Ethiopia Nears to the East African Community Membership

Ethiopia is on the verge of becoming the newest member of the East African Community (EAC), marking the culmination of its efforts to strengthen economic ties within the region.

Established 24 years ago, the EAC Alliance has consistently expanded its membership base, serving as a pivotal platform for fostering economic cooperation among East African nations.

Another East African Country, Somalia, recently joined the alliance in November 2023, following a formal request made a year prior.

The decision to accept Somalia as the eighth member country came after thorough evaluations conducted by the coalition’s experts.

With its headquarters located in Arusha, Tanzania, the EAC is poised to extend a formal invitation to Ethiopia during its upcoming annual meeting.

Penina Manlonza, the Secretary General of the Union, affirmed Ethiopia’s keen interest in EAC membership, stating that Ethiopia’s application is currently undergoing evaluation and bilateral discussions are in their final stages.

Moreover, the Secretary General emphasized the significance of Ethiopia’s potential membership, highlighting ongoing efforts among EAC partner countries to devise common currency frameworks and essential policies, aligning with the financial guidelines of the alliance.

Manlonza further underscored the transformative impact of Ethiopia’s inclusion, noting that the EAC would expand to nine member countries, encompassing a combined population exceeding 400 million people.

With Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Congo, and South Sudan already on board, the addition of Ethiopia would solidify the EAC’s position as a prominent economic network in Africa.

The overarching aim of the alliance is to establish a robust trading platform for over 700 million people, catalyzing increased intra-regional trade among member states.

To achieve this objective, the EAC has outlined plans to enhance transportation infrastructure, focusing on the development of rail, air, sea, and road links to facilitate seamless trade flows across borders.

In essence, Ethiopia’s imminent membership in the EAC signifies a significant milestone in regional economic integration, fostering greater collaboration and prosperity across East Africa.

Ethiopia’s economy grapples with a myriad of challenges, ranging from the repercussions of conflict and a heavy debt burden to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, surging living expenses, and fluctuations in global economic conditions.

Despite these obstacles, Ethiopia is actively leveraging its strengths and pursuing membership in new organizations.

In August of last year, Ethiopia became a member of BRICS, a strategic move that aligns with the collective efforts of BRICS countries to reshape global trade and investment dynamics, challenging the prevailing order centered on the dominance of the US dollar.

Through collaboration in areas such as trade and banking, BRICS nations are poised to exert significant influence on the global economic landscape.


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