in Nairobi on Thursday, April 7 where he is expected to sign the East African Community (EAC) treaty in the presence of EAC chair President Uhuru Kenyatta.

According to a press release seen by this writer, President Tshisekedi will be accompanied by ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, and Fisheries and Livestock. The DRC and Kenya are also expected to sign a cooperation agreement in Agriculture.

On April 9, Tshisekedi is also expected to attend a Summit with representatives from Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

As of March 29 2022, the EAC membership grew to seven with the official admission of the DRC as a new member. The other members are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan.

The second largest country in Africa was admitted by the EAC Heads of State, during their 19th Ordinary Summit. On the day, Kenyatta informed the members that DRC had met all the criteria for admission as provided for in the EAC Treaty.

“The admission of DRC, to EAC, demonstrates the agility of the community to expand beyond its socio-cultural boundaries to new people and trade-centered partnerships and collaboration, thus increasing trade and investment opportunities for the citizens," said Kenyatta.

The DRC is rich in natural resources and has vast deposits of industrial diamonds, cobalt, and copper. The minerals are highly valued for their use in electronic devices, including computers and cell phones.

The extraction of these minerals, however, has contributed to serious economic, social, and environmental impacts, one of them being the creation and intensification of social conflicts, which is the reason why they have been dubbed as “conflict minerals.”

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