President John Magufuli is this Thursday hosting his five East African Community (EAC) member state counterparts in Dar es Salaam for their special summit.
The Extra-Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit, which will for the first time include South Sudan’s Salva Kiir, will be attended by Kenyan Uhuru Kenyatta, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi and the host Dr Magufuli.
Speaking to Daily News during the Depositing of Instrument of Ratification on the accession to the treaty for the establishment of the EAC by the Republic of South Sudan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation Dr Augustine Mahiga said the Summit is slated for Dar es Salaam on September 8, 2016.
Dr Mahiga who also chairs the EA Council of Ministers said South Sudan has officially become member of the regional bloc, noting that the ministerial sessions preceding the Dar summit will have representatives from Juba.
Earlier, the EAC Secretary General Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko commended President Kiir, the government and the people of South Sudan for their tireless efforts and commitments that enabled them to join the bloc.
“Now that they have taken this step further, the Secretariat will seek guidance from the EA Council of Ministers on developing a detailed roadmap for integrating the Republic of South Sudan into ongoing EAC projects and programs,” said Mr Mfumukeko, adding that the leadership in Juba will be informed on every step taken in that regard.
Last April, President Magufuli, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the EAC Heads of State Summit led the delegation from South Sudan in signing the initial protocol allowing Juba to join the regional bloc.
A month earlier, during their 17th Ordinary Summit on March 2, 2016, the EAC Heads of State received the report of the Council of Ministers on the negotiations for the admission of Juba into the community and decided to admit the Africa’s youngest nation to the bloc.