The East African Community (EAC) has officially launched a verification mission to determine whether the Federal Republic of Somalia will be admitted to the regional bloc.
The verification process will begin on Wednesday, with senior officials from EAC member countries assessing Somalia’s readiness to join the EAC.
The exercise is being held in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital.
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the current EAC member states.
Mogadishu applied to join the Community for the second time in 2019, but the Community never sent a team of experts to the country to determine eligibility.
There were several issues on which the EAC needed Mogadishu to agree. The process of joining the Community is expected to take at least two years.
Somalia reapplied and expressed interest in joining the EAC after the Democratic Republic of the Congo was admitted.
In a previous address at the EAC heads of State Summit, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said, “Somalia belongs to East Africa. There is no country among the seven countries sitting here that Somalia is not linked to by business, by community or by any other means.”